If you have a pet or have in the past, then you know all about that special kind of love between fur babies and their humans. They brighten our days with sloppy wet kisses and snuggles, encourage us to get outside and play, make us laugh with their silly antics, and add meaning to our lives in so many other wonderful ways.
And because we love them so much, we want them to be just as happy as they make us. We hate to see them stressed out, anxious, sad or confused. I don’t know about you, but I’d do just about anything to make Lola feel better when she’s having a tough time. But because we don’t speak the same language (even though sometimes I swear she knows exactly what I’m saying!), it can be hard to figure out what’s bothering them and how we can help.
That’s why I’m so excited about today’s post. Amanda Ree, the incredible founder of Sama Dog, is on a mission to help humans and their canine pals find a state of balance (or “Sama”). Amanda and her team do this by considering all aspects of a dog’s life, including diet, exercise, personal history, mind-body type (known as their “dosha”) and several other factors. Honestly, I could gush about Amanda and her innovative, holistic approach to our furry friends’ well-being for hours, but I don’t want to wait another minute to hand this post over to her.
I think you’re gonna love these tips for helping relieve anxiety for your pup. Make sure to grab the free guided meditation—yes, it’s for you and your dog to do together!
Take it away, Amanda!
Calming Techniques for Anxious Dogs
By Amanda Ree, Sama Dog
Dogs are brilliant little beings. Get close to one and your life is instantly filled with more laughter, less stress and a furry reminder to live in the present moment. This is exactly why therapy dogs are so popular—because they work! But what about the canine that needs their own therapy dog?
What Canine Anxiety Looks Like
Just like humans, there are pups in our lives who suffer from anxiety. Physically, canine anxiety may manifest as shaking, panting, licking or pacing. Behaviorally, an anxious dog might also urinate, excessively lick/bite themselves or even try to escape.
If left untreated, the added stress takes a similar toll as in humans, creating imbalances in the body that promote illness, disease and a lower quality of life. Luckily, we can prevent this by using our personal human-animal bond to help a dog with anxiety.
Help Your Dog by Helping Yourself
It might help to know that we commonly share our current state of mind with our canine companions—it’s something we regularly see evidence of at Sama Dog. Clients with anxiety or even sensitivities to touch, food or noise often arrive with a human companion suffering from the same ailment. It’s called mirroring, and the solution often lies in treating the human first.
The impact you have on your furry friend is real. Are you experiencing emotional turbulence, anxiety, stress or overwhelm? If so, then it’s time to begin constructing a balanced lifestyle for yourself. Make yourself a priority to help your dog. Set time aside for the things you enjoy and re-commit to regular exercise, relaxation, quiet time and healthy eating. As you become more relaxed and at ease, so will the canine in your life.
An excellent foundation for a more balanced life is meditation. Studies show that it can have long-term beneficial effects when used to treat anxiety. Even a few minutes each day can positively influence mood, behavior and emotions by decreasing stress hormones and increasing the happy ones.
The peacefulness of meditation is a natural tonic to a canine’s nervous energy and it’s easy to include them because dogs are natural meditators. Simply sit with your pup in a quiet, comfortable space and bring your attention to your breath. When your mind begins to wander, recognize this and come back to your breath. Remember, this ebb and flow is the practice of meditation.
Sama Dog has seen a consistent meditation practice bring better health and wellbeing to many, many dogs and their humans. To get you started, I created a free guided meditation for you to do with your pup. Download it below!