I’ve had my dog, Daisy, for over a year now! And boy, have I learned a lot in that year! She’s also chilled out quite a bit, so I wanted to share what helped with this. Some are things that you can control, some are not. And some may not work for your dog, even if they worked for mine.
When I first got my dog, she was super anxious. She would never ever sit still and spend hours walking in circles and whining. She was super clingy and on-edge. Because I hadn’t had a dog before I didn’t know if this was normal or not. Thankfully, my vet noticed her anxious behavior and stepped in. Two of my friends (who are very good dog owners and have more experience than I did) also helped me in the first couple of weeks. Thanks to the things outlined in this post, my dog is much less anxious and much happier than when I first got her.
Look at the pictures – she's like a completely different dog. Notice how tense she is in the first two pictures, from when I first got her. Then look at her newer pictures where she looks . <3 span=""> 3>
- Age/time only been one year and already my dog seems less teenager-y. (I adopted her just before her second birthday, now she’s approaching her third.) Like everyone has told me, dogs mellow out with age.
- Medicine This was a decision made with my dog’s veterinarian – because of her extreme level of anxiety, medicine was a good solution for her. It took a while to kick in and there were plenty of other factors that contributed to her current demeanor, but this helped a lot!
- Living in One Place
- When I adopted my dog, I was her third owner and it was her fourth physical home. Because of our move earlier this year, our current apartment is her sixth physical home – and all of those changes happened within a period of her life! Even a human would be pretty anxious if they had been through so much. Now that we’ve been in the same place for almost a year, she’s relaxed a lot. She knows where “home” is and who her owner is. I’m not going to leave her and if I do (for work or whatever) I’ll be back soon enough!
- It took a while before Daisy and I got into a groove. We still adjust daily schedules slightly for every season, but for the most part, each day is the same:
- Owner wakes up and takes shower/gets ready for work
- Owner takes Daisy outside to do her business
- Owner preps room for the day (she stays in my room during the day and I try to make it “dog-proof”. Every day I open the blinds, give her food, make sure her water bowl is full, give her medicine with a of peanut butter, move all my bedding into my closet, put a sheet [set aside just for her] on my bed, and then move anything off of my into my closet as well. I take off her leash and give her some pets goodbye. [Unless she’s absorbed in her food and could really care less if I was leaving. 😛]
- Dog Park If you’re a dog lover, you’re probably well aware that a tired/ dog is a happy dog. My new apartment complex has a dog park and it has made a WORLD of difference. I will write a separate post on how me and my dog got used to the dog park, but now it’s fantastic. My dog can run at a much faster pace than if she were attached to me via a leash. Plus, there are other dogs for her to play with, and them chasing each other definitely wears her out! There are lots of sniffs for her (which is mentally stimulating, I think), and she gets to socialize with other dogs. I was afraid to take her at first since she barks and jumps on dogs when she meets them – but she’s only high strung for thirty seconds or so. Then she goes and does her own thing or plays with the dog – d on that dog’s signals. Anyways, my dog seems much happier now that she can play with friends of her own species and now that she gets a lot of . (We would go on a lot of walks before we discovered the dog park, but these just didn’t wear her out as much.) Plus, it’s great for my mental health because I get to socialize with people too. 🙂