Dogs are fuzzy balls of energy.
You’ll see them dash like furry rockets.
Though sometimes, they can be jumpy too.
Which makes them uncontrollable.
You may have tried calming them down…
However, nothing works.
But be at ease.
As I made a complete list of soothing methods, you can try.
Keep reading to discover:
- 101 scientifically proven ways of calming a dog.
- 9 easy massages to soothe your doggo at home.
- 11 fun activities that can wear out your hyper dog.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- How to calm a dog down? 101 proven ways
- #1: Soothing voice
- #2: ‘Safe haven’
- #3: Dog cave bed
- #4: Gentle strokes.
- #5: Back massage
- #6: Ear rubs
- #7: Forehead scratches
- #8: Face massage
- #9: Thigh and glute rubs
- #10: Chest massage
- #11: Effleurage
- #12: Full-body massage
- #13: Canine acupressure
- #14: TTouch therapy
- #15: ThunderShirt
- #16: DIY thunder shirt
- #17: DIY anxiety wrap
- #18: Chew toys
- #19: Licking mats
- #20: Interactive dog puzzles
- #21: Treat balls
- #22: Long-lasting treats
- #23: Calming chews
- #24: Thiamine
- #25: Colostrum
- #26: L-Theanine
- #27: Valerian root
- #28: Probiotic supplements
- #29: Probiotic-rich food
- #30: Ginger
- #31: Classical music
- #32: Soft rock and reggae
- #33: Soothing dog tunes
- #34: White noise
- #35: White noise sound machine
- #36: New crate location
- #37: Comfier bed
- #38: Dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP)
- #39: Dog-safe aromatherapy
- #40: Old clothes
- #41: Remain calm
- #42: Stay by their side
- #43: Regular schedule
- #44: Anti-anxiety medications
- #45: Avoid triggers
- #46: Desensitization
- #47: Counter-conditioning
- #48: Behavioral courses
- #49: Drive tests
- #50: Bring them to their fave places
- #51: Doggy car harness
- #52: No heavy meals before rides
- #53: Low indoor temperature
- #54: Never yell
- #55: The ‘quiet method’
- #56: Distraction
- #57: “Speak!”
- #58: Visual buffer
- #59: ‘Stay in your place’ command
- #60: “Down”
- #61: Reward only good behavior
- #62: Doggy daycare
- #63: Consistency
- #64: Mask a dog in heat’s scent
- #65: Separate doggy areas
- #66: Heat-delaying pills
- #67: Consider spaying/neutering
- #68: Potty break before bed
- #69: Regular eating schedule
- #70: Melatonin
- #71: CBD oil
- #72: Heartbeat stuffed toys
- #73: Bedtime snuggles
- #74: Regular bedtime
- #75: Daily walks
- #76: Running
- #77: Hiking
- #78: Swimming
- #79: Fetch
- #80: Tug of war
- #81: Agility course
- #82: ‘Find it!’
- #83: Hide and seek
- #84: ‘Red light, green light’
- #85: ‘Hot and cold’
- #86: Which hand game
- #87: Sniff walks
- #88: Snuffle mats
- #89: Calm walks
- #90: ‘Wait’
- #91: New fun tricks
- #92: Tablet games
- #93: High-value treats
- #94: Socialization
- #95: Arrange playdates
- #96: Quality bonding time
- #97: Dog walker
- #98: Time-out
- #99: Capture calmness
- #100: Crate train
- #101: Switch diet
How to calm a dog down? 101 proven ways
#1: Soothing voice
First, if your dog’s anxious or out of control…
It’s best not to hold them immediately.
Your Fido might be scared at the moment.
So they may defend themself and bite you.
“What should I do first, then?”
Speak to your dog calmly
Use a slightly upbeat voice.
As if you’re talking with a baby.
Then call your Fido’s name. And tell them everything will be alright.
Studies reveal dogs like ‘baby-talk.’
Canines trust humans with this tone more than those who don’t speak this way.
Thus, you’ll quickly get your Fido’s attention.
Because your voice will be reassuring.
Check out also: 7 Cute Reasons Why Dogs Like Baby Talk
#2: ‘Safe haven’
After comforting your dog with a calm tone…
Bring or lead them to their ‘safe space.’
It can be any quiet area in your house that’s away from:
- Other pets.
According to experts, dogs also need ‘alone time.’
They go to isolated places to recover from stress or fear.
Say under your desk or in the corner.
“But how long should I let my dog be alone?”
Typically, they’ll come out once they feel okay again.
However, it’ll be concerning if your dog hides for so long.
So it should only be 4 hours at most for adult Fidos. And less for puppies.
- Ensure the spot’s always accessible to your dog.
- Place soft bedding or their favorite blanket inside.
- Leave the things they need (e.g., food, water, toys).
- Remove any hazards (e.g., electrical cords, toxic household items).
#3: Dog cave bed
Does your Fido like burrowing under the pillows or sheets?
If so, a cave-like space might make them feel safe.
What to do?
You can cover the top and 3 sides of your dog’s crate with a breathable blanket.
But there are ready-made beds, too, like this one.
Just pick the right size for your pooch.
Then for their peace, place it away from where people pass by.
Fun fact: Mother Fidos make den-like areas to secure their puppies. This is why most Fidos feel safe in dark, cramped places.
#4: Gentle strokes.
Does your dog usually allow petting?
Or do they come to you on their own?
If so, slowly rub them in areas they love.
A study says touch causes the body release oxytocin, a.k.a. the ‘love hormone.’
It enhances bonds. And it relieves stress.
That’s why a hug or a tap on the shoulder from someone you love makes you feel warm and fuzzy.
And this also applies to your furry friend.
One research found that petting your dog before leaving the house calms them down.
Also, another study says that stroking your Fido for 8 minutes lowers their heart rate.
Which means they’re relaxed.
What to do?
Gently stroke your dog for at least 10 minutes.
Aim for the usual sweet spots, such as:
- Base of their neck.
But each dog has a different favorite part. Or areas they don’t want to be touched.
So watch your pooch’s reactions.
Then stop when they show warning signals, like:
- Trying to run away.
- Showing their teeth.
In this case, let your dog settle down. Then try again after a few minutes.
But if your Fido still doesn’t want it…
Do the other tips below that don’t involve physical contact.
Warning: An anxious dog may act aggressively. So never touch your Fido abruptly. And do the following first:
- Announce your presence.
- Sit or squat down to your dog’s level.
- Invite them to come to you.
- Make minimal eye contact to avoid intimidating them.
#5: Back massage
You can take petting to the next level too.
Like humans, most dogs also enjoy a massage because it feels nice.
Also, studies show it reduces cortisol, a.k.a. the ‘stress hormone.’
Meanwhile, it increases the following ‘happy substances’ in the body:
And that’s why it helps reduce anxiety.
Now, there are many kinds of massages.
But you can do this simple technique at home.
And it’s perfect for dogs who haven’t received a massage yet or those sensitive to touch.
What to do?
- Bring your Fido to a quiet room.
- Do the massage in a padded area (e.g., couch, mat).
- Place yourself on either side of your dog. (Avoid the front.)
- Gently stroke them a few times.
- Put your hand on the back of their head.
- Apply gentle pressure.
- Slowly stroke either side of their spine up and down.
- Avoid the bone area.
- Do this for at least 15 minutes.
Warning: Never do this if your Fido’s highly nervous or excited. If your dog allows it, continue. But if not, stop at once and never force them.
