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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Dealing With Doggie Anxiety

It's not just people who suffer from anxiety disorders, your beloved pet dog can have some anxious days as well. And if you're not taking steps to monitor and reduce the stress your puppy feels, you might just find yourself with a basket case for a best friend every time it storms. That's no fun for either of you, so in this 10-part series, we're going to look at some causes of - and cures for - dog anxiety disorders.

First, lets talk about the why of dog anxiety. Like people, every dog has his or her own personality. Their unique traits are formed by a combination of genetics and environment. Some dog breeds are more susceptible to nervousness, particularly toy breeds and certain other purebreds. And some dogs may have been frightened by exposure to loud noises or overly enthusiastic children when they were very young, which can have a negative effect even when they're older.

You can minimize the possibility of having an anxious family pet by carefully choosing the right breed for you and your family, and by training and socializing your new puppy properly. But if you get an older dog, or one of undetermined heritage, it can be a challenge to overcome whatever issues he comes with.

Anxiety in dogs manifests in a variety of ways. You may come home from work one day and find your sofa shredded or your dog may urinate whenever someone reaches to pet her. Some dogs hide in corners, under furniture, or even in the bathtub during thunderstorms, and many simply refuse to respond to commands when under stress. All these situations are frustrating for dog owners, and frustrated owners lead to even greater anxiety for already suffering dogs. It's a vicious cycle that can be hard to break.

Over the next 10 days we're going to take a closer look at the 10 best ways to deal with dog anxiety, some tools you can use to help reduce your pup's stress levels (and your own), and I'll show you my favorite sources for information on this all-too-common dog problem. So stick around. A happier home life for you and your pet is just around the corner!

Come back tomorrow to get another tip for soothing your pup's nerves. Until then, visit Your Family Pet for more information on dogs and other family pets. 

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