Tips for Helping Your Dog Relax
There are plenty of reasons why we love our dogs unconditionally– they’re fun to throw the ball around with and, whether your dress them up or not, they’re always adorable! When you’re at your lowest moment, your dog is the loving friend you need most; however, there are times when our patience is pushed to the limit.
Dogs have a tendency to become hyperactive– and a hyper dog will likely annoy you and take their energy out on your furniture, but did you know that your dog’s agitation could lead to health risks? It is important to take all the steps you can to getting your dog to relax.
In many ways, dogs are like people. When you exercise, you expend energy that could lead to a restful sleep. Your dog has tons of extra energy. He’ll fidget and jump all over the furniture, especially if he’s stuck alone in the house all day. If you take your dog on a walk once a day (at least) and throw the ball around, he’ll wear himself out.
Depending on how old your dog is, the suggested amount of physical exercise may vary. A good rule of thumb is to give your pup the opportunity of structured play for about 15-20 minutes, twice per day. Structured play activities include fetch, hunting for food or a variety of K-9 Nose Work games.
It isn’t enough to exercise your dog’s body– a dog’s mind also needs its own workout. There are puzzles specifically designed with the canine’s mental health in mind. Boredom is part of the reason why a dog will act out, so puzzles will placate him. Dog TV is a new channel that was created for the healthy stimulation of a dog’s mind too.
Food carrier toys are also great to keep your dog’s mind active. As dogs are natural foragers, they will likely enjoy working to get their food.
Dog’s have a tendency to get stressed out. This anxiety causes them to act out, so veterinarians often recommend bully sticks so that your dog will have something to take out their nervous energy on. It will also give your dog something to do while relaxing, and they can chew on the bully stick for hours.
The soothing sound of water has, in the past, proven itself to work wonders on relaxing dogs. By installing a wall fountain in your dog’s favorite part of the house, you can ensure that he becomes more restful. The quiet, peaceful sound of running water will help calm the dog without being an annoying distraction for the rest of the family.
Sometimes the hyperactive dog needs a little assistance; a trainer can teach you and your dogs tricks that will make him happier without any of the destructive elements of restlessness. He will also get the chance to socialize with other dogs, which will allow him to use up that pent-up energy. It’s a surefire way to get your dog back on the relaxed path.
When dogs have the proper direction and skills to get what they wants, you’ll find that they are much calmer overall.
A poor diet is often the root of bad behavior in a pooch. If your dog isn’t getting all the essential nutrients, he could have mood swings, aggression and hyperactivity, which can possibly lead to biting. Protect yourself and your dog by researching the right food for your dog’s breed.
If you are providing your dog with a commercial diet, you will want to look for a diet that does not include grains, such as corn, wheat and soy, in which the first few ingredients are meat products. You might also want to consider giving your dog fresh meat and vegetables every so often in order to enhance his/her diet.
Don’t Reinforce Bad Behavior
The worst thing you can do for your dog is reward him when he’s done something bad. When your dog destroys something or is loud and disruptive, you don’t want to start playing with him and give him a treat. You are only showing him that the destructive cries for attention work. If you only reward good behavior, you’ll start to see an overall improvement.
If you are having a difficult time keeping your dog in one place, try these tips at home and you may very well see an improvement in his or her behavior.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, business owner and has two Great Danes of her own. As they’re naturally quite large, keeping them relaxed is imperative! You can find more tips like these by following her on Facebook.