Continue reading: 11 Amazing Benefits Of Giving Your Dog A Massage
#6: Ear rubs
Many dogs like it when you scratch their ears.
As the nerve endings make the areas sensitive to touch.
So it may also hurt when you pluck some of your dog’s ear hair.
But besides this…
The nerves also react to gentle strokes.
Then they’ll relay them to the brain as pleasurable sensations.
What to do?
- Hold your dog’s ears gently.
- Put each thumb on the inner side of their ear flaps.
- Place your index finger on the outer sides.
- Slowly rub their ears with enough pressure.
- Do it from the base to the tip.
- End each stroke with a gentle pull.
Warning: Stop and consult your vet if your dog feels pain around the ears. You’ll know it if they constantly scratch that area. Or if they only have one ear up.
#7: Forehead scratches
Your furry friend also has ‘calming points’ on their head.
One of these is ‘Yin Tang.’
And it’s in the middle of the forehead – between the eyes, based on experts.
(Check out this illustration.)
What to do?
- Put either your thumb or 2 fingers (index and middle) on your dog’s forehead.
- Add little pressure.
- Slowly stroke your Fido from the point to the top of their head.
“How does this calm down a dog?”
If you apply pressure on the Yin Tang point…
You’ll let the calming energy flow into your Fido’s body.
Trivia: Research says it’s a technique in ancient Chinese medicine that eases anxiety.
#8: Face massage
Besides Yin Tang, there are also ‘Yang Tang’ points.
You’ll find these on the sides of your Fido’s head – above the eyes.
So they’re like your dog’s temples.
Or the same spots you massage when you have a headache.
According to vets, stroking the Yang Tang points lessens nervousness and irritability.
What to do?
- Locate your dog’s temples.
- Place your thumb on each side of your Fido’s face.
- Softly massage those spots.
Warning: If your dog doesn’t let you touch their face, they might be in pain. In this case, monitor your Fido closely and call your vet.
#9: Thigh and glute rubs
A dog with joint pains may also act restless.
For this, a massage on their thigh and glute can help ease the discomfort.
A study found that massaging muscles lessens pain in dogs.
And experts observed they get better with every therapy.
But since they have a condition…
It’s best to consult a vet first. Especially if your pooch has persistent joint pain.
Then bring your Fido to a certified animal massage therapist.
However, you can still help your dog at home with a light massage.
What to do?
- Put your thumb on your dog’s thigh or glute (hind area above the tail).
- Slightly press into them.
- Stroke the muscle with a backward ‘c’ or clockwise half circle.
You might also like: 9 Ways To Massage A Dog With Arthritis (How-to)
#10: Chest massage
Most dogs like their chest scratched too.
So if your Fido loves it, it may also help relieve their stress.
What to do?
If possible, put your pooch in a sitting position.
This way, you can easily access their upper body for a massage.
Once done, do the following:
- Place your hands over your Fido’s chest.
- Gradually stroke them in a circular motion.
- Do this from the chest toward their armpits.
Note: Check if your dog can handle the pressure you apply. Then adjust accordingly or stop if they dislike it.
This refers to long, light strokes.
According to experts, effleurage doesn’t only relax a dog.
It also does the following:
- Reduces swelling.
- Enhances blood flow.
- Gives warmth to the tissues.
What to do?
- Put both your hands on the part you want to massage.
- Slowly stroke your Fido in the direction of their fur.
- Do this 5-6 times and use your hands alternately.
- Gently knead them in the opposite direction – towards their heart.
- Repeat steps #2 and #4 for 10-15 minutes.
Note: Stroke your dog as slowly as possible – at least 5 seconds. Also, lighten the pressure when you go over their bony parts.
Read also: 9 Ways To Massage A Dog To Sleep (How-to Guide)
#12: Full-body massage
You can do this to finish the session with your pooch.
An overall massage won’t only help calm them down.
It’s also an opportunity to check your dog’s body.
Say if they’re itchy or aching somewhere.
What to do?
First, pet your dog all over 5 times as a warm-up.
And then, do the following:
- Place your palms on their chest.
- Apply little pressure.
- Move them slowly in circular motions.
- Do the same thing towards their neck and shoulders.
- Rub backward toward your Fido’s spine and rear end.
- Repeat #3 on each of their leg.
#13: Canine acupressure
Remember these calming points earlier?
- Yin Tang (forehead).
- Yang Tang (temples).
They’re part of a traditional type of massage called ‘acupressure.’
Vets say it started in ancient China. And it’s like acupuncture.
But instead of needles…
You’ll put pressure on your dog.
“How does this work?”
Based on research, acupressure enhances their ‘qi’ or energy.
It helps lessen your Fido’s pain. As well as anxiety.
That’s why some vets also use this to calm dogs down before surgery.
What to do?
If your dog’s been anxious for days and you want to try this…
Have them checked by a vet first to rule out medical conditions.
Then, bring them to an expert in animal acupressure.
They can give you a treatment that best suits your Fido.
Plus, they may teach you some light massages.
Usually, experts do this by applying pressure on a dog’s ‘acupoints.’
Specifically, those that ease anxiety.
Besides their forehead and temples…
Specialists say you’ll find these in your Fido’s:
- Front forearms.
- Brisket (between the forelegs).
They’ll massage these areas for 15 seconds, then release them.
And the session may last for 15-30 minutes.
#14: TTouch therapy
The healing power of physical contact doesn’t end yet.
In 1978, Linda Tellington Jones created ‘TTouch.’
It’s a light massage therapy for animals.
As per vets, it helps animals with behavioral problems.
And these are often caused by:
- Fear aggression.
This helps them calm down. Which then makes them focus and learn better.
However, TTouch isn’t a simple massage.
To further relieve your dog’s anxiety…
They have to undergo 2 parts:
Light touches (clockwise circular motion).
|Soothes the mind.|
Makes them more aware of their surroundings.
|Retains their calmness.|
Enhances confidence and focus.
Note: This isn’t a fix for urgent cases. But if you want to learn TTouch for your pooch, check out their website. They offer courses and certificates.
Hugs are comforting.
But besides the physical contact…
The gentle pressure also reduces stress.
And that’s the concept behind a ThunderShirt.
If worn correctly…
It’ll hit pressure points in your Fido’s body.
And as per research, 89% of dog parents find this effective.
Especially for Fidos scared of thunderstorms.
Also, one study says dogs with this shirt had lower heart rates than those who wore nothing.
Which means they’re calm.
- Train your dog to get used to the wrap.
- Only use it when necessary to keep its effectiveness.
- Wear it to them during pleasant events. (This prevents them from linking the wrap to stressful ones.)
#16: DIY thunder shirt
If it’s urgent or if ThunderShirt isn’t available in your area…
You can also improvise one at home by doing the following:
- Pick an old shirt that can be tight enough on your dog.
- Wear it on them backward – with the neck opening on their tail.
- Tie the shirt around their chest.
#17: DIY anxiety wrap
Apart from old shirts, you can also use your bandages as a wrap.
What to do?
- Get a bandage long enough to wrap around your dog.
- Put them in a standing position.
- Position it under their chest.
- Bring both ends up.
- Make a ‘cross’ over their shoulder blades.
- Place the ends under your dog’s tummy.
- Cross the bandage.
- Tie both ends over their rear end.
If you want to see how it’s done, check out the short clip below:
#18: Chew toys
Our furry friends munch on something when they feel uneasy.
