How to Calm a Hyper Dog
It can be hilarious to watch a dog run around the yard, doing lap after lap, and bouncing up and down in excitement, but it isn’t usually fun for those who live with these dogs – not when the running, bouncing and excited barking is constant. A hyperactive dog can be exhausting to be around, and many dog owners desperately seek a solution to finally regain some control of their own household. There is nothing wrong with a dog showing excitement and joy, but hyperactivity could be stressful also for the dog, and it is something that needs to be dealt with.
Luckily, there are a few things you can try when hoping to calm your hyper dog, and this article will give you suggestions for safe activities you and your dog can participate in together, along with other potential remedies for excessive energy.
Hyperactivity in Dogs
The first thing to know is that there is a difference between a high-energy dog and a hyperactive dog, and it is common to mistake a high energy level for a medical condition like hyperactivity or even canine ADHD. ADHD and hyperactivity are two of the most over-diagnosed disorders, which might be a result of humans often needing an explanation – something to justify the dog’s strange behavior – so that we won’t have to look back at ourselves and what we might be doing wrong.
Diagnosed hyperactivity might need to be medicated, but in most cases, you likely have a dog with too much energy on your hands, and this is potentially easier to deal with. We are going to have a look at what causes hyperactivity, what you can change in your daily routine to calm your pooch, and what natural remedies might be available to help you reach the results you want for a stress-free life together with your furry friend.
There are three things to consider when you share your home with a hyperactive dog: What causes the hyperactivity? Is my own behavior contributing to it? Could a natural calming supplement like KarmaPets Calming Treats help? All dogs are different, but the solution to the problem lies in understanding the cause of the dog’s hyperactivity.
Symptoms & Causes
Before you can find a successful way to calm a hyper dog, you need to understand why your dog is hyperactive, and if you may be doing something unknowingly that encourages it. Some dog breeds are naturally more active and energetic than others, and these are the dogs most likely to demonstrate hyperactive behaviors. Genes play a big role in your pup’s personality, but it isn’t the only known cause of hyperactivity pinpointed by canine behavioral experts.
The environment a dog grows up- and lives in will also impact them, and hyperactivity could be worsened by not being provided with enough exercise, or of sharing homes with overly active children (dogs are like sponges and may mimic the children’s behavior) or imbalanced adults; and as owners, we are often more responsible for our fur friends’ bad conducts than what we are aware of.
Yes, it comes as a surprise to many dog owners that they might be contributing to a dog’s hyperactivity and erratic behavior, often without realizing, and it is important to for example supervise children to make sure they do not encourage unwanted canine behaviors such as biting, running around uncontrollably and barking. It can easily become a vicious circle, where the dog is separated from the rest of the family – perhaps put in the yard or in a separate room – due to bad behavior, but this tends to only increase their restlessness and anxiety, resulting in an even more hyperactive dog that can’t function properly in a normal social setting.
Ruling Out a Medical Issue
Before taking any action, the first thing you should do is to book an appointment with your trusted veterinarian, and especially if the hyperactivity seems to have escalated recently. There are serious medical conditions that could have hyperactivity as a potential symptom, and any sudden change in your dog’s behavior should always be brought to the attention of a veterinarian. If you already have a veterinarian you feel you can trust – great, and if not then it is time to start looking around for one.
There is evidence pointing towards how chronic lead poisoning could potentially cause hyperactivity, which could be a result of a destructive dog chewing on wood painted with lead-paint, or on old linoleum floorboards, and surprisingly enough – this is more common than what one may think. Chocolate poisoning, which is extremely dangerous for dogs, has also been reported to cause hyperactivity in some dogs, and this is why it is so important to check in with the veterinarian first, before taking any further actions to calm the dog down.
Overactive dogs are often found to be bored and to have their hyperactivity spring from a lack of physical- and/or mental stimulation. If your dog appears hyperactive, take a moment to analyze the dog’s daily routine. Is he or she getting enough exercise? After having ruled out any medical condition, it is a good idea to plan for an extra walk or two per day, to see if this will make any difference. Walking is great for both dogs and their owners, and if you are not accustomed to walking a lot yourself – you might be surprised by how relaxing it can be.
