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Dr. Dym's Ask a Vet Blog
Dr. Dym provides a vet's perspective on all types of pet health issues.


Helping Your Dog or Cat with Anxiety

For many dogs and some cats, being left alone can trigger symptoms of anxiety. The same behavior can occur when loud noises are present, including thunderstorms and fireworks. Although there is no single cure to help rid a pet of this type of behavior, there are ways you can help reduce your pet's level of anxiousness.


Crate train your pet.

Crate training your pet is helpful because it provides your pet with a private space, much like a den. With proper training, many pets come to enjoy their area, which makes the crate a safe place to keep your pet while you are out of the house. Plus, many pet owners find crates to be extremely beneficial when housetraining a pet.

Read more on how to crate train your dog.

Super Dog Crate with Cozy Bed
(Available in additional colors)
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Tips to reduce anxiety

  • Be calm and maintain low key departures and arrivals. For instance, when you arrive home, you should ignore your pet for several minutes or until he or she calms down. They key is to not reward your pet's anxious behavior.
  • Leave a toy stuffed with food. It's important to not only reserve this type of toy for times you are leaving. Doing so could allow your pet to associate the toy with your absence, and further increase their anxiety.
  • Leave behind an item of yours that has your scent, such as a sleeping shirt.
  • Help your pet release built up energy with daily exercise.
  • Crate training shouldn't only be used for when you are away. Encouraging your pet to use their crate when you are home can help them to become comfortable using it.
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Consider using pet meds to manage anxiety.

In some cases, pets may become overly excited and frightened by loud noises caused by fireworks or thunderstorms. This behavior is caused by your pet's heightened sense of hearing. Even though noises may not seem that loud to us, to our pets they are significantly amplified. In these situations, you may want to consider administering pet meds that help calm your pet's nerves. There are natural solutions like Super Stress Relief, HomeoPet Anxiety Relief, and Be Serene. Prescription medications are also available, which can be prescribed by your veterinarian.
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Max's Tip: Do not crate your dog for more than 3-4 hours.  

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