That’s because the action has a calming effect.
In humans, one research found that chewing gum helps ease anxiety.
Plus, it also lessens fatigue and depression.
So once your anxious dog’s in their safe place…
Offer them a chew toy they can play with to calm them down.
But here are some considerations:
Choose which suits your dog’s mouth.
For example, avoid toys that are too small if you have a large breed.
Avoid hard toys.
Instead, pick non-toxic rubber or plushies.
But before selecting one, consider your dog’s…
|Style||What they usually do with toys||Material/s that suits them|
|Gentle||Sucking, licking||Soft plushies|
|Average||Chewing moderately||Rubber, nylon|
|Power||Chewing aggressively||Durable rubber, nylon, edible chews|
Here are the best examples of chew toys:
Warning: Never leave your dog with a toy unattended. They may break it after nibbling and then eat the small pieces. Also, dispose of it once it wears off.
#19: Licking mats
Aside from chewing…
Dogs may also lick a lot because of the following:
The action’s pleasurable to them.
And it makes their bodies produce happy hormones like ‘endorphins.’
So, why not give your dog a licking mat?
- Smear a bit of plain peanut butter or wet food on it.
- Offer it to your pooch to help calm their nerves.
Do this, or else they might lick anything they find.
Say their toys or the furniture – even if there are no traces of food or interesting tastes there.
Note: You can also freeze the mat. And serve it on hot days.
#20: Interactive dog puzzles
Experts say canines have a mind of a 2-year-old kid.
At that age, babies can solve simple puzzles.
So, your dog could do it too.
For example, give your Fido either of these interactive puzzles:
What to do?
- Pick a toy with difficulty level 1.
- Hide some treats under the puzzle lids.
- Get your dog’s attention by showing them the food.
- Demonstrate how to manipulate the covers.
- Let your Fido solve the puzzle.
If it’s too easy for your dog, adjust the toy’s difficulty. Or get one with a higher level.
Solving puzzles needs thinking. And this tires out the brain.
Thus, it can reduce your Fido’s time worrying and keep them busy.
Warning: Some puzzles may have removable parts which can choke your dog. So never leave them alone with these toys.
#21: Treat balls
These won’t only stimulate your dog’s brain.
By trying to get the treats out of these balls…
Your Fido will also get enough physical exercise.
And again, a tired dog (in a good way) often results in a calm pooch.
#22: Long-lasting treats
Instead of chew toys, you may also give your pooch some edible ones.
These will tire them out and feed their tummy as well.
But since ordinary treats will be gone in only a few minutes…
Opt for long-lasting ones.
Say bully sticks or yak cheese.
These can keep your Fido busy most of the time.
Plus, they’ll have a positive outlet for their pent-up or nervous energy. Which will calm their nerves down.
Warning: These aren’t toxic to dogs. But like chew toys, they may also cause choking or intestinal blockage. So always watch your dog and ensure the treat’s not too hard or big for their teeth.
#23: Calming chews
If chew toys and long-lasting treats have little effect on your dog…
Try these instead. Especially if your Fido has:
- Separation issues.
- Noise phobia (e.g., fireworks, thunder).
And also if they get stressed about vet visits and travels.
Your dog will love chewing these goodies.
Plus, they might fall asleep while doing so. Which then solves your problem.
Now, why’s that?
It’s because most calming chews have 3 ingredients.
They work together to put dogs in a relaxed state of mind.
And they’re as follows…
Research says this affects nerve impulses.
These are messages carried by neurons or units that make up the brain.
Wherein fear and anxiety start.
However, your furry pal can’t make thiamine on their own.
So this should be part of their diet. And they can get it from:
This is also known as a mother dog’s ‘first milk.’
It’s rich in antibodies or proteins that defend against bacteria.
As per vets, colostrum aids the immune system.
Also, it boosts the growth of good bacteria in the tummy.
But it helps reduce stress as well.
This comes in:
So you may give this orally. Or blend it in your dog’s food.
However, ask your vet first, as your Fido might be sensitive to milk.
Note: Store colostrum on your kitchen shelf or in the fridge. Just maintain a temperature below 80°F (27°C).
Based on a study, dogs with noise phobia showed fewer signs of anxiety after having this.
They licked their lips less.
Plus, they rarely clung to their parents too.
And one research says that it helps calm dogs who fear storms.
Note: For dosage, follow the instructions on the label. Usually, calming chews work within 30 minutes to 1 hour of ingestion. And the effects may last up to 4 hours.
#27: Valerian root
This is an herb used since ancient times.
It often cures insomnia and anxiety in humans.
So, valerian root can also soothe dogs.
Research shows that when Fidos sniffed its scent…
They became calm. Plus, the dogs didn’t bark much like they used to.
What to do?
According to vets, the dose depends on your dog’s stress level.
So have your Fido checked first.
Also, there aren’t enough studies on this yet.
Thus, experts warn you of possible side effects:
Note: Never give this to puppies and older ones. As well as dogs who are:
- On medications.
- About to get surgery.
#28: Probiotic supplements
A calm tummy also means a peaceful mind.
Probiotics are good live bacteria in the gut.
And they usually:
- Cure diarrhea.
- Help with digestion.
- Maintain the immune system.
But according to a study…
They can also lessen anxiety in animals. Which then improves their mood.
These come in:
- Chewable tablets.
So to know the right product and dosage for your dog…
Ask your vet first. Then, you can mix it with your Fido’s meals.
#29: Probiotic-rich food
Apart from supplements…
Your dog can also get probiotics from food, like:
- Fermented veggies.
But ensure what you’ll feed to your Fido are:
The first one’s an artificial sweetener that’s toxic to dogs.
This spice has many benefits for dogs.
- Reduce nausea.
- Sharpen the mind.
- Protect cells from damage.
And research says it also eases anxiety in animals.
One study found that ginger affects serotonin levels.
It’s a hormone that controls mood. And science shows it’s responsible for feelings, like:
What to do?
According to vets, you can give it in juice or powdered form.
But, if you want to give it to them fresh, here’s how:
- Peel the fresh ginger.
- Chop it into small pieces.
- Mix it in your dog’s meals.
Warning: Ginger can make the blood thinner. So give small dogs no more than 0.25 tsp (271 mg) and 0.75 tsp (813 mg) to larger ones.
Also, ensure your Fido doesn’t have the following:
- Heart diseases.
- Bleeding disorders.
- An incoming surgery.
- A reason to take pain relievers.
#31: Classical music
Mozart can also be a lullaby to Fidos.
Based on research, classical music helps calm kenneled dogs.
The Fidos slept a lot. And they barked less than canines who didn’t listen to such pieces.
On the other hand…
Heavy metal music made the dogs more nervous.
So to soothe your Fido…
Play some classical pieces. And put them at a comfortable volume.
Not too loud, not too quiet.
Don’t forget to check out: Why does my dog howl at music?
#32: Soft rock and reggae
Compared to pop, Motown, and classical music…
Studies found that dogs’ heart rates were more stable when they listened to soft rock and reggae.
Meaning, canines love these genres the most.
So if you and your pooch get tired of Mozart or Beethoven…
Play your fave Air Supply and Bob Marley songs next.
Or, blast these pre-made Spotify playlists for dogs at home:
Note: Alternate the kind of music you’ll play for your dog. Based on research, they get tired of the same songs after 7 days.
#33: Soothing dog tunes
Dr. Susan Wagner studied more on this topic.
