Tips for Dog Stress Reduction

Dog stress can be a serious issue that may lead to behavior problems.

The behavior of a stressed dog is uncontrollable and he may:

  • chew excessively
  • bark excessively
  • urinate and defecate all around the house
  • whine or growl
  • show aggressiveness
  • be lethargic or hyperactive
  • scratch and lick himself excessively

The reasons for canine stress may be various, starting from parasites or a medical condition to recent changes in the dog's life such as moving, traveling, being taken away from a former owner or even a new baby in the house.

There are some ways to deal with dog stress, however, in severe cases therapy and medication will be recommended.


Regular exercise has many health benefits, including stress relief. The dog gets to spend his extra energy and if a dog is tired he is less likely to become stressed or anxious. Choose a suitable exercise type for your dog. You may opt for walks, jogging, Frisbee and fetch games or training on an indoors pet treadmill. Typically, a dog needs 20 to 40 minutes of exercise once or twice per day, according to his energy level.

When Going Out

When going out without your pet, try not to make it look like an important thing. This can prevent separation anxiety and the behavioral problems related to it: chewing, barking or whining.

Make sure you leave some chew toys for your dog and offer him a treat or a toy just before your leave; this should keep his mind off your departure.

Try to train your dog from the beginning: make your first outings as a dog owner shorter and gradually increase their duration as the dog gets used to staying alone.

Comfort Your Dog

If the dog's stress is induced by various changes or the appearance of a new family member, try to comfort him. Spend more time with him to show that he is still important.

If you have recently moved to a new place, try to place a few your old things around the house along with your dog's old toys. He should feel more comfortable when seeing familiar objects.

Non-Prescription Stress Reduction Formulas

There are a number of non-prescription stress reduction formulas that are used in homeopathic medicine for dogs. These contain herbs and essences such as chamomile, green tea, lavender, clover or valerian that calm the dog and relieve stress. Ask a vet to recommend you some natural stress remedies.

Typically, prescription drugs will have side effects such as nausea and sleepiness while natural stress reduction formulas are side effect-free.

Pheromone Plug-Ins

Pheromone plug-in diffusers may also relieve stress in dogs. These are relatively new devices but are highly efficient. The diffusers release a scent that resembles the scent of the natural pheromones of a new mother, which will soothe the dog and relieve stress.

These pheromone diffusers may only be sensed by dogs, so they are odorless for humans.

These diffusers are also helpful in preventing barking, soiling, chewing and whining.