I remember perfectly the day I adopted Ruby. I had to wait in line to meet her with other expecting dog and cat parents in a mall parking lot where the rescue van handed them off. (all I had seen were pictures from her Forster parents- put this caption in a photo gallery)
When it was my turn and I got her in my arms, I barely flinched when I felt wetness on my stomach. She was just so little and adorable! It wasn’t until I got into the car that I realized that she had peed on me. I dismissed this as a puppy thing but I should have seen a red flag of what was really going on: dog anxiety.
This was just the beginning of a series of signals stemming from dog anxiety. Besides submissive pee at greetings, Ruby has licked herself until she’s made an eczema on her skin. She has chewed up plenty of things from separation anxiety. She sometimes gets scared and anxious during walks with certain noises and triggers where she pulls frantically to go back home. And shows many other more subtle signs that we have learned are anxiety and submissiveness which helps us deal with situations that cause her stress.
From rags to riches
You see, Ruby had a hard start in life. At 10 days old, she was found in a trash can with her two sisters. Thankfully they were found by a volunteer at an animal shelter and fostered by a family who fed her by a bottle and took care of her until I adopted her at two and a half months old.
I wasn’t aware that dogs had long-term memory, especially for traumatic situations, so I thought that she would not remember her heartbreaking beginning. Oh, boy was I wrong!
Fast forward to present day and Ruby is a more confident and calmer dog because of everything we’ve researched and applied to her in the last three years.
This journey has included dog trainers, thunder jackets, puzzle toys, exercise that stimulates her brain as well as her body, relaxing dog music, slow feeder bowls, tips and tricks from experts, essential lavender oil, mild and natural relaxants and lots of love and patience.
This adorable furball has taught me a lot about what dog anxiety is and how we as owners can help them feel calmer and more relaxed.
Why start doganxietyremedies.com?
As I spoke with friends and family members who have dogs, I saw that there was a need for this information, especially when it comes to rescue dogs.
Since dogs have both long-term and short-term memory, our loving rescue dogs that have come from different heartbreaking backgrounds often have this baggage and need extra patience when we adopt them.
Not all dog anxiety comes from trauma, this can also be typical in young dogs with low confidence or that have formed certain habits.
Whether it’s separation anxiety, fear or anxiety during walks, behavior that results in self-injury or any other behavior that stems from dog anxiety, there are ways to help your dog become more balanced and relaxed.
I hope the tips and tricks I have collected in this blog help you find ways to ease your dog’s anxiety, as well as the products that have been lifesavers for Ruby and us. I do not endorse any products that we haven’t tried with Ruby and will always give our honest opinion outlining the pros and cons.
I believe in natural methods of fighting dog anxiety and only recommend medication in extreme cases or for short periods of time when first training an anxious dog. This should always be consulted with your veterinarian and/or dog trainer.
The biggest ally of an anxious dog is going to be your commitment, love and patience towards your dog when helping them to heal from potential trauma and boost their confidence.
I encourage you to reach out to us with any questions you might have about your dog or contribute to ways that have helped your anxious dog feel better. I know I couldn’t have done it without the help and guidance of other experts and trainers.
A little more about our dog family
Ruby is a podenco mutt. Podencos are a Spanish hunting breed and one of the most abandoned breeds in Spain. Her biggest love in life is food. She will perform any trick to get her lips on some tasty treats. Besides this she loves chasing birds in the park and long snuggle sessions under the blanket.
Mohit is the latest addition to the family and the daddy of the family. He’s originally from India but after he met Ruby’s mom, Cristina, he decided to stay in Spain and join the family. Ruby loves playing with Mohit because he is super fun. He’s an English teacher, Bollywood dancer and superb Indian cuisine chef.
Cristina is Ruby’s mom. She is half Spanish, half American and has lived her life half and half in both countries. After graduating college at FSU, she traveled 40 states in 6 months. A couple years later she decided to move to Madrid, Spain to be closer to her family that had moved there. Nine years later, she is still very happy living abroad in Spain because this has been how she met not only Ruby but her loving partner Mohit. Cristina loves cooking and doing yoga in her spare time.