Expert Advice for Calming an Anxious Dog

Chronic anxiety is usually behavioral, but dogs in pain can be more worried or irritated. Dr. Rachel Malamed, a behavioral medicine veterinarian, recommends a vet visit to rule out medical concerns.

Shivering or cowering are clear indicators of nervousness, but even within the same dog, anxiety can manifest differently. 

As pet owners monitor for minor changes in their dog's behavior, they should notice subtle changes in stressful situations.

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Well-meaning pet owners often engage in "flooding," or planned, constant trigger exposure. One might imagine that ringing the doorbell repeatedly will make a dog who barks at it more comfortable.

Malamed advises “desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques that allow for gradual exposure” to a disagreeable stimuli without anxiety instead of flooding.

Even though vet visits are only annual, most anxious dogs are afraid of them. Malamed advises short dog vet appointments as often as possible.

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