How to Deal with an Anxious Dog

In stressful situations, dogs can easily become stressed, anxious or even scared – much like humans.  Most dogs will only become anxious during certain situations, but others can have more of a nervous disposition most of the time, particularly if they have been through trauma in the past. Whether your dog is acting up or seems scared, or you’ve just adopted a new dog who needs some encouragement to get back to their normal confident self, there are several things that you can do to help calm their anxiety.

#1. Be Sure:

First and foremost, it’s important to be sure that it’s nerves and anxiety your dog is showing, rather than the symptoms of a health condition or disease. A trip to the vet can be nerve-wracking for many dogs, but it can be worth it to ensure that there’s nothing more serious going on. It’s very important to first rule out medical problems such as neurological or thyroid conditions, since these can manifest themselves with typical symptoms of anxiety and will usually significantly worsen if left untreated for too long. Symptoms include being more vocal than usual, trembling, hiding, and a reluctance to playing and other normal behaviors. Health conditions such as allergic skin diseases or urinary tract infections can also be manifested by symptoms that can be mistaken for anxiety, such as excessive grooming or inappropriate urination.

#2. Nutrition and Behavior:

What your dog eats can have a big impact on his behavior. If you’ve changed your dog’s diet recently, this could have some impact on their symptoms of anxiety. A product with different ingredients or a different nutrient balance to what they are used to can alter blood sugar levels, the rate at which energy is released, and it can also affect neurotransmitter levels, all of which can lead to symptoms of anxiety and nervous behavior. If your dog did not display any behavioral issues on a previous food, it’s a wise idea to change back as this will help you determine whether the dietary change is the root cause. You may also want to consider adding pet supplements to his diet, such as those from, to aid with overall health and calmness.

#3. Minimize Stress:

In many cases, dogs display symptoms of anxiety for no other reason than something is simply stressing them out. Understanding what worries your dog and minimizing the number of times he will need to come into contact with it will help him live his happiest and most confident life. Some common stressors for dogs include fireworks, storms, visiting the vet, traveling in a car, and more. It goes without saying that you should always keep your dog safely inside with you if there’s a firework display or a storm outside. It can help to stay close to your dog and offer reassurance in the form of petting and taking in a calm, reassuring tone to her. Like many humans, many frightened dogs can be calmed with some love and support from somebody they trust.

Last, don’t forget to always stay calm around an anxious dog. Getting worried yourself will only worsen the situation.