She discovered that piano solos calm Fidos more than classical music.
Also, Wagner suggests songs with:
- Low tones.
- Gentle tempos.
- Simple chords.
It’s because a dog’s mind relaxes better when there are fewer things to process.
What to do?
- Search for calming music for dogs on Youtube.
- Get Pet Acoustics Pet Tunes (soothing tunes dog speaker).
- Play ‘Through A Dog’s Ear’ (on Amazon, Spotify, or Apple Music).
#34: White noise
If your dog’s anxious because of the loud vacuum or fireworks…
You can also distract them with ‘white noise.’
As per experts, it has sound frequencies that are equally distributed.
It’s like a note that’s played repeatedly. Or a constant humming sound.
You usually hear this from a:
- Whirring fan.
- TV/radio static.
- Buzzing air conditioner.
And this can easily mask external sounds.
#35: White noise sound machine
If you also have trouble focusing or falling asleep…
Consider investing in this device.
The white noise it emits has better quality. Compared to the one produced by your phone or speakers.
So these may relax both you and your dog in just 1 click.
Plus, they’re handy too.
And you can bring this device anywhere, like this one.
#36: New crate location
Sometimes, dogs need to be alone.
Or, you have to confine them for a while to prevent them from creating a mess.
If trained well, crates won’t be scary for dogs. As they should be a safe place for Fidos, not a punishment.
But your pooch may still get anxious inside it when they can’t see you.
So to calm them…
Try moving their crate where they have a better view of the house.
Place it in the corner near:
- Your office.
- The kitchen.
- Your bedroom.
Also, ensure that you put everything your dog needs inside it, like:
- Water bowl.
You might also want to know: Why does my dog suddenly hate his crate?
#37: Comfier bed
On average, dogs sleep 12-18 hours daily.
This makes their bed play a major role in their lives.
Plus, studies show that canines perform better at doing commands after taking a nap.
So like you, your pooch also needs a nice bed to lie on.
And it’ll help calm their nerves too.
What to do?
- Wash their bedding regularly.
- Give them a fluffier mattress.
- Switch to an orthopedic bed (for senior dogs with joint issues).
Note: Most Fidos like soft things. But others may also prefer to sleep on cold, hard flooring, especially during hot days.
#38: Dog-appeasing pheromone (DAP)
Once mother Fidos give birth…
They release this to comfort their puppies.
And also to enhance their bond.
It’s a type of ‘pheromone.’ Or a chemical signal that relays messages to the same species.
Thus, you can’t see it with your naked eye.
But, your dog could smell other Fido’s pheromones using their second nose.
It’s called ‘Jacobson’s organ.’
And you can find it above the roof of their mouth.
Now, due to this pheromone’s soothing effect…
Experts made a synthetic version of it.
Research says DAP helps dogs in reducing signs of:
- Noise phobia.
- Separation problems.
And it comes in forms, such as:
What to do?
- Install or diffuse the product.
- You may need 8-10 sprays, depending on the instructions.
- Wait for 15 minutes before letting your dog in the area.
Usually, the effects last for 2-3 hours.
So check the product’s label to see when you can reapply it.
Warning: Never spray this directly on your dog or too close to them.
#39: Dog-safe aromatherapy
A study found that the lavender oil scent calmed dogs while traveling.
The Fidos took more naps.
Plus, they also barked and moved less.
Thus, essential oils can be helpful too.
But only when used properly and with caution.
So talk with your vet first for recommendations (e.g., lavender oil, Bach flower essences).
As well as instructions for use.
Ideally, these oils must be diluted first.
Also, it must not be ingested or applied directly on the skin.
Essential oils are too concentrated.
So if consumed or touched, they can:
- Burn skin.
- Affect the liver.
Warning: Experts say that most essential oils are toxic to dogs. Thus, always keep the oils out of their reach.
The most dangerous ones are the following:
- Tea tree.
- Sweet birch.
#40: Old clothes
Have you seen your dog sleeping in your laundry?
Or do they often rest on your side of the bed?
They do this because they like their parent’s scent.
A study found that dogs link it to pleasure.
So your odor can also be their security blanket.
Thus, give your Fido an old shirt if they get anxious alone.
#41: Remain calm
Dogs can smell your emotions.
And these could also affect them.
In one research, the dogs showed signs of stress when they smelled the sweat of a human in fear.
But they didn’t behave the same when they sniffed a sample from a person in joy.
Meanwhile, a new study says long-term stress can rub off on your dog.
So, before massaging your Fido or spending time with them…
- Take a deep breath.
- Clear your mind.
- Relax your body.
Note: Never punish or scold a dog showing anxious behaviors. Say chewing or peeing in the house. Doing so will only make them more fearful or aggressive.
#42: Stay by their side
Did you know that your presence alone can soothe your dog?
I read a study about how our furry friends see their humans as a shield from stressful events.
In the research, the dogs had to face strangers in 2 situations:
- With their parents.
And experts found the Fidos had lower heart rates when they were with their humans.
This means they’re more confident to face an unfamiliar person if they have a parent beside them.
So, just let your Fido know you’re there, then:
- Stay in the same room as them.
- Sit near your dog (if they allow it).
- Keep your composure.
#43: Regular schedule
Does your pooch have a daily routine?
Or are there recent changes to it?
If you recall any, it might be why your dog doesn’t calm down.
Your furry friend’s a creature of habit.
So imagine being fed and walked at different times daily.
They won’t know what to expect every day.
And that uncertainty will cause them to worry a lot.
Thus to avoid it, create a daily routine for your dog (if you still haven’t).
But ensure it fits your schedule too.
#44: Anti-anxiety medications
If your dog has long-term stress and is free from illnesses…
Your vet might give them pills to help calm them down.
Based on experts, the common anti-anxiety drugs are the following:
- Sertraline (Zoloft).
- Paroxetine (Paxil).
- Diazepam (Valium).
- Lorazepam (Ativan).
- Alprazolam (Xanax).
- Dexmedetomidine (Sileo).
- Clomipramine (Clomicalm).
- Fluoxetine (Reconcile or Prozac).
Note: These won’t work alone. You must also train your dog to manage their stress by the methods below.
#45: Avoid triggers
Dogs don’t act fiercely without reason.
Vets share it’s usually due to the things below:
- Inbreeding or mating.
So, the 1st step to calming down an aggressive dog is to find the root cause of the issue.
To do this, try the following:
- Recall past events.
- Inspect your dog’s body.
- Check your surroundings.
- Look for changes in their behavior.
Then, if you can keep your dog away from the trigger, do so.
Say if it’s an object or a person.
But if not, it’s best to desensitize your Fido for a long-term effect.
This is when you slowly expose your dog to something that stresses them out – until they get used to it.
One study found that you may see results after doing this for 4 weeks.
What to do?
Let’s say your Fido’s afraid of siren noises:
- Search for audio of it on YouTube.
- Play it to them at a low volume first.
- Distract your dog with toys or treats.
- Gradually raise the volume.
- Keep on entertaining them.
- Do this until the sound doesn’t bother your dog.
“What about in other cases?”
Adjust the steps accordingly.
For instance, if it’s an object:
- Make your dog stay in a room with it.
- Provide enough distance between them at first.
- Slowly move closer.
- Reward your dog with treats and praise when calm.
Do this until your pooch realizes that the object’s not scary.
And once they’re confident enough to sniff or touch it.
Note: If your Fido shows signs of stress, return to the previous ‘intensity’ of the exposure. For example, lower the volume or take a few steps back.
