Life With An Anxious Dog
Many of our readers will know that Sandy, our second rescue, came to us when she was one year old. We believe that in the first year of her life, she was not socialised at all. As a consequence she was petrified of us, her new home, her surroundings, people, traffic, children; well pretty much everything.
There was many an occasion when we wondered whether we had made a big mistake, whether we could help Sandy and whether we should keep her.
Two years on, Sandy is still with us. If you follow us on Instagram or over on our Facebook page, you will have seen her progress over these past two years. When I look back, or even read my first year blog post about Sandy, I can’t quite believe the difference in her now.
It hasn’t always been easy, we have changed aspects of our life because of Sandy and sometimes we feel like it’s one step forward, two steps back. Still, we wouldn’t change a thing, she is a part of our little family and we couldn’t imagine life without her.
What We Tried In Order Help Sandy
Every dog is different, what works for some, won’t work for others. When you are faced with a very scared, anxious and nervous dog, you do everything in your power to help it.
Believe me, we tried pretty much everything we could think of. I read lots of articles, researched online line, joined Facebook Groups and sought professional advice from our vet and a dog behaviourist.
What We Tried For Sandy;
- thundershirt – we do still use this sometimes, if people are coming to visit/stay at the house)
- adaptil collar and diffuser,
- calming tablets from the vet,
- calming music,
- CDs with noise desensitising sounds
- giving her carbs an hour after her food to help the serotonin reach her brain,
- counter conditioning with treats (but when she’s really scared she won’t take treats),
- essential oils,
- cuddle heat/heart beat toy,
- mental and physical exercise,
- chewing type toys, and
- Dorwest herbal treatments
This year Dorwest celebrates 70 years (the same as the NHS!) of using their knowledge in herbal medicine for dogs health and nutritional needs, working and showing dogs, breeding dogs and most importantly, loving dogs as much as we all do!
Dorwest are in their third generation and their knowledge has made them the UK’s leading provider of canine and feline herbal treatments. They are the only manufacturer of herbal medicines authorised by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Their treatments are prepared to pharmaceutical standards using active ingredients taken from the whole plant. Their extracts come directly from the leaves, stems roots and first pressings of oil. They only use herbs that reach their stringent quality standards and as a result they provide a comprehensive range of herbal veterinary medicines, herbal dietary supplements and homeopathic remedies to help keep balance in your dog’s life.
Their products are available in more than 20 countries around the world. I love Dorwest because I am keen to use natural products for our dogs, where possible, and support British companies, who love dogs as much as we do!
What Dorwest Products We Use For Our Anxious Girl
Dorwest’s website is very easy to navigate and their customer service is brilliant. If you are unsure about anything you can call them, they are extremely helpful, knowledgeable and understanding. Or you can also ‘chat’ to someone over the internet. They have a lot of information available on their website, along with downloadable brochures on certain topics. So there are many ways to find out about their products and help your dog!
For Sandy we use their two products for ‘Nervousness or Anxiety’;
- Scullcap & Valerian Tablets; and
- Organic Valerian Compound.
‘This licensed veterinary herbal medicine relieves anxiety, helps relaxation and reduces fretful behaviour. Ideal for long term use and can be given indefinitely or for as long as required for a calmer and more relaxed disposition. Give 1 or 2 tablets per 5kgs bodyweight daily depending on the severity of the condition, dividing the total dose into two and give morning and evening.’ (taken directly from their website).
Sandy weighs just under 10 kgs, so she has 2 tablets in the morning and 2 in the evening, every day. We started off with 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening, but didn’t notice any change in her, and, since she was so nervous I upped her to 3 in the morning (which is wrong, but I was desperate to help her!) and 2 in the evening.
However, I noticed very quickly that this level left her very dozy and she no longer was her playful self. So we found her even keel at 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening (yes the recommended dosage for her weight!). It is better to ensure tablets are taken in the morning and evening to ensure an even coverage.
I am now trying a reduction of her evening dose to 1 tablet, as she is so much more settled now, we will see how she gets on, with this change.
This tincture is used for specific one-off or unexpected situations. It has three herbal extracts in it and works quickly, within half an hour, to relax and settle dogs. It should only be used twice in any 24 hours.
For Sandy we use it before her morning walk, which is always more stressful for her because it is an on-lead walk around where we live, a built up, noisy area, with busy roads & pavements. Then I will use it if we are going to the vet, or the groomers, or even if we are going to a dog-friendly pub.
Actually, these days, I find that I only use this once a day for Sandy. However you can also put a few drops on their bedding to help induce a calm state.
There’s another added bonus to buying from Dorwest, their Loyalty Club!
‘It’s FREE to join and is a must-have for regular customers and breeders!
As a member you will receive:
- 10% OFF full priced products for LIFE! (excludes discounted products)
- Exclusive promotions throughout the year
- Members only products such as ‘Puppy Packs’ ideal for puppies going to new homes
- Show Offers and Giveaways’
We are a member, because we use other products from Dorwest and order regularly!
I truly believe that these two products have helped Sandy tremendously, to get her to where she is today. She is a very happy dog, much more confident out on walks with unknown dogs and people. I think she will always be a nervous dog, but I am so pleased to have found a natural aid to help her, even if she takes them every day for the rest of her life.
Love, patience and time definitely helps an anxious dog, but finding something that actually helps them through the times/things that cause a dog to be anxious, scared, nervous or reactive, is all you want as a dog owner. So thank you Dorwest, we can’t thank you enough for helping our girl.