If you already own a dog or are considering adopting, creating a calm environment is essential so your pup can be at ease every day.
Every pet has a personality, so having one or several dogs in the same house can be tricky. The key is to create a balanced atmosphere. That way, you and your pets can be happy and enjoy each other’s presence in your home.
Create a calm environment
Even if your dog is not typically anxious or excitable, it’s still wise to create a calm home environment so you’re not creating unnecessary stress for yourself or the pup. You may not know what could trigger anxiety if you have a newer dog, so start with a few basics.
Ensure your dog gets enough exercise by bringing them out throughout the day and letting them run around the park. A dog will often get anxious indoors because they have pent-up energy and no place to unload it, so get your dog outside, and they’ll be calm inside, and they may even get better sleep. The fresh air and outdoor exercise can also help improve your physical well-being.
Sometimes, something as simple as how your dog accesses their food and water can create stress. If you have a large dog and the food bowl is low to the ground, that could cause pain and irritation, just as a high dish could cause frustration for a short dog. Sometimes, a particular object near the bowls, like the vacuum cleaner, may scare them, so keep it at a distance.
You may not know it yet, but your dog could also suffer from seasonal allergies or be allergic to ingredients in their food. Pesky symptoms could include excess scratching, rubbing, and irritation. Their negative reactions could upset the balance in the house, and you may find that you’re also allergic to seasonal irritations.
You can try several tactics to decrease allergens in the home. Start by closing the windows and cleaning your air ducts so you’re constantly breathing in fresh air. You can also install HEPA filters, which filter out dust, mites, and dander pollutants. This strategy is essential if you add more pets to the mix.
Manage more than one pet
At some point, an additional pet may interrupt the balance in your home. Other tweaks will be necessary to reclaim a calm environment at that time. You can maintain a calm environment if you have multiple pets by training each dog to obey the commands to keep some sanity in the home. Train each dog as they join your family and teach them to sit, stay, come, and drop so you can control them.
Feeding time can also become chaotic if you don’t have some rules and order in the home. If you have more than two dogs in the house, set it up so you feed each of them in separate spaces so they’re not getting in each other’s way and causing chaos. Also, try to prepare each dog’s meal simultaneously so they’re not getting worked up as they see their fellow pup eating first.
When you have multiple dogs, the exercise time outside is even more critical so your pups aren’t worked up, causing a scene indoors. Allow them to play around with each other, but ensure they’re safe. If you have an anxious dog, exercising them close to home is probably better. A nervous dog in the backseat of your car could cause you to become distracted while driving and take your hands off the wheel or look away from the road. Since the best way to prevent distracted driving is to avoid scenarios resulting in inattentive driving, exercising your anxious pup in the backyard or on walks around the neighborhood is a better option.
Help an anxious dog
Despite your best efforts, there’s still a chance that your dog could become irritated and anxious and upset the balance of the home. You need to step up and help your pup reclaim its calm. First, suppose this behavior is happening out of nowhere. In that case, you need to identify the cause of irritation, which could be many things, from physical pain to an unfamiliar smell. If you can identify the source, remove that negative factor and see if the situation improves.
Note that your dog could be anxious for psychological reasons, and again, it may come down to finding the source. Your pet may have territorial aggression, where they bark and growl at anyone near their property, which could be anything from a toy to your house. You may be able to help your dog relax by associating the approach of a person with treats by tossing a treat to them whenever a person approaches. Your dog may also be sensitive to sounds, like ringing phones or cars idling. In that case, you may be able to eliminate the sound and see if your dog relaxes.
If you can’t find the source of the anxiety, try playing soothing music to put your dog at ease. Recent studies show that dogs can be partial to classical music, especially relaxing songs involving solo instruments like pianos. The music can often put them to sleep or help them to stop growling or be more relaxed, so give it a try if you run out of ideas.
Keep dogs happy by providing a calm environment
There are multiple different ways that you can create a calm environment and help your dogs feel relaxed and happy, even if they seem to be naturally anxious.
Try these tactics to make everyone in the household much happier.
Miles Oliver is a proud dog lover and an outdoor enthusiast. He often writes on his patio with a hot cup of tea and his 4-year-old border collie mix by his feet. When Miles is not working as an independent freelance writer, he is most likely mountain biking and roaming the great outdoors with his four-legged companion.