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The Scoop

Dog Anxiety

Dog Anxiety

Can My Dog Read My Mind?

Understanding the Link Between Human Anxiety and Dog Anxiety

Let’s dive into the fascinating topic of the connection between human anxiety and dog anxiety. We all want the best for our four-legged best friends, and understanding this link can help us provide the support and care our pooches need to thrive.

Anxiety is no stranger to us, and it turns out our furry friends can experience it too. From environmental factors to genetic predisposition, anxiety can have various triggers in both species. However, it’s important to note the subtle differences in how anxiety manifests in humans compared to dogs. Keep in mind that each dog is unique and may have different triggers for their anxiety as well.

Dogs are like sponges!

Most may not be aware of how their own mood and emotions can influence their canine companions. Creating a calm and positive environment, practicing stress management techniques, and seeking professional support if needed can help in maintaining a harmonious relationship with our beloved fur babies. Dogs are highly sensitive to our emotional states and can absorb our anxieties like sponges.

Research suggests that behavioral and chemical cues from humans can affect dogs, enabling them to discern and even “catch” their owners’ emotions[1][2]. Dogs are highly attuned to human body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, allowing them to perceive and respond to their owner’s emotional state[3]. For example, when a person is feeling anxious or stressed, their dog may pick up on these signals and become more anxious or exhibit signs of stress as well. Conversely, if a person is calm and relaxed, it can have a soothing effect on their dog. Dogs may mirror their owner’s emotions and behaviors, potentially amplifying or reflecting their feelings.

It’s crucial for dog owners to be aware of how their own mood and emotions can influence their canine companions when approaching new situations, such as going to the vet, moving into a new place, or dropping your pup off for a boarding stay. If you go into that environment feeling stressed, worried, and anxious- your pup will have a harder time overcoming any personal anxieties of their own.

Help your fur friend out

Now that you know how to get the vibe right with your pup, engaging their senses with toys and puzzles, and providing mental stimulation through activities like snuffle mats or going on a walk can aid in relieving boredom and anxiety. There are a bounty of natural remedies for canines as well when anxiety tends to persist. An extremely popular choice amongst pet parents is CBD- while there are still varying opinions for most, the growth of canine safe CBD has grown rapidly and aided in the comfort of many. Prospect Farm states, “As with anything new, always start with a small dosage of CBD and increase slowly. It may take a few days or even weeks for your pup to become fully acquainted with CBD before the calming or mobility benefits are truly observable.” Speak with your vet before incorporating this into your routine, but early research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) may help pets with conditions like anxiety, chronic pain, and seizures.[4]

Melatonin calming supplements are a great alternative to CBD as many humans may use this supplement themselves, it is a naturally occurring hormone in both human and canine. They are a great tool to use before an anxiety inducing event, such as preparing for a new boarding stay or vet trip. BHV carries both CBD and Melatonin supplements if your pup needs an extra hand in the transition, please inquire with front desk personnel if you have questions about either of these great options for your pup.

The Bottom Line

 Navigating through bouts of anxiety can be troubling for some, but there are a bounty of resources for your best friend out there. Observing them a bit closer and seeing what works best for you and your pup will lead you to an even more fulfilling relationship with them. As a team, you will thrive amongst it all!


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