Tips to Calm Your Dog | Prevent Your Dog’s Anxiety | Pet Palace

Tips to Calm Your Dog

Tips to calm your dog

Dogs aren’t so different from people. Just like humans, they can get stressed and anxious for a variety of reasons. Read on to learn what stressors might cause your dog to become anxious, what you can do to prevent it from happening, and what you can do when it occurs.

What Causes Dogs to Feel Anxious?

While every dog is unique, many dogs get stressed by:

  • Being left alone for long periods of time
  • Moving to a new place
  • Someone joining or leaving “the pack” (like getting a new puppy or the death of a family member)
  • Traveling in cars
  • Loud noises
  • Past trauma
  • Unfamiliar environments

What Are Signs My Dog Is Stressed?

Typical signs your dog is stressed include:

  • Pacing or shaking – You may have noticed this behavior when bringing your dog to the vet
  • Whining or barking – Tense dogs sometimes do this to get your attention or to self-soothe
  • Yawning, drooling, and licking – While yawning is associated with boredom, dogs also do it when they’re stressed out
  • Changes in eyes and ears – Look for dilated pupils, rapid blinking, or ears pinned back against the head
  • Changes in body posture – A tucked tail or cowering are good indicators of stress
  • Avoidance or displacement behavior – Your dog may look to avoid interaction with other people or dogs by turning away, ignoring them, or even hiding behind you

Remember that every dog is different! Learn to recognize your dog’s unique signs that they are stressed. Responding to these signals appropriately will help prevent the anxiety from escalating.

Ease Your Dog’s Anxiety Through These Approaches

Does your dog tend to be stressed easily? Try to incorporate the following approaches into your daily interactions to help prevent anxiety from occurring!


Socializing your dog provides many benefits for all canine companions, with anxiety prevention being just one. Dogs learn to navigate new situations with confidence and adaptability when they are well socialized, so be sure to give your pup more opportunities for interaction.

Some ways you can introduce socialization into you’re your furry friend’s life include through:

Routine and Consistency

When things feel out of the ordinary, this may cause your dog’s stress levels to spike! That’s why establishing a consistent daily routine for your dog is crucial and will help promote their overall well-being. Dogs thrive on predictability and structure, which gives them a sense of security and stability.

Some aspects that you can make more consistent include:

  • Feeding times
  • Exercise sessions
  • Bedtime rituals
  • Playtime
  • Potty breaks


In a controlled and positive manner, gradually introduce your dog to common anxiety triggers that pets often experience. Over time, this can help reduce their sensitivity and will assist in preventing future anxiety.

Examples can include car rides, grooming sessions, separations, interactions with other dogs, startling noises, and interactions with new items or objects they might encounter in everyday life such as umbrellas and bicycles.

Bonding Activities

Just like us, dogs need interactions with others on a consistent basis. Engaging in bonding activities with your dog and spending quality time together through activities can play a crucial role in preventing anxiety.

Some activities that you can implement with your pet to promote bonding include:

  • Interactive play sessions – Fetch, tug-of-war, puzzle games, toys, and more
  • Cuddle time – Gentle petting, belly rubs, and relaxation sessions
  • Shared activities – Watching TV, relaxing outdoors, bike rides, meals, and more

How Can I Calm Down My Stressed Dog?

When your dog’s stressed, you can calm them down by:

  • Playing music – Try music that’s specifically designed for pets suffering from separation anxiety while you’re away – yes, it exists!
  • Using essential oils – An aromatherapy balm or spray gently patted on the back of your dog’s coat may help them relax.
  • Increasing physical contact – Most dogs enjoy being petted and will settle down when their fur is stroked.
  • Exercising – Sometimes, the best way to release nervous tension is through exercise. This can be especially helpful when your dog has an abundance of uncontrollable energy.
  • Giving a time out – For some dogs, no amount of praise, rewards, or treats will help them calm down. When your dog is too wound up to respond to your attempts to calm them, they need a quiet space with no stimulation. This will give them the opportunity to unwind, without any stressful input.

FAQs About Tips for Calming Your Dog

How can I calm my dog’s anxiety during upsetting times like thunderstorms or fireworks?

Provide a safe and quiet space indoors where your dog can retreat to during these occurrences. You can also try to engage your dog in a distracting activity such as playing with toys or practicing obedience commands.

My dog still gets nervous in the car. How can I calm them during car rides so they can get used to it?

Try to introduce your dog to the car in a positive and gradual manner. You can use treats and praise to create positive socializations. It’s also important to note that your dog may have motion sickness! Consult a professional to review your options.

I leave the house a lot for work. What are some techniques to help my dog relax when they are alone?

Gradually start with leaving your dog alone for short periods of time. You can also try to leave a piece of clothing with your scent on it to make them feel more comfortable, or safe toys to keep them occupied.

Should I consult with a veterinarian if my dog’s anxiety still persists?

Yes. A veterinarian can provide guidance on behavior modification techniques, recommend medications or supplements if necessary, and offer further support tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Let Pet Palace Help with Your Dog’s Anxiety

Pet Palace Resort is the perfect place to help your dog relax! For instance, if your dog gets stressed when they’re left home alone, we offer a fun dog day care that will keep them entertained while you’re at work.

Plus, just like you, your dog would probably enjoy a nice spa day. So, you may want to consider bringing them in for a professional grooming session. During their time here, we can even offer extra pampering, like a massage if you want!

To learn more about the full range of services we provide, visit one of our local Pet Palace web pages. We have numerous locations to serve you throughout Ohio, Indiana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Contact Pet Palace Today!

Want to learn more about our grooming or doggy day care services at Pet Palace? Feel free to reach out to our team today with any questions. We look forward to seeing you and your furry friend soon!

Lora Shaw

About the author

Lora Shaw

Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.

Categories: All Posts, Dog Daycare, Dogs, Pet Grooming, Pet Safety, Tips for Your Pets