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How to Comfort a Scared Dog

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Is your dog scared? Comfort it by helping it overcome its fears!

Pet dogs can be of all sorts of temperaments and come from many backgrounds. Rescues can have backgrounds that no one knows about, but manifest in different behaviors. No matter their pasts, fear is a common problem for many dogs, but not one that is unsolvable. Don’t take a backseat in easing your pet’s fears. Here are a few practical ways to comfort a scared dog.

Be Calm Yourself

The first step is to be calm and gentle yourself. If you are nervous about or afraid of something, your dog might also be nervous and afraid. Remain calm, and you will not escalate the situation. Also, avoid getting upset. It will only upset your pet more.

Communicate with Your Dog 

Clear communication with your dog is the way you can actively take control of the situation. You can communicate with speech, as dogs can understand the tone of your voice and build up a vocabulary they understand. 

You can also use physical cues. Use a collar and leash rather than a harness unless your vet advises otherwise. You can use a prong collar for even more sensitive communication. Prong collars do not hurt pets, and they can help you communicate your message to your pet more effectively. Pets and praise will confirm to your dog that it is doing well.

Expose Your Dog to the Threat Safely

Repeated exposure to a supposed threat in a controlled environment will help ease your dog’s fears. If your dog is afraid of you, one approach is to sit in a room with your dog, facing away and reading aloud. Gradually get closer and build up the ability to make eye contact and physical contact. Offer treats along the way.

If the dog is afraid of something or somebody else, direct your pet to sit near the threat for short periods. The more repetition and praise, the more your pet will see there is nothing to fear.

Distract Your Dog with Your Directions

If your pet is very scared, distract your dog in the threatening environment by having it focus on you. You could have it sit and focus on you or keep changing directions and have your pet follow you.

Show the Dog There Is a Way Out

Your pet should never feel trapped. Even though the threat may not be real, you should respect it and show that it does have a way of escape. Lead the dog away from the fearful thing to communicate this.

Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!

At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With three Maryland locations in Baltimore, Pasadena, and Cross Keys, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131, 410-793-7670, or 443-470-6790! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 at 5:29 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.