It is perfectly normal for your dog to be anxious once in a while. However, having panic attacks regularly can put your dog at risk of getting injured. Though the cause of panic attack or anxiety in dogs is not known, it is believed that factors such major life changes or traumatic events can trigger this problem. Anxiety can cause your dog to exhibit any of these symptoms – hypersalivation, excessive energy, trembling, nervousness, excessive barking, panting, shaking, moaning, vomiting and destructive chewing. So, what should you do when your canine friend is suffering from a panic attack? Here are simple tips to get you started:
Call or Visit Your Veterinarian Immediately
As a responsible and caring dog owner, you should visit your veterinarian as soon as your dog starts showing any of the above symptoms of panic attack. Alternatively, you can call and ask him to come to your home if you aren’t able to pay him a visit. A thorough check-up by your vet should be able to pinpoint the exact cause of the anxiety.
He will examine your dog for any signs of injuries, trauma, or underlying medical problems and prescribe the best medicine to calm him down and improve his overall health and well-being. Based on the diagnosis, the vet may also recommend that you take your pet to an animal behaviorist or give him dietary supplements to further assist with the panic attacks.
Seek Professional Help From A Dog Behaviorist
If a visit to a professional dog behaviorist is recommended, then do so without delay. Why? Because these experts are very skilled in training dogs how to respond properly to stimuli that may be triggering their anxiety. The behaviorist will carefully assess the past history of your pet and observe how he responds. He or she will use the information collected to come up with a specific course of action which you need to follow to change the behavior of your pet.
Show Lots Of Love And Care To Your Dog
Your pet needs you most when he’s having a panic attack. Spending more time with him and showing him how much you love and care for him may be just what he needs to feel safe once again. So, try to create time to cuddle him and give him the much-needed attention during panic attacks. This will go a long way in calming him down and bringing him out of the anxiety.
It is important that you remain very calm while showing your dog affection. Therefore, as you hold and caress him, make sure that you speak with a calm and gentle but assertive voice. This will show him that you have everything under control.
And if you can’t hold him as the panic attack takes place, put him in a quiet and visible spot (such as a crate) where you can watch him till the problem ends. Don’t forget to engage him with his favorite treats or games to make the whole experience a little bit easier for him.
Note that anxiety can happen anywhere including outside as you take a walk with your pet. In such cases, it’s recommended that you use a harness instead of a collar. This will come in handy to prevent him from choking as he tries to get away.
Use these relief techniques to help your dog calm down the next time he suffers from a panic attack.