Like humans, dogs can also experience panic attacks in which the heart rate and breathing increases. However, dog panic attack shows in ways such as barking or growling. Sometimes, the dog also hides in order to tell that they are in a panic. But, as pet owners, you may be wondering how to stop a dog panic attack.
As we go along, we will share helpful information regarding the dog panic attacks. The causes and the symptoms are also here to help you identify if your dog is already suffering from it. Moreover, ways and tips on how to stop and prevent it from occurring are also included here.
Panic Attack in Dogs
Generally, a bark or hiding somewhere is not a cause to worry, so a dog having a panic attack is not really a big deal. But, if the attacks are already recurrent, it should be acted upon immediately as it may weaken the immune system and also cause other health problems. Additionally, a panic attack in dogs may also be due to some underlying medical issues. That’s why you need the help of the veterinarian if the attack is more than once or if you do not know how to stop a dog panic attack.
Moreover, aggression, chewing or biting itself are strong indications of a more serious problem of dog panic attack. Specifically, the dog is suffering from anxiety that leads to extreme distress which may lead to the immediate outburst. This kind of anxiety may be intensified by the surrounding noise and confinement. However, bear in mind that dog anxiety has many types but not all of it may exhibit panic attacks.
Symptoms of Dogs Panic Attack
Basically, without any signs or warning, a panic attack may hit the dog in no time. It may also happen once a specific thing triggers the other. The problem is, distinguishing a dog panic attack is actually hard because most of the signs are generally the same with other behavioral issues in dogs. Knowing this, coming up with ways on how to stop a dog panic attack may also be difficult.
Yet, here are the common signs of dog panic attack:
- Climbing or licking the human owner
- Digging or scratching
- Dilated eye pupils
- Fast breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Loss of appetite
- Too much aggression
- Too much licking or fur chewing
- Unusual barking
- Urinating inside the house
Causes of Dog Panic Attack
As we’ve said, dog anxiety has different types and some of it may cause a panic attack in dogs. Here are the major types of anxiety in canines that most likely lead to a panic attack:
Once the dog is confined inside or outside space that it does not know how to get out, it may generally cause anxiety.
- Accidentally trapped in a closed space
- Fenced within the yard
- Shut inside a room
- Stayed in a dog pen
Generally, this type of dog anxiety is due to motion sickness, confinement inside the plane, or because of the new experience.
- Going to unfamiliar places
- Inside a moving car
- Riding on a train
- Travelling on an airplane
This type of anxiety in a dog may happen if there are thunderstorms, loud or outburst of noise in the surrounding, or fireworks display.
If the dog is left alone or the playmate is not around, the dog may experience separation anxiety.
How to Stop a Dog Panic Attack
Actually, the dog may not usually show anxiety most of the time. However, once these panic attacks hit your dog, it may generally lead to more serious dog health problems. In order to prevent injury, here are some ways on how to stop a dog panic attack.
1. Stay Calm
Basically, as a pet owner, it is very important for you to stay calm during the onset of an attack. Primarily, a calm voice and an assertive behavior are helpful attitudes on how to stop a dog panic attack. You can allow your dog to hide anywhere, place it inside the kennel, or look for a quiet place where you can monitor the dog until the panic attack subsides.
As much as possible, switch its attention by providing the dog with a favorite game or offer some treats or rewards. Yet, while on the outdoor, the best thing to do on how to stop a dog panic attack is to use a harness rather than a collar.
2. Have the dog a regular checkup
Once you’ve noticed that your dog is suffering from a panic attack, one of the good thing to do on how to stop a dog panic attack is to ask for a vet’s help. Generally, the veterinarian can able to see any medical issues that may cause a panic attack. Moreover, the vet will look for any injuries or trauma so that he may prescribe any medication that can soothe the dog’s mood.
3. Get professional assistance
Aside from the vet, professional dog behaviorist may generally help in training the dog to properly respond on stimuli which trigger the attack. The behaviorist basically offers a specialized course in changing the behavior of the dog. This is one good way on how to stop a dog panic attack.
4. Wrap the dog
Another good strategy on how to stop a dog panic attack is to put on a thunder shirt or snug-fitting cloth around the dog’s chest and abdomen. Basically, it is better to check on any injury on your dog or the proper size fitting of the shirt before putting it on. Moreover, keep an eye on your pooch while wearing the shirt so that the tendency of removing it may be avoided.
You can also use ace bandages, an old shirt or a towel to wrap the dog during the panic attack. The trick here so that you will know how to stop a dog panic attack is to put on the material that makes the dog feel a hug. Basically, put on some pressure over the chest, back, and on the sides.
5. Give sufficient amount of exercise
Generally, stimulating the dog’s physical and mental aspects is one of the best ways on how to stop a dog panic attack. However, before doing so, make sure that the level of exercises is approved by the veterinarian. Actually, having a 15 to 20 minutes walk or play daily will be a big help to lower the stress level of the dog.
Also, consider offering some puzzle toys during their meals in order to stimulate their mental health. Moreover, short training courses are also beneficial to occupy the dog’s mental aspect.
6. Comfort your dog
Another helpful way on how to stop a dog panic attack is to offer some hug, pet, or a hold. These simple gestures generally ease the signs of a panic attack to your dog. Additionally, you could also consider massaging or brushing your dog to relieve the stress that it feels during the attack.
Also, establish a designated hiding place for your dog where it can go during the episodes of a panic attack. Playing soothing classical music on the background is also a good strategy on how to stop a dog panic attack. However, just ensure that space does not have any external stimulants like other pets. A dog pheromone spray or diffusers may also help in reducing anxiety over the area.
7. Provide supplements or medication
One way on how to stop a dog panic attack is to make use of natural supplements like the L-theanine or L-tryptophan. These two basically have a calming effect to help the animals to relax. However, for more serious episodes of a panic attack, your dog needs to seek veterinarian’s attention to get medications related to dog anxiety. Moreover, it could be a maintenance medication if the panic attacks hit the dog regularly.
8. Do not punish your dog
Please bear in that if you get angry with your dog during a panic attack, the issue will not be resolved or it will get worse. Basically, if you want to know how to stop a dog panic attack, and then avoid yelling at the dog, do not spray water on it, or do not use a shock collar. These will just heighten the level of fear and anxiety.
The ways on how to stop a dog panic attack are basically helpful to make a happy and healthy life for the dog. Generally, canine’s life surrounded by fear and anxiety may be very hard for the pooch to manage. Yet, coming up with new healthy routines for your dog is not an easy task though.
As a pet owner, patience, dedication, and willingness to offer excellent attention, time, and love for your pooch are the best things to do. Moreover, proper training a sufficient amount of exercise will reduce the anxiety of your dog while enjoying the moment that you share together.