Anxiety for humans tends to build up during the day. For some, this anxiety can have a detrimental effect on your sleep pattern. As stress can make you restless and means you may find it difficult to fall asleep at night-time. If you are not getting a proper amount of restorative sleep, this can leave you tired the following day, leading to further stress and anxiety build-up.
So how does this relate to your dog?
Well, anxiety for dogs can build up in a very similar way as humans. The stresses of the day may make it harder for your pup to settle down at night and sleep; this may result in the same snowball effect of anxiety, as aforementioned. The cure for this problem in dogs put simply is a consistent routine. Dogs thrive upon their method; any changes to their daily routine can ultimately throw them out of balance.
The causes of anxiety in your dog are usually down to the following:
- Fear – New strange people or pets enter the house. Or visual stimuli such as umbrellas or hats. Besides, new or unfamiliar environments. Situations such as extended car travel or a bad experience at the vets.
- Separation- Estimated to affect around 14% of dogs. You travel or go away- this can cause separation anxiety.
- Aging- Cognitive decline in aging dogs can cause confusion and subsequent anxiety.
There are five tips available to you as an owner to improve the situation specifically at bedtime:
- Set up a routine of giving a tasty treat at bedtime; this can help unwind your dog and give them a firm signal that it is time to sleep. When the routine becomes familiar, you may find your dog even asks for the treat when they become tired and want to sleep.
- Use calming essential oils, such as chamomile and lavender. Use sparingly as a dog’s sense of smell is, of course, very strong.
- Increased exercise can help your dog to shut down at night. When dogs are more active, stress levels drop tremendously.
- Introduce a cuddle toy. As a way to comfort your dog, as they drift off to sleep, get soft materials, with no squeakers!
- Provide a safe, secure place to sleep- For Instance, a calming dog bed or anti-anxiety dog bed like those found at Bobby bed. Using a Bobby Bed is a great way to improve your pet’s overall behavior & health.
You can, of course, combine all of the techniques explained above to bring anxiety relief to your dog. A happy dog is a well-rested, healthy dog.