What Calms Dogs?

Keep that pup calm with plenty of exercise.

Keep that pup calm with plenty of exercise.

Does your pup seem hyperactive, running around, barking, chewing on furniture and generally driving you crazy? Proper exercise provides him with an appropriate outlet for his excess energy. In addition, both natural and prescription remedies can keep your dog calm, especially during stressful situations.

Exercise

All dogs, especially energetic ones, need exercise to meet their needs for physical activity each day. Bring your pup out for a brisk walk, game of fetch or day at the dog park regularly, to engage him in some fun play. Keep him occupied during the day by giving him puzzle toys filled with yummy treats to engage his attention or hide food around your home for him to find. A visit from a dog walker while you're at work allows your pup a chance not only to relieve himself, but also to work off some of his pent-up energy. With proper exercise and mental stimulation, he should have a calmer demeanor around you and others.

Aromatherapy

Certain scents, like lavender or chamomile, can have a calming effect on your dog. Use natural essential oils in a heated diffuser to spread the scent throughout your home. You can purchase scented body oils that are dog-safe to pamper your pooch with a gentle massage. Not only will the scent calm him, the the massage will as well. Synthetic dog pheromones, available in pet supply stores, can also be either sprayed around your home or used in an electric diffuser. According to an article published in the April 2010 issue of "The Canadian Veterinary Journal," these pheromones work well to calm dogs suffering from separation anxiety and fear while hospitalized. You won't be able to smell the pheromones, but they can calm your pup with no side effects.

Temporary Remedies

To calm your dog for short periods of time, such as during a trip to the vet or when a noisy thunderstorm hits your area, flower essences can be used. These natural liquids are derived from plants and can be added to your dog's food or water to calm him. You may also want to try a pressure wrap with your furry friend. This fabric garment can help dogs with a fear of thunderstorms or loud noises, and is supposed to mimic a gentle "hug" for your little guy when he wears it.

Prescription Medication

Just like people, our canine friends develop problems related to stress and anxiety, all of which can cause undesirable behaviors. If your pup appears to suffer from anxiety-related issues, he may become hyperactive, destructive or even aggressive. Consult with your veterinarian to see if a prescription antianxiety medication could be used to calm your dog. These medications may also help when used along with behavior modification techniques to prevent your little one from destroying your home or reacting to certain stimuli in an aggressive way.

Considerations

Speak to your vet before administering any medications to your dog, including natural ones. Some behaviors may be caused by your little one's hormones, so have your pup spayed or neutered to prevent mating-related behaviors, like escape attempts or aggression. In some cases, your pup's hyperactive behavior could be the result of a medical condition. Have your furry friend thoroughly checked out by your vet to rule out any illnesses before using calming medications of any kind on him. Follow any dosing instructions your vet gives you for prescription antianxiety medications.

 

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, crafts, television, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared in "The Southern California Anthology" and on Epinions. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.

Photo Credits

  • sleeping dog image by Lucid_Exposure from Fotolia.com