How to Calm a Dog Without Sedatives
Some dogs behave as cool as cucumbers while others get riled up a lot more easily. Whether your dog is a hyper ball of energy or acts like a nervous wreck whenever he's scared of something, do what you can to calm your cutie down. You can calm your pet in many natural ways that don't involve sedatives.
Pay No Mind
If your pooch is behaving in a hyper and frenetic way because he knows that's what it takes to get you to focus on him, pay him no mind temporarily. If you refrain from looking at or even petting your pet while he acts hyper, it probably won't take him too long to give up and relax. The next time your pooch races frantically around your kitchen, try playing it cool so that your pet follows suit.
Check His Surroundings
If your dog is a bundle of relentless energy, it might be time to check your surroundings. Your dog's behavior could be a direct reflection of what's constantly around him. Perhaps your dog feels nervous because of a lot of household tension going on -- think fighting. Perhaps your dog feels antsy because you have house guests and your residence is no longer the calm and quiet place it used to be. If you suspect that your pet is acting out because of what's going on in his life, calm him by making a point to spend one-on-one time with him -- regularly. Take him on peaceful evening strolls on your street. Engage him in vigorous fetch sessions every night after dinner. Do what you can to ensure as much consistency and predictability in your pooch's life -- and just watch him become the calm and well-adjusted dog he was born to be.
Diet and Fitness
Your canine's hyper behavior could be the effect of the food he eats. Sensitivities to components in his diet -- such as grains -- could result in overly excitable behavior, for example. If you think that this might be the issue with your dog, take him to the veterinarian promptly. A vet can work with you to figure out what specific food component might be causing the sensitivity and hyper actions. Insufficient exercise also could be the culprit behind your dog's hyperactive bursts. Not all dogs have the exact same fitness requirements, and a big canine with a working history is going to need a lot more than a tiny companion dog. Speak to a professional dog training expert about your dog's breed. The professional should be able to give you detailed information on your pet's physical fitness requirements, whether daily running, walks or outdoor play. If your dog receives sufficient exercise and isn't constantly full of extra energy, he might become a lot calmer -- and fast.
If your dog is hyper because of apprehension, attempt to calm him down by establishing positive associations with things he dreads. If he becomes a panicky mess every time your relatives come to visit from out of state, give him a tasty doggie treat as soon as he begins to behave even remotely normally around them. If loud and intense noises coming from outside frighten your cutie, soothe him by putting on some calming music, such as piano pieces. Nature sounds -- think waterfalls and chirping birds -- might also do the trick in putting your pet's mind at ease, without sedatives.
Excessively hyper or fearful behavior in dogs can sometimes signify medical issues. If your pet's behavior seems excessive, don't think twice about getting him to the veterinarian to figure out what's going on. Unusually antsy behavior can sometimes point to serious health issues in pets, whether rabies or poisoning. No matter what, never, ever give your dog any sedative unless you have prior veterinary approval.
By Naomi Millburn
San Diego Humane Society & SPCA: Any Dog Can Live Calmly in a House - Even Yours
DogChannel.com: Hyperactive Dog
StarTribune: Keep Your Dog Calm in a Storm
City of San Antonio Animal Care Services: Calming the Fearful Dog
Wisconsin Humane Society: The Importance of Exercise
Hip Ideas for Hyper Dogs; Amy Ammen and Kitty Foth-Regner
CBS News: Want to Calm Fido Down? Try Music!
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.