During the many years I have been working with, around and beside dogs, I have been faced with numerous different categories and levels of anxiety in dogs. There are countless options to try in helping to calm your dog’s out-of-control stress. One of these is to use an anxiety or body wrap for dogs, which will be discussed in this article.
One type of stress is due to having an expectation of pain, such as the anxiety brought on by the fear of nail clippers, possibly due to having a nail clipped too short at some time causing pain.
There is also a type of anxiety over being left alone, also known as separation anxiety. There are several degrees of this anxiety, from continuous pacing, panting and barking to trashing everything in its path in an attempt to find and regroup the “pack”.
Thunderstorms can bring on a hysteria in otherwise calm dogs to the extent of sending them crashing through sliding glass doors, hiding under beds, panting, trembling and lost within their terror or even running frantically for miles.
Riding in a vehicle may also trigger irrational stress in dogs, possibly from having a bad experience on their first car ride. They might have been injured in an accident at some point. That’s why crating a dog in a vehicle is always a good safety measure.
Knowing why a dog reacts with panic to a specific situation is really not as important as finding a way to help your dog calm that overwhelming anxiety.
One approach to calming a dog during an irrational hyperactive state is by using a tool called an anxiety wrap for dogs or body wrap. The idea leading to this method has been promoted and documented in great depth by Temple Grandin, who developed a “hug box” using the same idea of calming pressure on the body. Throughout her early years of living with autism, Temple could not tolerate being touched, yet while at her aunt’s ranch one summer she noticed how calm a cow was while being handled in the confines of a squeeze chute. She decided to develop a similar contraption for herself. Temple came to realize that her body and mind were calmed by the deep touch pressure of the adjustable box. It also helped bring her over-reactive senses to a focused plane that she could then deal with and accept.
This idea of exerting deep pressure on the nervous system to induce a calming effect is demonstrated in the anxiety wrap for dogs. This holistic approach to behavior modification is a healthy way to avoid sedatives. It can aid in easing your dog’s anxiety in many situations, including panic over thunder and lightening and separation anxiety.
It is very imperative that when using any type of anxiety wrap you get an accurate measurement of your dog to experience the desired results. Fitting the wrap too tightly will only cause discomfort and irritation to your dog. Fitting it too loosely could also cause irritation to your dog and not produce enough deep touch pressure to have a calming effect. So getting the correct measurement on your dog is critical. The way to do this is by measuring your dog in a standing position around the fullest part of the ribcage, usually the girth area, with a cloth or vinyl measuring tape. You will want to pull the measuring tape snug, but not overly tight, and don’t estimate the measurement. Write down the exact measurement.
The anxiety wrap for dogs is a great tool in helping your dog overcome its irrational fears and become a well balanced pet. However, it will not work for every dog in every situation, just as there is no one tool that will work in every capacity for either a human or an animal. It also might not entirely cure the panic your dog experiences, but may help to lessen it to an acceptable level. It also may take a few uses of the wrap to gain its full potential. With some dogs it works instantly. Some take a little longer to gain the desired sedative effect and others don’t seem to benefit at all by the deep pressure shirt.
The idea is to use whatever tools you can to try and help your dog overcome its irrational fear and anxiety. If this doesn’t work for your dog, there are other options such as massage, desensitizing your dog to its greatest object of fear, homeopathic medications, aromatherapy, and more.
The main point is that you continue to search for a way to help your dog if it has anxiety issues that are wreaking havoc not only for your dog, but also for your family. Trying something such as an anxiety wrap for dogs may be a very affordable way to ease both you and your dog’s anxiety level and readjusting your dog back to a healthy balance of mind and body.
Karleen Lindsey has worked with dogs her whole life. In her work with rescue dogs and in her grooming career, she has encountered many behavior
problems and has spent hours helping each dog overcome these obstacles of fear and anti-social behavior, with patience being the main key to success. To read more, visit her review site for anxiety wraps for dogs.