How to Relax Your Dog: An All-Natural Way
How to Relax Your Dog: An All-Natural Way
If your dog is more on the hyper side than not most days, you’re probably all too familiar with constantly trying to calm them down. Almost anyone with a hyperactive dog would agree with you - it’s more stressful than not most times.
Whether your dog keeps squeaking toys at you and whines for attention, wanting to play fetch 24/7, or they get the zoomies late at night, hyperactivity and misbehaving may really push you past your breaking point. If you’ve tried everything in the book and then some, you know just how difficult it can be to calm your four-legged friend down.
Oftentimes, excessive energy or hyperactivity in dogs means that their physical, social, and or mental needs aren’t fully being fulfilled. It’s also possible that your pup’s hyperactivity is simply due to the type of breed they are, as some breeds are definitely more hyperactive than others.
Fortunately enough, hyperactivity in dogs can be lessened, with simple approaches and holistic wellness options helping out dog parents one day at a time.
Let’s get to the natural goodness!
Why is My Dog Hyper?
This may not only be physically exhausting for you as the paw parent but also mentally draining. Hyperactive dogs are sometimes reckless, accident-prone, and getting into trouble whenever they’re out of the house (or off the leash).
So why the heck do dogs get hyper all of a sudden, out of nowhere?
As we briefly mentioned above, dogs may get hyper suddenly due to not receiving enough physical, social, or mental stimulation. Just like us humans, dogs have personal needs that need to be met too! Just like how we take time for self-care, our canine companions love to get outside and go on a walk, relax next to you on the couch, or play fetch for hours to exercise.
The issues arise when your dog’s needs aren’t necessarily met for the day, thus, that build-up energy just flows out, out of nowhere!
1. Emotionally Stressed
Just like us humans, dogs can experience stress too, more often than you’d think. Behavioral changes, including hyperactivity, can be a sign that your doggo is stressed out over something or someone.
There are numerous external stressors that may affect your dog, including changes in your personal routine, moving, or changes to your dog’s routine.
Your pup could just simply be reflecting and wearing your own stress too! When we’re stressed, our dogs can sense it, catch on to it, and they themselves can become stressed too. Ah!
Also, separation anxiety may stress your dog out too. Our furry friends love us ten times over. Thus, when we’re gone to work for the day, they may get nervous, stressed, lonely, or paranoid.
If your pup gets lonely, he or she may start to become destructive, tearing, biting, chewing, or scratching in places and things they shouldn’t. Ek.
2. Too Much Energy
Yep, your dog could just naturally have too much energy! Some dog breeds are more prone to be energetic than others. For instance, Siberian Huskies, Jack Russell Terriers, and Border Collies are some of the most hyperactive dogs.
It’s common that these types of dogs will need more physical activity than paw parents can provide, hence the constant and worst times for an energy splurge.
When breeds like the ones mentioned above don’t get enough exercise, attention, and time to explore, they can easily become bored, causing trouble down the road.
How to Calm Your Dog Down: 4 Quick Tips
First and foremost, talk with your veterinarian. Make sure your dog’s hyperactivity isn’t a sign or symptom of a potential underlying issue.
Some paw parents may also call a dog trainer to learn more about behavioral training and calming techniques for your dog.
There are numerous approaches that you can easily bring into your dog’s daily life. We’ve put together some quick tips that may help you and your dog enjoy a relaxing time together, with chill mode soon to approach.
1. Mental Stimulation
There’s not really a ‘one size fits all’ answer to how much mental stimulation your pupper needs on the daily. But, when you have a dog who’s always on the go go go, he or she most likely needs to be more active. When we say “exercise” or “physical activity” we meant mentally too!
As a paw parent, you can also help your hyper dog release some full energy by playing mentally interactive games. Now, more than ever, there are millions of toys available for our four-legged friends, expensive to cheap, hard to soft, loud to quiet, user friendly to user complicated, you name it! There are also plenty of interactive toys to provide enrichment for your active furry friend.
Mentally stimulating games may provide more than just one benefit to fido. While it may help keep your dog’s focus, it may also provide your dog with the mental stimulation and well-being they need to stay happy and content.
When you play games with your dog, you’re also spending quality time with him/her! Not only can this be such a special memory for you one day, but this will also mean the world to your four-legged friend! So much so, that on those long workdays, your doggo might not be so scared or lonely next time.
2. Reward the Calmness
Trying to promote relaxation mode in your dog can’t strictly be business all the time, you’ve got to reward their behavior too.
