8 ways to calm a dog without using medication

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – If you have a dog who freaks out during thunderstorms, you might wind up dreading the sound of thunder as much as your pooch. It can be a challenge to keep frightened pets calm.

If you do not feel comfortable giving your dog drugs, or if drugs don’t work for your anxious dog, there are non-medicinal options for calming Fido. Many of these options also happen to be great stress relievers for humans.

1)      Mother Nature Network.com suggests exercising your dog, which is a great stress reliever. Take your pooch for a walk or run, play fetch, tug o war, or head to the dog park. Exercise can burn off pent-up energy and tension that can feed anxiety. It also stimulates the production of serotonin.

2)      You know how relaxing a good massage can be. It works on dogs, too. Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan has a special method for massaging dogs. Modern Dog Magazine offers these tips and if you’re a visual person, Wiki How offers illustrated instructions for massaging your dog.

3)      Here’s something you may not know. Music can comfort and calm dogs. Try leaving a your TV or radio on at home, suggests Mother Nature Network.  We found this YouTube video called “I Hour of Relaxing Music for Dogs.”

4)      Fireworks and thunderstorms can frighten dogs and send them into a panic. Distracting your pooch and having him or her concentrate on something else can make a huge difference. Try giving your dog a treat, a bone or a puzzle toy.

5)      Aromatherapy has been found to be an effective way to calm dogs who are anxious about traveling. The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published the results of a study that found dogs who were exposed to lavender were less excited and spent more time resting and sitting when riding in a car. The AVMA concluded that diffused lavender aromatherapy can be a practical alternative treatment.

6)      Grooming can help relax and calm your dog and can help keep his coat looking great, too.

7)      The Thundershirt can help dogs who suffer from anxiety or are frightened by thunder or fireworks. The Thundershirt wraps snugly around your dog’s body. The constant, gentle pressure gives your pooch a comforting swaddling sensation.

8)      The Thundercap is made by the same company that created the Thundershirt. The Thundercap attaches to your dog’s collar and helps to filter your dog’s vision to reduce visual stimulation.

RELATED: Is it safe to medicate pets with Xanax, Valium, or other human drugs?

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