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How to Care for an Anxious Rescue Dog

Adopting a dog from a rescue or animal shelter is a wonderful thing. You are helping to save the life of a dog who otherwise would not have a good home. However, it is important to be aware that some rescue dogs are anxious and deal with anxiety issues. There are some things that can help your new dog get through this time.


You will want to establish yourself as the pack leader. Your new dog should be able to look at you to know how to act and reassurance that he or she is safe. They will need to trust you for companionship, nourishment, and protection. To do this, you will need to train your dog to understand that you are the leader. If you do not train your dog well, he or she will never get over their anxiety issues.

Training should consist of basic commands before moving into the harder things. It helps to do positive reinforcement as many dogs respond to this very well, especially if they are very food-oriented. You can also use things like a clicker that makes a sound when they have done something right. Pair this with a nice treat, and your dog will forget all about being anxious in no time.


One of the biggest factors that you will need to have when dealing with an anxious rescue dog is to ensure that you are patient. You do not know what the dog’s life was before he or she came to the shelter or rescue. They may have issues with abandonment or other problems. Taking the time to get to know the dog and introducing training very slowly is important.

Getting The Right Amount Of Exercise

Dogs need tons of exercise, and often when they are experiencing anxiety issues, it is just because they have not been active enough. This is especially true if you have adopted a dog that is a working breed. Exercise not only helps to burn energy, it also helps to release feel-good chemicals in the dog’s brain. Consider taking your dog for a walk daily or playing fetch out in the yard. The more active you get the dog, the better off your dog will be.

Visit Your Vet

If you have a rescue dog that is very anxious and deals with a lot of anxiety, you may want to visit your vet. Getting your dog some insurance will benefit it greatly as it will cover the cost of these appointments. Among the benefits of pet insurance may be deductions on training costs and any medication your dog needs. Your vet can rule out any underlying causes and give you tips on how to manage your anxious rescue dog.

Calming Techniques and Supplements

Another thing that you can do to help calm your dog is calming techniques and even supplements. Calming techniques like quiet time, a warm blanket, and snuggling can help your dog to feel safe and calm. Some people get a puppy pheromone spray that helps to relax some dogs.

You can also get supplements that will help your dog to calm down. Before you use any of these supplements, make sure that you talk to your vet to make sure that it is 100% safe for your dog.

Rescuing a dog is a large undertaking, and it will take some time for your new dog to get used to you, your house, and your family. Just remember to be patient and kind, and before you know it, your new dog will be a happy and valued member of the family.

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