Stress is a part of daily life for both humans and pets, but when that stress becomes excessive, it can cause problems and make life pretty miserable for you and your dog. The pandemic has created entirely new sorts of stress. It’s also resulted in lifestyle changes that may have your dog feeling unsettled. Luckily, there are numerous ways you can help your dog to better cope with stress so he’s happier and healthier.
Stick to a Routine
A routine can give your dog a sense of normalcy, and it helps him to learn what to expect. Try to establish a schedule that incorporates your dog’s meals, trips outside, walks and bedtime. Even when events in your life may be in flux, this schedule can help to keep your dog’s life somewhat consistent.
If you know you’ll be returning to work ... start leaving the house for short periods of time, and then gradually extend the time that you’re away.
Once you create a schedule, keep in mind that it needs to become a consistent part of your life, too. That means if your dog is used to getting up and getting breakfast at 7 am each weekday, you need to keep that consistent on the weekends, too. This takes some dedication, but it can provide important stability to dogs experiencing significant stress.
Implement Gradual Changes
Big, sudden changes are a major source of stress for many dogs. These types of changes can be major shifts like moving to a new house or returning to work after having been home for a year. They often cause disruptions in your dog’s routine, and you may notice his behavior changes as a result.
Sometimes these big changes are inevitable, but if you know a major change will take place, try to take steps to make the transition more gradual. If you know you’ll be returning to work, you might start leaving the house for short periods of time, and then gradually extend the time that you’re away.
Monitor Your Own Stress
Dogs are highly sensitive, and your dog might be picking up on your stress. If you’re under a lot of stress, then look for ways you can relieve and manage it. Introducing an exercise routine, talking with a mental health counselor and making life changes that prioritize stress reduction can all be helpful for both you and your dog.
Your dog can even participate in some of these stress-reduction activities with you. Consider making exercise a part of your daily routine. Take your dog out with you for a walk or a run to reduce your stress while helping your dog to burn off extra energy. You’ll both enjoy additional health benefits from this exercise routine, too.
Support Your Dog With CBD
In addition to the above steps, you can offer your dog support with a product like Zebra CBD Stress & Calming Chews for Dogs. These chews contain broad-spectrum hemp oil extract and natural ingredients like chamomile to keep your dog calm. When used consistently, your dog should seem more relaxed, even when encountering situations that are common stressors in dogs, like traveling or fireworks.
Helping your dog to deal with stress may require multiple lifestyle changes, as well as some trial and error. Giving him CBD can help support the effects of the other changes that you make in your life. With time and effort, you should see a happier, more relaxed dog.