Activities For Dogs With Anxiety

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Introduction

Living with a dog who suffers from anxiety can be tricky. There may be a lot that makes your pooch uncomfortable and certain activities you try to avoid. However, you don’t' want you pup to be stuck at home, living a boring life either. So how can you combat anxiety while still providing your pup with fun activities? Simple! Try some of the activities on this list! There is a wide range of reasons why a dog may suffer from anxiety so this list is written for generally anxious dogs. Be sure to consider each activity with your pup in mind and decide if it is right for you!

Puzzles

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Dog Treats
Puzzle Toy
Activity description

One source of doggy anxiety may be a lack of mental stimulation. Your dog could quite possibly be bored and need something more to mentally challenge them. Puzzle toys are perfect in these situations. Not only will a puzzle toy challenge your dog but there are also so many different types of puzzle toys that if your pup ever gets bored of one, there is always another one you can get! Watch as your dog knocks around his new toy, frantically trying to get the treats out of the center- that dog will be too busy to be anxious now!

Step
1
Shop for the puzzle
Shop for the perfect puzzle toy for your dog. Try not to start off with a toy that is too challenging or it may frustrate your dog. You also want to be sure your dog likes the puzzle toy before investing in the fancy models. A basic puzzle will do to start!
Step
2
Utilize treats
Fill the puzzle toy up with treats that your dog cannot resist. Gauge the number of treats that you put in the toy by how long you would like your dog to stay entertained. If you just want them to play for a few minutes, one or two treats will do. Stuff that toy to the brim if you will be leaving your anxious dog all day.
Step
3
Puzzle time
Show your do how the new toy works and then let them play! Your dog will toss and throw that toy all over trying to get to the treats- they won't even have time to be anxious! Say goodbye to anxiety and hello to a happy, stimulated pup. Hurrah for puzzle toys!
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Music Time

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
2 hrs
Items needed
Speakers
Music Player or Radio
Activity description

Listening to music can help your dog relax and can also be a nice change of pace to a quiet day at home. While the music selection is totally up to you, try to choose something that will be soothing to your pup. This activity is perfect for any time, any day and is something your dog can do alone or with you. Setting up music for your anxious pup while they are home alone is a great idea to help them stay calm throughout the day. Now the tough part, what kind of music to put on..ask your pup!

Step
1
Set up speakers
Set up a sound system for your pup. This can be as easy as turning your phone volume up or as customized as buying a pet acoustic speaker specifically for your dog. There are also speakers you can purchase which have set timers and settings to quietly turn off after your dog has been lulled to sleep. So many choices!
Step
2
Select a playlist
Pick the music that you think your dog will like. There are specific anti anxiety play lists that may be perfect for your pup to help them calm down. You can pick one of these pre crafted play lists or make your own. Maybe you already know a song that makes your pup happy that you want to be sure to include!
Step
3
Time to jam
Put on the tunes and relax with your dog. While you can dance, sway or rock with your dog, a pup with anxiety may be happiest just to curl up in a ball and unwind while listening to the soft sounds of their personalized playlist. Leave the music on all day or even all night!
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K-9 Massage

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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Blanket
Activity description

While a massage may benefit any dog, not just apprehensive dogs, it is particularly beneficial for any dog who may have anxiety. A full body massage will calm down your pup and really help them to relax. You can even learn certain pressure points and methods on K-9 massage that would not only feel great but aid in your dogs overall health. Long, gentle and slow strokes are what is generally described as best for a pup with anxiety. Plan to do this activity with your dog frequently, even daily if you have time, as it is a great activity for you to calmly bond with your anxious pooch. 

Step
1
Research
Look up some techniques in K-9 massage especially geared toward dogs with anxiety. There are many videos you can watch, articles to read and even classes that you can take to learn tips and tricks to massaging an anxious dog. Once you feel you have learned enough, time to grab your pup!
Step
2
Get comfy
Lay your dog down in an area of your house where they are comfortable and relaxed. If you dog is already peacefully laying around, just go to where they are- no need to make anyone move! Start petting your dog gently so as not to startle them and then begin your massage. Some owners like to allow their dog to lie on a blanket for the massage.
Step
3
Rub, rub, rub
Rub your pup down gently but firm enough to really get into those muscles. Massage with techniques you have learned and continue as long as you, or your dog, would like! End the doggy massage with a nice kiss on the head or even a treat for your dog who surely feels relaxed and calm! Mission accomplished!
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More Fun Ideas...

New Tricks

Working on a new trick will help keep your dog's mind fresh and alert. Some dogs have anxiety just because they are bored and need more mental stimulation. Learning a new trick will, well, do the trick!!

Exercise

Exercise is important for all dogs but an anxious dog will certainly benefit for extra exercise. After all, a tired dog is too exhausted to be anxious! Schedule that extra walk to help your dog stay calm!

Conclusion

Having plenty of tools to help relax an overly anxious dog is very important for the sanity of both you and your dog! Calming activities may work best or maybe your dog will be happier learning new tricks and staying active. Either way, planning activities to help with your dog's nerves is the very leashed you can do!