September 1, 2021
Dogs can be especially sensitive to their environment, which canultimately lead to mental or emotional distress in your pup. Perhaps yourecently adopted your pooch, maybe you have a smaller breed that tends to getnervous around people or loud noises, or it could be that your fur-baby justdoesn’t like to be left alone. In any case, you’ll want to create a calming,safe environment for your pup to help minimize any unnecessary stress.
Creating a Zen space for your dog doesn’t have to be extravagantor expensive. For the most part, you may already have a few things around yourhome like blankets, pillows or a T-shirtthat smells like you, so it creates aneven more comforting vibe for your pup. We’ve come up with a few simple (andfun) ways to create a Zen area for your dog to relax and take a time out.
Have you ever noticed how your mood can change just by listeningto a little music?Music has the uncanny ability toimpact the listener’s mood -- so, why wouldn’t that also apply to our pets? A2017 studyexamined the effect of different genres of music on stress levels in kenneleddogs. What they found was that when any genre of music was played, the dogsspent more time laying down. The study also discovered that when listening tosoft rock and reggae, there was a significant reduction in stress, andconcluded that listening to music influenced physiological and behavioralchanges in the dogs that were observed, validating that music can help reduce signsof stress and anxiety in dogs.
Tunes withcertain frequencies have been shown to help humans and their furbabies relax and even fall asleep faster. Studies show that frequencies at 528and 432 hertz are ideal for helping people to relax and destress. If you have aSmart TV, you can find YouTube and look for “binaural programming” which playsrelaxing music set at tones in the mid-frequency range.CheckoutChewy’sZen Dog Playlist for relaxing, easy favorites, curated just for dogs!
If your homeis significantly quiet when you’re not around, you may want to consider using awhite noise machine or fan to drown out the silence, helping your pup forgetthere’s nobody home and relieve any stress.
To help your pooch feel even morecalm and relaxed, give one or twoReady Pet Go! Bacon and CheeseZen Chews before a stressful event, like athunderstorm or when you have to leave.This daily chew will minimizeseparation anxiety, erratic behavior and loud barking with a blend of Hemp,Chamomile, Valerian root, Passion Flower, Ginger root and other calming herbs,vitamins, and amino acids.
Because some dogs may have sensitive skin, it’s important to havebedding that is comfortable and is free from any chemicals or dyes that could causeitching or scratching. Bed padding like theFluffyDream Calming Dog Bed has an orthopedic design with raised areas tosnuggle your pup, adding a sense of safety and protection, but it’s also greatfor older dogs with hip or joint problems.
Another snuggle option to consider if your dog suffers fromseparation anxiety is theSmartPet Love Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Dog Toy, which comeswith a warming pack and pulsing heartbeat to keep your pup feeling safe andsecure while you’re away. It’s also shown to help grieving pets after the lossof another family pet or litter mate.
Have you ever noticed where your pup gravitates to for a nap or toslip away when there might be too many people around? Take note, because thatmight be the ideal spot to create a special Zen space for your pup. If youoften find your pup taking a snooze in the crate, it’s a good indicator thatyour dog feels comfy, cozy and stress-free in that tiny little “safe space.” Ifthe crate is already in a quiet area of the house, cover the top and sides witha blanket. If your dog isn’t a chewer, toss in a comfy pet bed and a few ofyour pup’s favorite snuggle toys.
If your pup prefers something other than a crate, make a specialcozy corner in the closet. Ideally, the closet should be away from windows.Most likely, doggo will be thrilled to hang around shoes and clothes that smelljust like you -- unless pupper likes to chew on shoes, then maybe the laundryroom would be a better option!
After locating a good space for your dog, you might need topurchase a baby gate to prevent a Houdini escape and get into trouble while youare gone. Be sure to keep household materials out of reach and tape down anyelectrical cords. Put away shoes, toys or any other attractive items for abored and curious pup to get into. Introduce your pup to the safe space as soonas you can and make sure not to use the space for feeding. You can, however,give them treats.
Your dog should have as much freedom as possible even when you aregone, so make the area as easily accessible as possible and don’t use this specialZen spot for time-outs. Depending on your setup, you couldrevisityour childhood and build a fort! Drape a few blankets over a table or somechairs and create a safe hiding spot for your pup to sneak away. Of course,every fort needs pillows and toys, so grab a few fluffy favorites and you’regood to go -- just make sure you leave a gap, so the fort doesn’t come downwhen your dog is coming or going.
Dogs experience anxiety and stress just likehumans do. While there are a number of causes of anxiety in dogs, the threemost common causes are fear, separation, and aging. Making your dog’s living space a little more Zenwill help you both lead a happier, healthier life and will bring you closertogether.