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Stress Busters for Fido

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Plenty of people battle anxiety, but plenty of pooches do too!  Joe Mason says his beagle Royce is a ball of stressful energy.  “Royce is our problem child!  He has a ton of anxiety.  He does a lot of barking, a lot of shenanigans.”

Royce shows all the trademark symptoms...panting, shaking, barking, chewing and jumping.  Mason says moving into a new home has made the anxiety even worse!  “He’s crying a lot, he barks a lot.  In fact the other day he tore up his pillow inside of his crate.”

Canine anxiety is prevalent among certain breeds like german shepherds and shelties.  Rescue dogs and pups with major life changes get stressed out as well.  And don't count out loud noises like thunderstorms or fire-works.

Belladoggie Resort and Spa's Genevieve Dempre says another trigger is separation.  “For some dogs, owner separation anxiety is a big problem, where if their owner is not right there with them, every time the owner leaves, even if it’s for 5 minutes, the dog puts a lot of stress.”

A simple solution for separation anxiety is crate training.  Make sure it’s about the same size as the dog and very comfortable inside.  A couple tricks?  Put in their favorite treats and their favorite toy.

Belladoggie Resort and Spa’s Jeff Cheramie has some tricks up his sleeve as well.  Compression can be calming, so he says try a Thundershirt or something called the snug hug!  Basically, you get as low to the ground as possible, and calmly hug and cuddle the dog.

Cheramie says you can also try soothing pet treats.  There are a variety of different brands.  “'They really like it because it’s tasty first off.  And it seems to really work.”

A few drops of Mellow Out Flower Essence will ease anxiety as well.  The essence contains lavender and chamomile, the same ingredients that relax us humans!

Mason says he'll try anything, since his current method is a bust.  “I’m trying to take on Cesar Milan’s mentality, but that’s not actually working very well!”  Joe Mason, dog whisperer!?  With a few of these tricks, he just might be.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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