As per experts, this comes along with desensitization.
And to be effective…
You must use them as a combo.
What to do?
Change your dog’s reaction to their trigger.
From negative to positive.
Let’s say your Fido’s afraid of strangers.
Do the following:
- Train them to go to their safe space.
- Teach them to “sit” in a specific spot.
- Reward your dog if they follow.
Next, if your Fido’s ready, ask a friend to visit you.
Once they arrive:
- Ask your dog to “sit” in the same spot.
- If they obey you, reward them.
- Hand over some treats to your visitor.
- Ask them to show it to your dog.
- Tell your friend to place a piece on the floor near their feet.
- Wait until your Fido goes over.
#48: Behavioral courses
You shouldn’t take aggression in dogs lightly.
It’s dangerous. And your Fido can harm someone if they feel threatened.
What to do?
Training your dog will be unsafe. So, seek an expert.
Ask for a recommendation from your vet on a dog behaviorist.
And look for behavioral courses.
Note: AKC says it’s different from a trainer. A behaviorist helps clients handle and modify issues about a dog’s demeanor. And they’re specifically trained for it.
#49: Drive tests
Another common reason for anxiety in dogs is car trips.
Vehicles make weird noises.
Also, your Fido may have a fear of confinement.
And they might have linked traveling to stressful events too.
Say going to the vet clinic or grooming shop.
However, you can’t avoid such trips.
Plus, you may also want to bring your pooch anywhere you go.
So, to help calm down your dog for your next travels:
- Take them out for short trips.
- Drive a few blocks within your neighborhood.
Do this consistently to make your dog get used to riding a car.
#50: Bring them to their fave places
These places should make your Fido wag their tail with excitement.
And forget their past scary memories in the car.
For instance, the park or playground.
#51: Doggy car harness
Car rides can be stressful for your dog.
And when it does, it might put you at risk of accidents too.
As your Fido may be out of hand inside the vehicle.
So to have safe road trips…
Get your pooch a ‘car safety harness.’
It secures your dog in the vehicle seat.
Thus, you don’t have to worry about your Fido escaping or moving inside the car.
Plus, it might also help soothe your dog’s nerves.
As it can act like an anxiety vest.
Things to consider when choosing
- Pick one that fits your dog’s size.
- Ensure it’s compatible with your vehicle seats.
- If in doubt, choose an item with adjustable straps.
- It must be crash-tested by the Center of Pet Safety.
Check out some of Amazon’s best-sellers:
How to get your dog’s measurements
- Neck girth: Get the circumference of your dog’s neck or collar area.
- Chest girth: Measure the widest part of the chest (rib cage).
- Body length: Check the distance from your dog’s nape to the base of their tail.
#52: No heavy meals before rides
Most dogs get car sickness. Especially young ones.
Experts think it occurs due to mixed signals to the brain.
For example, your ears detect motion while in a car.
But your body’s not moving.
So your eyes tell the brain there’s no movement at all.
Which then confuses your mind and makes you sick.
Now, feeding your pooch a heavy meal before a ride can make them nauseous.
Thus, serve your Fido food a few hours early to keep their mind and tummy calm.
Also, walk your dog at least 1 hour after eating to let them eliminate.
Then only offer them light snacks when you’re about to go.
#53: Low indoor temperature
Apart from playing Mozart in your car’s speakers…
You can also keep your dog relaxed by having a cold temperature inside.
Think about it.
You may also get uneasy when it’s too hot.
So maintain an ideal temperature of at least 70°F (21°C) inside your car.
Then you’ll see.
Your Fido might even get sleepy during the trip since they’re comfortable.
Warning: According to vets, most dogs will get cold when the temperature drops to 45°F (7.2°C). Particularly ones with thin coats and less fat in their bodies.
Further reading: 13 Fast & Proven Ways To Calm A Dog In The Car (How-To)
#54: Never yell
Scolding will only make your dog think you’re barking back at them.
They’ll see it as a form of attention.
Thus, it may reinforce their nervous behavior even more.
Also, yelling at your dog can make them scared of you.
Specialists even say some Fidos develop ‘submissive urination.’
It’s when they pee in sight of people they find threatening.
#55: The ‘quiet method’
When your dog’s out of control and barks non-stop…
Find the reason first.
There could be a man walking or a stray dog strolling outside.
Or, it might be feeding time already.
Next, acknowledge it.
Then, say, “Quiet” in a firm but calm tone. Instead of yelling, “Stop!” or “Bad dog!”
Now, as soon as your dog stops…
Shower them with praises and treats.
Note: The timing’s crucial in this. Rewarding your dog while barking (even if it’s only split seconds) may confuse them. Thus, be consistent.
Won’t your dog calm down with the quiet method?
If yes, try diverting their attention.
Flick your fingers or blow a whistle.
Or, you can also make use of the things around you at the moment.
Say bells or car keys.
But ensure you won’t scare them too much.
Give them a command
Does your dog know some tricks?
Then use it to your advantage.
Tell your Fido the basics, like “sit” or “lie down.”
And reward them if they obeyed you.
You might think this is ironic.
But training your dog when to speak helps curb too much barking, as per experts.
This is because you have more control over it.
Also, your Fido knows they won’t get rewards if they bark more than necessary.
“How to teach my dog to speak?”
- Put treats in your pockets.
- Go near your dog.
- Wait for them to bark. (Or prompt them to do it by acting excited around them.)
- Once they do, say, “speak” firmly.
- Give them praise and a treat at the same time.
Note: If you’re using a clicker, press the button as soon as your Fido barks. Train them regularly for at least 5 minutes per session. And repeat until they get it.
#58: Visual buffer
Most dogs get hyped up when they see other people or animals in the area.
Vets call this a type of aggression.
And it’s often due to:
Now, you can’t fix this behavior right away.
But you could manage it by:
- Limiting what your dog sees from the inside.
- Keep the curtains closed in windows facing busy areas.
Note: Ensure you have another view of the streets outside for your safety.
#59: ‘Stay in your place’ command
Does your dog always jump at any person they meet?
Although it may look cute on a small Fido…
This behavior can be dangerous for large breeds.
As they might scare or push kids by accident.
Also, this isn’t good doggie manners.
So to calm down your Fido during greetings…
Teach them to stay in 1 spot.
What to do?
First, ensure your dog knows the basics (e.g., “lie down,” “sit”).
And then, do the following steps:
- Pick a spot where you want them to stay.
- Prepare treats.
- Decide on the command (e.g., “place,” “mat”).
- Go near the place you chose.
- Say the command.
- Put a treat on the spot to lure your dog.
- Reward them once their 4 legs are in the zone.
- Repeat until needed.
Note: Once your dog masters it, try it with a door. Act as if you’ve just arrived home. Then ask your Fido to stay at their place.
If your dog already knows how to stay in 1 spot…
You can also teach them to lie down next.
For example, after saying “place,” tell your Fido “down.”
Then offer them rewards right away to reinforce calmness.
#61: Reward only good behavior
Studies show that punishments only stress a dog out.
And one research found that such actions made 25% of Fidos in the study act fiercely.
It’s because dogs don’t understand they did something bad.
Also, punishing them won’t teach them the right thing either.
Thus, you’ll only confuse them.
So, to remove unwanted behaviors…
Ignore your Fido. And only reward the good ones.
Say if your dog settles down or becomes quiet.
#62: Doggy daycare
You can also take your Fido to a school.
