Owners and their dogs are more alike than we think. And just like humans, dogs can experience anxiety, too. Dog anxiety can affect all breeds of dogs but will affect each dog differently. A great way to help alleviate stress and anxiety in your dog is by creating a cozy space to relax, so when they do start feeling overwhelmed, they can choose to remove themselves from the situation and retreat to their cozy corner.
Finding your dog’s ‘safe space’
The first step to creating a cozy space for your pooch is identifying just where they find comfort. By watching out for when your dog starts showing symptoms of anxiety (for example, when there are fireworks outside) and looking to which room they retreat to, you can determine what sort of space they need to de-stress. Once you have identified this, you can go about creating the perfect space with these three cozy locations.
1. Your spare wardrobe
For dogs that enjoy a den-like environment or who burrow under the covers when they’re nervous, creating a cozy spot in your spare wardrobe is a perfect way to alleviate any anxiety. Your wardrobe space should be away from any windows, so it’ll feel like a cozy den when the lights are off. Equally, if you find your pooch gets nervous when there’s lightning, not having windows will ensure they feel as far removed from the situation as possible.
2. Crate corner
Think back to when you first started crate training with your dog. Did they consider it a place of refuge? If so, bring back their crate to make a cozy crate corner. Make sure to place the crate in a quieter part of the house – but close enough to the family footfall, so they don’t feel excluded from the home. Then, use a blanket that’s covered in your scent to cover the crate with, before adding an extra-cozy luxurious dog bed inside that feels like a hug. Oh, and don’t forget a few of their favorite toys!
3. A room without a window
Have you noticed your dog has a habit of patrolling the house and keeping an eye on the local neighborhood? While you might be able to distract them if they start doing this when you’re in the house, constantly looking out the window for your return can cause separation anxiety in dogs. By giving them a place they can clock out when they’re alone – which doesn’t have a window or a view of the outdoors – you can take the pressure off your pooch and allow them to fully relax and not wait anxiously for you to come back. Good spots include a utility room or a laundry room, etc.
Creating a cozy spot for your dog to relax and get away from a stressful situation can help alleviate any anxiety they may have. While they may not always choose to retreat to their haven, just knowing there is such a place can increase their confidence and improve their happiness at the same time.