How do we go about lowering anxiety in dogs with cancer? And, what does our anxiety have to do with theirs?
When we hear the term, “cancer,” we’re propelled into an immediate terror. Our heart starts beating so fiercely it feels like it’s going to beat right out of our chest. We get faint. We feel like the world is slipping out from under us. We turn to our best buddy and know her life is in jeopardy. One of our biggest worries has finally been confirmed.
Dogs Don’t Understand What’s Happening
Of course, our dog, who has only recently been diagnosed with cancer, has no concept of what cancer is. She, on the other hand, is acutely aware of our feelings. In addition to the whirlwind that is spinning in our heads, our dog may not be feeling well, which may add to her anxiousness.
She is completely unaware that she has cancer. She, on the other hand, is aware that you are struggling to cope with the news. As a result, your dog may appear to be more restless than usual during the first few weeks following the diagnosis, at the very least. It’s possible that she won’t act like herself.
You may notice unusual pacing, heavy panting, and a general sense of unease in the individual.
Your Dog Feels How You Feel
Your dog is completely reliant on you for everything. And he requires your help now more than ever. The fight against cancer will be more difficult for your dog if he or she is agitated, anxious, or depressed during the process. A dog who is depressed or stressed is not able to heal as easily as a content and calm dog.
A forceful message, to say the least. We want to see improvement in our dogs. We want our dogs to be peaceful and satisfied throughout their time with us, and we want them to enjoy their remaining time with us.
Focus on Optimism and Positivity
Keeping your dog’s attention on happy feelings is just as vital for them as it is for you. It is more likely that your dog will feel safe and secure when you are in a good mood. Your positive attitude affects your dog’s positive attitude.
Just to give you an example, consider a period when you were highly frustrated or angry. It’s likely that your dog was right next to you. Was she joyful or did she appear to be worried?
Now, consider a period when you were incredibly happy. Did your dog appear upset or did he appear delighted with you at the time? Was he jumping on you because he was excited? When we’re happy, our dogs are happy, too.
That, in their minds, is the ultimate goal of their existence: to make us happy all of the time. And if we’re feeling down, they’re there to lift us back up and make us feel better about life.
Make Each Day Count
You will have a stronger bond with your dog as well if you and your dog can confront the challenges that lie ahead together with a positive mentality. Instead of viewing the cancer diagnosis in a negative way and constantly worrying about when “the day” would arrive, consider the diagnosis and think, “I really need to make this time count.” Maintain a good attitude, and encourage your dog to do the same.
Support Is Available
Everyone reacts to the news in their own way. If you’re going through a difficult time and aren’t coping as well as you would have liked, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Put up your best effort and don’t be hesitant to seek out to someone for assistance if you require it. However, you can also consult with a trustworthy friend who enjoys dogs, as well as with a pastor, priest, or psychiatrist.
Anyone who is experienced in having loving interactions with others can be of assistance at this time. Some people actually require expert assistance, and there is nothing wrong with that. The time to be “courageous” is now – seek out a competent counselor as soon as possible, even if you don’t think you “need to.”
Natural Anxiety Relievers for Our Dogs
Once your own emotional well-being is under control, if your dog is still having a hard time with anxiety, there are natural stress relievers you could try.
We recommend DAP for dogs frequently. DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) mimics the pheromones that are sent out by a mother to her puppies. When the pheromones are released, they work as microscopic calming agents, jumping on the puppy to help her feel better. There’s a diffuser, which is our personal favorite, as well as a collar and a spray.
The pheromones have a similar effect on dogs suffering from general anxiety. We recommend a DAP plug-in, which is a device that plugs into the wall and delivers calming pheromones into the air for our dogs to breathe. These are the same pheromones generated by their mother when they were puppies are inhaled by our dogs as they mature.
Keep in mind that every situation is unique. One dog’s behavior could be completely different from the behavior of another. However, because it is a natural therapy, it is an excellent beginning step. Each diffuser vial generally lasts approximately 4 weeks. You can purchase refills for the plug-in at most local pet stores once you run out.
We also recommend lavender essential oil to help relieve a dog’s anxiety. The majority of people’s first thought is “can a flower calm my dog?” We absolutely see where you’re coming from with this. It is strange to believe that the aroma of a flower may be used to reduce tension. However, according to research, diffusing lavender can help to alleviate tension in not just our dogs, but also in ourselves.
Handle Your and Your Dog’s Anxiety
First and foremost, you must gain control of your own emotions before you can expect your dog to be stress-free. Make every effort to eliminate the negative and increase the positive. Once you’ve mastered your own anxiety, you may turn your attention to lessening the anxiety of your dog. It’s entirely possible that the primary factor contributing to your dog’s anxiety is your own emotional health.