They’ll learn basic doggy manners there.
Plus, they’ll know how to socialize correctly.
And based on a study, this helps calm them down too.
After each session, your pooch will come home tired but happy.
It’s because they got enough interactions with other dogs.
And they received an ample amount of exercise too.
So they’ll gladly lie down at night and rest.
Also, over time, this will build your Fido’s confidence.
Resulting in a more relaxed dog.
Giving mixed signals to your dog will stress them out.
Dogs need stability in their lives.
And this keeps them in a calm state of mind.
So be consistent in your rules.
“What are examples of a mixed signal?”
Let’s say your dog’s allowed on your bed.
However, one time, they made a mess on the covers.
Then you got angry and forced them to get off of it.
So next time you invite your Fido to the bed…
They may ignore you or hesitate to come.
As they’ll think you’ll scold them again for jumping on your sheets.
You may also wonder: Why does my dog hate me?
#64: Mask a dog in heat’s scent
Let’s move on to another common issue.
While in season…
Female dogs might also become restless.
And if a male Fido sniffs them, he’ll be out of control too.
It’s because a female dog in heat produces sex ‘pheromones,’ the study says.
And these will attract possible mates.
Now, if you want to avoid attracting suitors or your pooch in heat’s uneasy…
Mask their odor by trying the following:
- Make your dog wear a diaper.
- Wash their rear end regularly.
- Assign a potty area just for them.
- Avoid taking them to crowded places.
Trivia: According to vets, a female in heat’s scent may travel up to 5 miles.
If you want to know more, read this article: 7 Simple Ways To Mask The Scent Of A Dog In Heat
#65: Separate doggy areas
Do you have many Fidos at home?
If yes, and your female’s in heat…
It’ll be chaotic inside.
So, to stop your males from smelling the girl…
Keep them all in different areas.
#66: Heat-delaying pills
Dr. Ericson says you can delay a dog’s heat cycle with medications.
You give these pills to a female Fido for the first 8 days of their cycle.
And the effects often last around 4-6 months.
So this will help your girl rest and calm down. As well as the other Fidos around them.
Breeders use these pills if they don’t plan to mate their dogs yet.
And you’ll see them in either Megace or Ovaban brands.
Warning: Talk with your vet about this first. Also, never give these pills to your dog frequently.
#67: Consider spaying/neutering
When puberty hits a dog…
They’ll have hormonal changes. And these will affect their behavior.
For example, they can be more aggressive.
Or, they may hump stuffed toys or even the air.
So to reduce these behaviors…
Consider spaying or neutering your dog. Especially if you don’t plan to breed them.
It’ll help ease their stress and aggression. As you’ll reduce their sex hormones.
Also, based on vets, it’ll prevent serious illnesses too.
Say cancer and pyometra (uterus infection).
#68: Potty break before bed
Although adult dogs can hold their pee for a long time…
It’s still normal for them to get nature calls at night.
And this will make them restless.
So ideally, experts tell dog parents to take their fur babies out for the last time before going to bed.
This gives them a chance to relieve themself.
And have a relaxing sleep later on.
Note: Walk your dog outside first and last thing daily. Also, do it 1-2 hours after every meal to prevent bloat.
#69: Regular eating schedule
Doing this will make your Fido’s body get used to their feeding times.
Which then makes their potty breaks in sync with their daily routine.
So there will be fewer chances of your dog getting restless at night.
Note: Vets say adult dogs should eat at least 2 times a day. And their meals must not be 12 hours apart.
Reading tip: Feeding Schedule For 5-Week Old Puppy: When & What To Feed
The brain releases this hormone.
And as per doctors, it plays a role in sleep cycles.
In the daytime, your melatonin level’s low. Or whenever it’s bright.
Meanwhile, its production is at its peak during the night.
And it’s because melatonin responds more to darkness than light.
So that’s why you get sleepy in the evening.
Thus, this can also relax your Fido. Especially those who don’t get enough sleep at night.
“How do I give melatonin to my dog?”
As per experts, it comes in:
Note: Consult your vet first. Once approved, you can mix it with your Fido’s food. And usually, they work within 1-2 hours.
#71: CBD oil
This means ‘cannabidiol.’
It comes from cannabis or marijuana.
And it may also have a calming effect on dogs.
“Is CBD oil safe for dogs?”
There aren’t enough studies about this yet.
But one study found this effective in soothing joint pains.
So this might help dogs with arthritis.
Warning: Vets recommend parents seek their help first. As it has possible side effects, like:
- Dry mouth.
- Decreased blood pressure.
#72: Heartbeat stuffed toys
One research in Japan says a mother’s heartbeat soothes a newborn baby.
This is because during the last days of a fetus in the womb…
Its brain develops enough that it can recognize its mother’s heartbeat.
It’ll be ingrained in the fetus’s mind. And it’ll be music to its ears.
Then since the beat’s familiar, it’ll make the baby feel safe.
That’s why infants stop crying when you hold them near your chest.
And this could also be why snuggle toys with a pulsing heartbeat calm most dogs.
“What are those?”
The plushies have a device that mimics a heart beating.
They’re for puppies. Particularly those who got separated early from their mom dogs.
But you can give this to calm Fidos of any age.
#73: Bedtime snuggles
Does your anxious dog come to you at night?
If so, they might be up for a cuddle session. And it’ll help calm their nerves.
Remember, physical touch from someone you like can ease anxiety.
So your Fido would be able to sleep well right after.
Fun fact: Research found that stroking a pet also reduces heart rate. As well as blood pressure. And this means a relaxed state of mind.
#74: Regular bedtime
Like you, your dog’s body also follows a routine.
Your Fido won’t look at a watch to know it’s time for dinner or bed.
Instead, they also have a ‘circadian rhythm‘ like humans.
It’s an internal clock. And it dictates your sleep-wake patterns.
So, if your dog goes to bed at similar times every day…
Their body will soon be in sync with the schedule.
Which then makes them calmer as bedtime nears.
As if there’s a switch inside your Fido that automatically turns on the ‘sleep mode.’
#75: Daily walks
“A tired dog is a good dog.”
There’s no lie in this saying.
It’s because a canine who gets enough daily exercise will be content.
So they’ll likely behave well. And be more relaxed than bored dogs.
Usually, lack of exercise’s the reason for your Fido’s hyperactivity, especially at night.
Thus, to calm your pooch down, walk them regularly.
“How much exercise does my dog need?”
It’ll vary depending on their:
According to vets, most dogs need 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise daily.
But puppies and senior Fidos may require less. As well as those with illnesses.
Meanwhile, 1 hour might not be enough for working breeds and active dogs.
Trivia: A study promotes walking your dog. It’s a good activity for your physical and mental health. Plus, it says that people who have pets visit the doctor 15% less than those who aren’t.
If you have an energetic adult Fido…
You may take them for a run.
It’ll help tone their muscles and keep them fit.
Plus, it’s a great way to release their energy.
But take note…
Not all dogs suit running
It’s more extreme than walking.
So it’s not recommended for:
- Senior Fidos.
- Young puppies.
Also, running distances will be hard for breeds prone to overheating.
For example, Pugs and Bulldogs.
However, experts say some breeds can be perfect running buddies:
- Belgian Malinois.
- Doberman Pinschers.
- Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
Do you have an adventurous pooch?
If yes, and you’re also up for it, you both might enjoy hiking.
Aside from the extra exercise…
It has many benefits, such as:
- Spending time together.
