Momma Told Me: How To Calm Anxiety In Dogs

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Friday, August 12, 2016

How To Calm Anxiety In Dogs

***I received a product from Calmz to help facilitate this story, regardless my thoughts, and experiences are all my own. Nothing written below should be taken as veterinary advice. If your dog exhibits any of the behaviors discussed please consult a veterinarian.
The Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combines accupressure with audible therapy to help ease anxiety due to travel, seperation, thunderstorms, fireworks, and more.
Momma Told Me: Don't be a fraidy cat.


Everyone who knows Nora, our Morkie, says she is the happiest, most energetic, enthusiastic dog they have ever met. And, while it's true Nora never stops exploring and greeting everyone/everything that crosses her path, even she experiences anxiety from time to time. Anxiety, in dogs, brought on by specific personal triggers is not uncommon, and does not mean your dog is a 'bad dog.' Much like children, our pets are conditioned to respond to different situations and stimuli from a very young age. One traumatic bad experience can trigger an uncontrollable response, even years later. Unfortunately, unlike children, we can't sit them down and explain there is nothing to fear, or that they are going to be 'okay' when their anxiety kicks in.
The Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combines accupressure with audible therapy to help ease anxiety due to travel, seperation, thunderstorms, fireworks, and more.
The degree of anxiety your dog experiences, and the severity of the symptoms varies with the type of trigger and your dog's individual personality. Anxiety could be caused by meeting new people, traveling, thunderstorms, fireworks, or even separation from a family member or owner. It may not always be obvious at first that your canine companion is feeling stressed. Anxiety in dogs often presents itself first as panting, excess salivation, hiding/tucking the tail between it's legs, or even whimpering. In extreme cases a dog may even respond to anxiety by urinating, chewing, or digging where it's not supposed to.

As pet parents I know it can be frustrating to see your lovable best friend acting contrary to themselves. It's natural to worry if your dog is ill or requires professional training, when they exhibit these signs. It's important to pay attention to what occurred immediately before the behavior was witnessed, often there are signs and patterns of triggers resulting in the behavior. (NOTE: If your dog experiences anxiety towards a specific person, and only that person the behavior may be as a result of negative experiences with that individual. Examine the entire situation before assuming it's a case of unjustified anxiety.)
So what makes 'the world's happiest dog' feel anxious? Nora, like many dogs, and quite understandably, has a hard time coping with sudden loud noises. She can be carried through a concert, or the bustling fairgrounds with complete enthusiasm and excitement, but the sound of lightening, fireworks, a car misfiring, or anything similar completely disables her. Ever since we first brought her home she was a fearless ball of fluff- We like to joke she'd walk up to a man in a hockey mask with machete and lick them to submission. But there is something about sudden loud noises which pins her ears back, makes her pant heavily, tremble, drool, and hide.

Every year I stay home with the house buttoned up, playing some sort of loud music to try and drown out the sound of fireworks. Unfortunately, despite being illegal in our country, this year the fireworks began over a week before the 4th, and to this very date we still hear one or two shot off a day. It is entirely unexpected and truly puts both Nora and I on edge. A year ago, after a car had misfired in the alley and Nora had begun showing signs of immediate anxiety I discovered that singing (No, I am not a good vocalist) 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' in a very calm lullaby tone, and noticed that Nora responded dramatically and immediately to this. Ever since it has been my best tool to help her cope.
The Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combines accupressure with audible therapy to help ease anxiety due to travel, seperation, thunderstorms, fireworks, and more.
Flash forward to our recent discovery of the Calmz Anxiety Relief System- We'd previously tried aromatherapy and compression treatments for on the spot anxiety relief, after our veterinarian suggested them, but neither seemed to offer long term, or continued relief beyond an initial calm. The Calmz system combines a few common anxiety relief treatments into one easy to use therpy 'harness'. The specially designed neoprene harness comes in a variety of sizes for different breeds of dogs, and is very breathable. It's made to fasten and provide direct pressure to acupressure spots on your dog, while acting as a holster for the companion Calmz device.

Stay with me, because I laughed a bit at how the Calmz system worked, at first- but I was honestly willing to try anything to ease Nora's sudden anxiety to loud, unexpected, noises. The Calmz device sits in a specially designed pouch atop the Calmz harness, right between your dog's shoulder-blades and along the spine. With several options for intensity and length of programs, the Calmz device delivers targeted pulse vibrations in time with an ever so faint 'zen like' audio track, played just behind your dog's ears. A massage and meditation, I thought- right.
The Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combines accupressure with audible therapy to help ease anxiety due to travel, seperation, thunderstorms, fireworks, and more.
The Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combines accupressure with audible therapy to help ease anxiety due to travel, seperation, thunderstorms, fireworks, and more.
While some dogs might have a unique response to the system at first, ans require an adjustment period, Nora is used to wearing a harness, and even clothing, so she instantly took to the Calmz system. I was also expecting her to turn her hear from side to side, in an attempt to figure out where the vibration and music was coming from. To my surprise I saw an immediate response. The dog who never closes her eyes when a human is awake and present, the dog who never lays down when I have my camera out began almost collapsing into the couch. And by collapsing I mean she was fighting the urge to lay down and relax. Just look at the photos I snapped as she attempted to keep her eyes open only 2 minutes into her first Calmz session.
The Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs combines accupressure with audible therapy to help ease anxiety due to travel, seperation, thunderstorms, fireworks, and more.
Clamz isn't meant to be worn everyday, or constantly. It's intended to be used as a conditioning aid to provide relief and calm when your dog is in a stressful situation. For us that means we will only be using the vest during thunderstorms, or firework seasons (4th of July and New Years). For others it may be a vital aid when traveling, or even a useful tool to help integrate a pup at the local dog park. Each dog, like every human, responds differently to anxiety, and your dog may or may not require several sessions with the Calmz system before seeing results. So far, I can say it really does have an impact on our, generally hyper, dog. Learn more about the Calmz Anxiety Relief System for dogs online.

What tends to stress your dog out? What signs of anxiety do you notice when they are stressed?

What Daughter Says: Man's best friend experiences many of the same emotions- help your dog deal with anxiety by first recognizing the signs and cause.

7 comments:

  1. What an amazing invention! I've heard the 4th is so hard for my friends who have dogs so I'm going to let them know about this!

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  2. I need this for my dog. Just recently he has begun to whimper and shake when there's thunder or fireworks.

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  3. This is something I need for one of our dogs. She gets very stressed out when we have thunder storms and fireworks are going off.

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  4. If that is not just the sweetest looking dog EVER. What a great product, I had no idea they made anything like this!

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  5. What a adorable pup! Love the fur cut haha! That vest would be very helpful for my dog when it thunders out.

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  6. This is such an amazing tool. Our dog only gets bouts of anxiety like twice a year, and usually when we have a PACKED house AND it's storming... so strange. But something like this could help during those times, for sure. I will be looking into one fore him!

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  7. That is an amazing device! I'll have to share with my sister as her dog could use some calming at times.

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