When he or she starts exhibiting calming behavior, it might be a good time to give fido a reward of some sort. One of the first things we recommend teaching your pup is to sit, on command. You can also teach him or her to sit after playing fetch or having them sit before feeding them dinner. One step at a time!
When your pup sits on command or when he or she is told, reward them! Whether it’s a tasty treat or dinner early, let them know that you recognize that they’re trying.
3. Exercise for the Energy
Taking your pup outdoors for some physical activity is always a great idea!
A long walk with your doggo may just do the trick to get them to relax before bed or before you head off to work If they have the chance to release the excess energy, 9 times out of 10, they’ll take it!
Allow your pooch enough exercise so that they’ll be beat tired when you get back home. Kind of like the saying, ‘what goes up, must come down’ may just apply perfectly to getting your pup’s energy out, allowing them to take the chill within.
Think about how much exercise your pup may need. Again, some breeds may need more exercise than others, so plan accordingly. High-energy doggos like Jack Russell Terriers will need more exercise than a French Bulldog, for example. For high-energy breeds like this, you may even want to consider hiring a dog walker or coach to help you train your dog.
Some paw parents may also enroll their dog in an agility course or sport ball program. This can help challenge them and have them burn off some energy in no time. And of course, any breed can join an agility course or sport ball program, so it’s definitely worth looking into different programs that may be a great fit for your dog.
It may be a fun option for your dog’s mental, physical, and social well-being, not to mention you may get some socializing in too with other dog parents.
If these options sound a little extreme or too far out there for what you’re looking for, a quick game of fetch or frisbee in your backyard can totally do the trick too! If you have a pool, your dog may like to swim. First and foremost, make sure your dog is prepared to swim and is familiar with swimming. If he or she isn’t, many pet facilities can give dog-specific swimming lessons.
In addition, if you want your dog to socialize more, take him or her to a nearby dog park! They can get their exercise, interact with other dogs, and have fun playing around with new friends. Dogs are super social, just like us humans! All the games of fetch and tag with all the other dogs will surely have your pup feeling great after your dog park visit.
4. Teach Your Dog Manners
If your dog barks or yaps at you when they’re hungry or in need of attention, then your pup’s hyperactivity may be just a taste of bad manners.
If your pup exhibits inappropriate behavior such as these examples above, you may just need to spend some quality time with your pup teaching them proper etiquette.
A dog trainer or coach is a great option for consulting you on how to help work on your dog’s unwanted behaviors, so they can act more appropriately come mealtime.
CBD for Dogs: The Relaxing Close
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s an all-natural compound that is derived from the cannabis plant.
When humans first think about cannabidiol, they probably think of weed and getting a “high”. But here’s the catch: CBD can be derived from the marijuana plant and the hemp plant. The marijuana plant is well-known for its mind-altering effects. The hemp plant, on the other hand, does not exert “high” effects in users.
So which CBD is right for your dog? Hemp-derived CBD is what you want for your dog. CBD derived from the marijuana plant can be extremely dangerous for your dog, as there may be THC present.
Thus, choosing hemp-derived CBD for your dog means there will be little to no THC ( < 0.3% THC) and no psychoactive effects, meaning your dog won’t “get high”.
Paw parents have interestingly turned to holistic and natural options for helping their dogs maintain their well-being, calmness, and health. CBD is a wonderful holistic option for fido’s stress and hyperactivity. Since CBD has little to no side effects and is non-intoxicating, your pup may be benefiting with little to no worry as a paw parent.
CBD may do more for your dog than you think. CBD will also interact with your dog’s endocannabinoid system, helping support their immune, neurological, and cardiovascular systems.
How to Calm Your Dog: Final Thoughts
With anything, it’s important that you do your homework and ensure that the CBD products you are wanting to purchase for your four-legged friend are safe, lab-tested, and from a reputable company.
Having a hyper dog in your household can certainly be a handful, for you and your family members. Helping calm your dog down doesn’t have to be super difficult though, a simple walk before bed, a visit to the dog park, or a game of fetch in the backyard may be all you need to start a relaxing bond with your pup.
Kirsten Thornhill was born and raised in a small town in Northern California. She graduated with her Bachelors from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, CA in Kinesiology Exercise Physiology and her Masters from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA in Kinesiology Exercise Physiology. Kirsten is very passionate about human physiology and the metabolic and nutritional adaptations that occur in athletes. She has specialized in teaching clinical and practical exercise and rehabilitation applications. She enjoys educating and informing people on the importance of lifetime movement, holistic and lifestyle medicine, and health research and development. Her passion for alternative medicine enables her to strive when promoting health and education.