- Exploring new environments.
And these will make your curious Fido tired but satisfied.
So if you’re interested…
Read the reminders of the American Hiking Society, a.k.a. AHS:
- Take frequent breaks.
- Put a leash on your dog.
- Monitor them from time to time.
- Check if the hiking area allows pets.
- Prepare food and water for both of you.
Some dogs also love the water.
(Most of them like rain too!)
In fact, certain breeds are born to swim. And they’re called ‘water dogs.’
These are hunting Fidos bred to retrieve ‘games’ or small animals from lakes.
- Irish Setters.
- Standard Poodles.
- Golden Retrievers.
- Labrador Retrievers.
So if your dog’s one of these, take them for a swim.
But keep these things in mind:
- Take things slowly.
- Never leave them unattended.
- Be cautious of parasites in bodies of water.
- Teach your dog how to get in and out of a pool.
Playing games can also wear your dog out.
It’ll exercise both their mind and body.
Which prevents them from having pent-up energy.
However, not every dog knows how to fetch things.
So if you throw a ball and your dog’s confused…
Teach them first.
What to do?
- Grab some treats.
- Get a toy they can fetch (e.g., tennis ball, frisbee).
- Introduce the toy to your dog.
- Put a treat on it to get their attention.
- If you succeed, throw the toy a few feet away from them.
- Get excited once your dog chases it.
- Repeat and slowly toss the toy further.
“Help! My dog won’t return the toy to me.”
- Hold 2 toys. (Let’s refer to them as balls A and B).
- Throw ball A.
- Tease your dog with ball B once they pursue toy A.
- Toss ball B in the other direction when your dog drops ball A.
- Get ball A as they go for B.
Show your enthusiasm. And do this until your dog gets excited and returns the toy.
Note: Other dogs may not want to fetch at all. They might have a low ‘prey drive’ or desire to chase.
Read next: 17 Easy Ways To Tire Out A Puppy FAST
#80: Tug of war
Contrary to some opinions that this game causes aggression…
Specialists say it improves your Fido’s:
- Bond with you.
- Impulse control.
Plus, you’ll get rid of their excess energy.
What to do?
First, get a durable tug toy:
- Show the toy to your dog.
- Say, “take it” to start the tug.
- Move the toy back and forth to tease your Fido.
- Once they bite it, gently pull and release it.
- After 5-10 seconds, stop tugging.
- Tell your dog to “drop it.”
- Offer a treat near their nose.
- Give it to them once they release the toy.
- Repeat steps #3 to #9. (But delay rewards to test your dog).
Note: Walk away with the toy if your dog tries to bite it, even if it’s near your skin. This is to prevent accidents. And also to avoid encouraging such behavior.
#81: Agility course
If your dog’s more on the athletic side…
They might also enjoy an obstacle course.
This will test their mental and physical abilities.
And it’ll be fulfilling for your pooch too.
Also, with all those running and jumping…
Your dog won’t have the energy to worry and zoom around the house.
What to do?
Make an easy DIY course at home.
Place low chairs or toys in your desired arrangement.
Or, get an agility course set.
However, for more effective training…
Check out the website of the American Kennel Club, a.k.a. AKC. As well as their regulations.
#82: ‘Find it!’
Based on a study, a dog’s nose is 100,000 times better than humans’.
Now, while analyzing odors, a dog’s brain works.
So, you can stimulate your Fido mentally by allowing them to use their sniffing skills.
And making your dog find hidden treats would be a great idea.
What to do?
- Choose a room.
- Hide pieces of treats in there.
- Invite your dog to go inside.
- Reveal 1 treat to let them know what to do.
- Be excited and reward your Fido.
- Allow them to explore the room.
- Praise your dog whenever they find a treat.
#83: Hide and seek
You can also ask your dog to find you.
Yes, your fur baby loves food. (Some breeds are even ‘obsessed‘ with it.)
But as per research…
Other Fidos prefer getting praise from their humans than treats.
So if your pooch found you, reward them with cuddles.
And you’ll motivate them to play again without treats.
What to do?
- Ask a friend (who your dog knows) to play with you.
- Tell your pooch to “sit” and “stay.”
- Prompt your friend to hide.
- Command your dog to “find” them.
- Let the other person call your Fido’s name.
- Reward your pooch if they find your friend.
- Repeat the steps, but you’ll be the one to hide.
#84: ‘Red light, green light’
Do you have an overly excited dog on a leash?
Well. This game may help improve their self-control.
As you might already know, ‘red light’ means ‘stop.’
Meanwhile, the ‘green light’ indicates ‘go.’
So while playing this game, your dog will learn these commands.
And it can help you manage them better while walking outdoors.
What to do?
- Make your dog “sit.”
- Tell them to “stay” afterward.
- Say the command “green light.”
- Prompt your Fido to move (e.g., let them chase you or a toy).
- Play with your dog.
- Say, “red light.”
- Ask your pooch to “sit” or “lie down.”
- Repeat the steps.
Note: Each session may last up to 5-10 minutes.
#85: ‘Hot and cold’
Like ‘find it,’ you’ll also make your Fido find hidden pieces of treats.
But this time, you’ll guide them.
In a study on dogs and wolves…
Experts found that canines rely more on humans to solve a problem.
On the other hand, wolves are independent workers.
Another research proves this as dogs only had a 5% success rate in doing tasks.
Meanwhile, it’s 80% for wolves.
What to do?
- Hide treats in a room.
- Bring your dog in.
- Let them sniff around.
- Say the cues:
|Command||How to say the cue||When to say it|
|“hot”||High-pitched tone.||If your dog’s near the treats.|
|“cold”||Low tone.||If they’re far.|
Note: This enhances your bond and your dog’s listening skills.
#86: Which hand game
You’ll only be using your hands and treats in this.
- Tell your dog to “sit” or “stay.”
- Show them a piece of snack.
- Hide it in either of your hands.
- Close your fists.
- Face them downward.
- Extend your hands to your Fido.
- Open the fist that your dog touched.
- If it has a treat, give it to them.
- If not, open your other hand.
Learn more: 17 Brain Games For Dogs To Entertain Your Fur Baby
#87: Sniff walks
Instead of doing the usual daily walks…
Stroll slowly to let your Fido explore the surroundings more.
Let them sniff the ground or the air to their heart’s content.
But be alert of any hazards.
Like sharp objects or grass seeds that can lodge in your dog’s fur.
Vets say it’s important for dogs to use their sense of smell.
As it taps into their instincts as a hunter in the wild.
#88: Snuffle mats
If you can’t go outdoors…
There’s another option for scent walks.
Other than nose games, you can give a snuffle mat to your dog.
It’s made of fabric patches sewn together like grass.
You can hide treats in it. And let your Fido shove their nose to find them.
So it taps into your dog’s foraging skills or instincts to search for food.
#89: Calm walks
As the name implies, this is taking your dog for a stroll with slow, steady steps.
But unlike sniff walks…
You won’t allow your Fido to explore much.
So let your dog whine a bit, as they may feel frustrated.
Stop at once if they start pulling the leash while walking.
Then resume as soon as your Fido settles down.
And offer them a small treat.
This teaches them that being calm’s good as they earn rewards. While being impatient’s not.
You see, dogs aren’t good with waiting.
They do what works for them to get what they want asap.
But with training, you can teach them how to calm down.
What to do?
First, ensure your dog has mastered “sit” and “down.”
