“What can I give my dog to calm him down?”
If you’re wondering the same thing, read on to find out the answer.
Here’s a hint, though: it will depend quite a bit on his breed, personality, and what you mean by “calm him down.”
Let’s get started and find the right solution for your hyper little guy or girl!
What Can I Give My Dog to Calm Him Down?
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As much as we love when our dogs are rearing to play and doing the zoomies around the house, sometimes your dog may be a bit too excited and the behavior is a little bit out of control.
If your dog is hyper, is there anything you can give him to help him chill out?
Dogs are vibrant and expressive beings. They typically wear their emotions and we know exactly how they are feeling or what they may be thinking.
Let’s look at several reasons why your dog might be hyper, and then we can look at how to help him manage these feelings and behavior.
What Makes a Dog Hyper in the First Place?
One of the first factors to consider is the breed of your dog. Some breeds are more excitable than others!
2. Separation Anxiety
Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their owners leave them alone. This can be when they go to work or on a longer trip. Because your dog feels lost without you, he acts up.
3. Special Events
Fireworks are a huge trigger for my Lab. The 4th of July and the few days before and after are a nightmare for her!
She gets so panicked and afraid that she will run in circles and try to hide in closets. Because she is so big, she winds up leaving a trail of chaos behind her.
Changes in barometric pressure can be a trigger for sensitive dogs. My next door neighbor’s dog would go crazy and destroy the house during a thunderstorm.
Some dogs will act up if they are bored. Dogs need physical and mental stimulation to keep them occupied and out of trouble.
Some way to help these hyper triggers
One of the easiest solutions to try first is exercise. It is important to make sure your dog is getting enough physical exercise to tire them out.
Most vets agree that dogs should get daily physical exercise and that a morning walk of 30-60 minutes is sufficient. When you get home at night a quick walk should do the trick.
You should remember that a walk doesn’t need to be fast.
Let your dog stop and sniff and explore. This is for them, not you. Exploring and sniffing are ways your dog learns about his world.
If you don’t want to walk, a good game of Frisbee in the backyard is a great alternative.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, having a routine will help.
Dogs are creatures of habit – I think my dog has been eating the same food for 12 years, and they need to know what to expect.
If you can structure and keep your day pretty much the same this will help your dog.
Once your dog realizes that every morning you will take a walk together, eat breakfast, leave him a puzzle toy when you go to work, walk him when you return, eat dinner, watch Animal Planet together and then call it a night….he will feel more secure when you leave the house.
Shelter dogs might especially be prone to separation anxiety. It is incredibly helpful for these dogs to have a routine. It will help them feel secure and build their self-confidence.
3. Puzzle Toys
Puzzle toys are great tools to help with your dog’s mental exercising. Dogs need mental stimulation too. A puzzle toy is a toy that you can hide a treat in.
Then your dog has to figure out how to get the treat by pushing a lever, flipping a switch, sliding out a cover, etc.
These toys help distract your dog by giving them a job and a challenge. Certain dogs especially will enjoy these puzzle toys.
4. Obedience Training
It can be said that insecure dogs act up. Dogs are pack animals and need to know who the leader is. This should be you!
Taking your dog to obedience training is an effective tool in combating hyper behavior. It helps the dog to realize that you are the leader, and it lets your dog know what you expect from him.
Taking obedience class is also a great way for you and your dog to bond together and get some physical and mental exercise as well.
If your dog is still suffering from anxiety or changes in weather, there are medications that can help. A conversation with your vet can help determine what you can give your dog to calm down.
While your vet will help you determine which type of medication (if any) is best, some commonly used to help hyper dogs include:
- Ritalin -yep, the same medicine used for humans with ADHD.
- Dextroamphetamine- another medicine used for ADHD in humans, it’s very similar to Ritalin.
- Rescue Remedy– an all-natural solution made with flower extracts.
Again, medication is usually used as a very last resort, so please don’t give your dog any of the above (even the natural stuff) without talking to your vet first.
So what can I give my dog to calm him down?
Dogs are generally happy creatures who aim to please. They also crave routine and structure. If your dog is hyper, try to pinpoint when this behavior occurs.
Once you figure out why your dog is hyper, you can try these different steps to try and help alleviate your dog’s anxiety and help him calm down.
How would you answer the question of “What can I give my dog to calm him down?” Share your thoughts below!