How Do You & Your Environment Affect Your Dog?

Written by Laurie Yost, owner of Playful Pups Retreat

Playful Pups Retreat is proud to be a Fear Free certified facility. Laurie also holds the highest level of certification through PACCC (Professional Animal Care Certification Council) with a CPACO certification (Certified Professional Animal Care Operator).

create a calm environment for your dogAs the owner of Playful Pups Retreat, a bustling dog resort, for the past 14 years, I have talked with countless numbers of pet parents and our team cares for thousands of dogs each year.  As pet care professionals we provide Doggie Daycare, Overnight Boarding and Dog Training services for all sizes, shapes and breeds of dogs and we know that just like people, dogs are unique and have different personalities and temperaments. Because every dog is unique and has varying needs, we want to ensure the time they spend with us is fun and enriching by offering personalized care to best meet their needs.

During the time that we have been in business we have noticed many trends in the pet industry and as a small business dedicated to premium care for every furry guest, we strive to grow and evolve to meet the changing needs of the dogs and pet parents.

In recent years, we’ve observed a concerning trend in the pet industry: an increase in anxiety and fearfulness among dogs, particularly in the post-COVID era. While we’ve always catered to nervous pups, the prevalence of these issues has become more pronounced. This begs the question – What’s causing this surge in anxiety, and more importantly, how can we alleviate it for our furry friends, both at home and in our pet care facilities?

The Link Between Pet Parent Stress and Dog Anxiety

Research has shown that dogs are highly attuned to their owners’ emotions. They can pick up on subtle cues and changes in our behavior, including stress and anxiety. When a pet parent is feeling overwhelmed or anxious, their dog may mirror these emotions, leading to heightened levels of anxiety and fearfulness in your dog.

Moreover, changes in routine and lifestyle, such as those brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, can further exacerbate these issues. Dogs thrive on stability and predictability, so any disruptions to their environment can trigger stress and anxiety.

keep your dog engagedWays to Reduce Pet Parent Stress and Promote Greater Well-Being for You & Your Dog.

  1. Establish a Routine: Dogs thrive on consistency, so establishing a daily routine can help provide them with a sense of stability and security. Set regular mealtimes, walks, and play sessions to create a predictable environment for your furry friend.
  2. Practice Mindfulness: Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine to manage stress and anxiety. Whether it’s meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking a few moments to focus on the present moment, practicing mindfulness can help you stay calm and centered, which in turn benefits your dog.
  3. Exercise Together: Regular exercise is not only beneficial for your dog’s physical health but also for their mental well-being. Take your dog for daily walks or engage in active play sessions together. Not only will this help reduce your stress levels, but it will also strengthen the bond between you and your furry family member.
  4. Provide Enrichment Activities: Mental stimulation is key to preventing boredom and anxiety in dogs. Offer interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and training sessions to keep your dog’s mind engaged and their spirits high.
  5. Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling to manage your own stress or your dog’s anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Whether it’s consulting with a veterinarian, a certified dog trainer, or a therapist, there are resources available to support both you and your canine companion.

Creating a Calmer Home Environment for Your Dog

By prioritizing your own well-being and implementing strategies to reduce stress and anxiety, you can create a calmer home environment that benefits both you and your dog. Remember, your furry friend looks to you for guidance and reassurance, so taking care of yourself is essential for promoting their overall happiness and well-being. Together, you can navigate life’s challenges with confidence and resilience, forging a stronger bond along the way.

We know you are busier than ever, so our team of skilled dog trainers and pet care professionals are here to help. We offer a variety of daycare and training programs, including an innovative new program designed specifically for nervous, anxious dogs called Pawsitive Experiences. We are excited to help you determine which of our programs will best meet you and your dog’s needs.