It’s because you’ll ask them to be in these positions first.
Then, proceed with the training.
- Prepare your dog’s food (without your Fido around).
- Make them sit in their feeding spot.
- Say, “wait.”
- Hold their food bowl up.
- Get a piece of kibble from their dish.
- Give it to them.
- If your dog stands up, say, “sit.”
- Repeat steps #3 to #6 several times.
Lower the food bowl as you progress. And do this until it’s on the ground.
Note: Put a leash on them if you want them to be patient while walking. Or when they’re about to go outside. Then do a similar procedure – “sit,” “wait,” and reward.
#91: New fun tricks
Teaching your Fido is as satisfying to them.
According to experts, dogs get pleasure from accomplishing tasks.
Plus, they earn treats and spend more time with you.
So, how could it not be fun?
Thus, dogs of any age will like this. And it’ll also help calm their minds.
Studies say that even senior Fidos can learn new tricks.
Although younger ones learn more quickly.
What to do?
Teach your dog these 7 fun tricks one at a time:
- Play dead.
- Take a bow.
- Shake paws.
Reading recommendation: 27 Best Dog Trainers On YouTube
#92: Tablet games
Game apps don’t only entertain people.
Believe it or not, some are made for pets like dogs.
And these games may help prevent boredom.
Which is often the root of unwanted behaviors in canines, a study says.
So if you want a new way to keep your Fido occupied…
Get their attention by showing some tablet games.
And here are some popular apps you can download:
|Dog Toy.||Lonely Dog Toy.|
|Puppy Tapper.||Dog Squeaky Toy.|
|Lonely Dog Toy.|
|Dog Squeaky Toy.|
Trivia: Researchers share that old dogs usually get less mental stimulation. Which can speed up the aging of the brain. And they found that tablet apps are perfect for them as it’s not physically demanding.
Editor’s pick: 9 Best iPad Games For Dogs In 2023 (#3 Is Hilarious)
#93: High-value treats
Dogs love most snacks.
But like you, they also have their favorites.
And this affects their motivation to follow.
So, if you’re struggling to teach your Fido…
Offer them high-value treats.
These are savory food that your dog doesn’t get daily. Or when they’re not training.
Usually, they’re moist.
And they have a highly inviting scent, like:
- Pieces of cheese.
- Boiled chicken shreds.
- Small pieces of anchovies.
Never give these to your pooch all the time.
If your dog gets them often, they’ll lose their ‘rare treats’ status.
Plus, some snacks are high in calories.
Note: Choose plain, healthier snacks. And avoid the worst treats with artificial colorings.
Puppies who don’t get to meet other Fidos or people grow up to be fearful.
It’s the finding of a recent study.
And this fear makes them fearful around someone they don’t know.
What to do?
- Introduce them to your neighbors.
- Take them on frequent walks outside.
- Enroll them in a puppy kindergarten.
- Bring them with you to experience crowds.
“Is it too late to socialize an adult dog?”
It’s never too late. But it’ll take longer to see results.
First, you can teach them how to act calmly during strolls. (See tip ‘#89: Calm walks.’)
However, don’t make them play with unfamiliar dogs yet.
As vets say, most mature Fidos don’t enjoy it.
Instead, bring treats. And reward your dog whenever they’re relaxed.
Note: Keep your dog on a leash. Ensure it’s not too long enough to reach other canines or people.
#95: Arrange playdates
If your dog’s doing well in socialization…
They must be ready to play with other Fidos.
But before your set up your dog with another pooch…
Ensure the dogs:
- Have similar temperaments.
- Are of the same age and size.
- Will meet in a neutral place (new to both of them).
Then, supervise the whole interaction.
Stop them at once if you see signs of overstimulation:
- Panting at rest.
- Rapid breathing.
- Excessive whining.
Note: Things may not go as planned, so manage your expectations. Thus, never force the dogs to interact if they don’t want to.
#96: Quality bonding time
Experts say that gazing into your dog’s eyes causes you to release oxytocin, a.k.a. love hormone.
But let me be clear here.
Looking at your Fido lovingly’s different from staring at them directly.
The latter can intimidate them. And your pooch won’t like it.
So, to keep your dog calm and content…
Spend at least 2 hours daily with them.
Snuggle on the couch. Or play games with them.
Anything will do. As long as your full attention’s on your dog the whole time.
#97: Dog walker
If you have to work in the daytime, try to find someone you can trust to walk your dog.
This will help your Fido relieve themself.
And at the same time, it’ll prevent pent-up energy too.
So your dog won’t be hyper at night.
But since this means you’re entrusting your fur baby to someone else…
And consider the things below first:
- Ask for recommendations from your friends.
- Someone already familiar with your dog’s ideal.
- If you have a trainer, check if they offer walks too.
- Look for possible candidates online (e.g., Wag!, Rover).
If your dog can’t calm down while playing or meeting people, give them a break.
Doing so will make them realize that acting like that means no attention.
Trainers say this is only effective if you do it right after the unwanted behavior.
What to do?
First, say a cue (e.g., “Oops,” “Enough“) every time your dog lacks impulse control.
Speak in a firm, non-angry tone.
Next, if your dog doesn’t stop, you can either:
- Leave the room.
- Turn your back on them.
- Bring them to a separate area.
Ignore your Fido for at least 30 seconds.
Then face your dog or return to the room once the time-out’s over.
Note: Time-outs should never be more than 2 minutes. It can be too long. Which makes your dog forget what you’re teaching them.
#99: Capture calmness
Once you spot your dog lying down or cuddling with you…
Put a piece of treat near them on the floor.
Then don’t say anything. And walk away afterward.
Now, if your Fido stands up and follows you, ignore them.
Never give them any treats.
Doing this will make them realize that calm behaviors only get rewarded.
#100: Crate train
Contrary to the idea that a crate’s for punishing dogs…
It’s a safe space for them.
According to vets, crate training help in the following:
- Relieving stress.
- Preventing destructive behaviors.
What to do?
Step #1: Ensure the crate’s big enough
It should allow your dog to do these things comfortably:
- Lying down.
- Standing up
- Turning around.
Step #2: Make it cozy
Put all the things your dog needs inside the crate:
- Soft bedding/blanket.
Step #3: Invite your dog inside only when they’re calm
If you put your Fido in while they’re upset or playing…
Chances are they’ll whine and try to escape.
And you don’t want your dog to associate the crate with a negative experience.
Step #4: Choose a cue
You can say, “kennel up.”
Then point to the crate while you’re also doing the next tip.
Step #5: Lure them with treats
Never force your dog to go in the crate.
Instead, place a treat inside to entice them.
Then praise your Fido and act excited once they go in.
Repeat until they stay longer inside. And slowly cut down on treats.
Warning: Never put your dog inside the crate for long hours. They’ll start to hate it. And this can lead to boredom or even depression.
#101: Switch diet
Lastly, did you know that food can also make your dog hyper?
Whatever your pooch takes in will affect their:
Unhealthy dog food, which is high in sugar and additives, may play a role in this.
But experts suggest that the 3 main reasons for hyperactivity in dogs are excess:
“What about proteins?”
Vets say they don’t make a dog hyper.
But poor sources of protein, like plant-based ones, have fewer nutrients and more carbs.
So ensure that you feed high-quality protein (animal-based) to your Fido.
As they need it to create happy hormones, like serotonin.
Trivia: A study found that dogs on a high-protein diet were less aggressive than those who weren’t.