Try to take your dog out for a walk in the morning and a walk at night (squeeze in a mid-day walk if you think you have the time), to give your fur friend something to look forward to, and a reason to sleep and rest while being at home. These walks don’t usually have to be longer than 20-30 minutes to be effective and remember that any walk is better than no walk! You can start out with only a few minutes a day, and then slowly increase both the distance you walk and the time you spend walking.
For some dogs, and especially active dog breeds like the Siberian Husky, simple walks around the neighborhood might not be enough to put a stop to their hyperactive conducts. These dogs may respond better to being taken for a run, to learn to run with you when you ride your bike or to be enrolled in a canine sport like agility, flyball or lure coursing.
Redirecting the Dog’s Energy
Dogs enjoy feeling useful, and there are many things you can do to make them feel like they have been given an important task, and this can often tire them out more than a long and physically challenging walk. A good place to start is to invest in a quality dog backpack and to let your pup carry small items during your outings. You can load the side pockets with your own cellphone and keys, let your pooch carry its own water bottles or why not a bag of delicious treats? Make sure the weight is distributed evenly on both sides and that your dog isn’t carrying too much weight and see for yourself how proud it makes a dog to get to help out.
You could also try to find tasks for your dog around the house, to make your four-legged pal a part of your daily routine in a productive and calm manner. Teach your pup to pick up laundry from the laundry basket and hand it to you when you are hanging your washed clothes or teach him to pick up your kid’s toys and put them back in their place! Dogs are highly intelligent creatures and capable of learning many traits, and they tend to love being mommy- or daddy’s little helper.
A large dog can also be taught to pull a cart, where you can let him carry groceries, a young child or anything else you need to be transported. This requires special gear to make the pulling safe and comfortable for your dog, and it might take a while before the pup gets the hang of the idea. All the suggested activities here are great for giving your dog something more productive to focus their energy on, so that you can finally enjoy some peace and quiet at home.
If you have tried everything above, and if you struggle to connect with your dog or to get the dog to focus more than a couple of minutes at a time, you might want to try a natural supplement like the KarmaPets Calming Treats. These are small peanut butter flavored chews that your dog will think is a regular treat, but that is actually an organic remedy for fear, anxiety and hyper activism. It won’t make your dog drowsy, which is the best part, and instead, it will reset the chemicals in the brain to get your dog back to a normal and calm state.
The main benefit of such a supplement is that it can calm your dog down enough for you to get through, and to a point where training and distraction becomes a possibility. Many hyperactive dogs can be snapped out of their behavior without supplements, but not all, and it is recommended to choose one of these natural supplements over-prescribed medication, as they are unlikely to result in any type of negative side effects or backlashes.
You could also opt for trying aromatherapy on your dog. Aromatherapy and lavender are known to have calming and relaxing effects on humans and considering what an impressively strong sense of smell dogs have – it is not so far-fetched that it might be helpful to them too. A holistic veterinarian can help you find the right scent for your dog, and they can advise regarding the safest way to work with aromatherapy, scent treatments, and dogs.
Analyze Your Own Behavior
There is a common understanding that dogs know when their owners are sad; they seem to be able to perceive sadness and depression, and that is what makes them such amazing friends. This seemingly works both ways, however, and it is highly possible that your own stress and high-energy personality could be rubbing off on your dog. Have a look at yourself – do you tend to be all over the place, rush from room to room and be constantly on the go? If so, it could potentially explain why your dog acts the way that he does. If you are not calm and assertive, how can you expect your dog to be?
Use the methods described in this article to help you find harmony in your own life too; walk off the stress from work, open your eyes to the therapeutic aspects of spending time with your dog and stop to take a deep breath sometimes to compose yourself. Your dogs can feel your energy, so don’t blame them for their hyper- and neurotic behavior until you are 100% sure you aren’t doing the exact same thing yourself.
Learning to distinguish hyperactivity from a display of high-energy will help you find the right way to help your dog. You can’t expect an active dog breed to sit quietly next to you throughout the day unless you provide the dog with enough exercise and mental stimulation. If you aren’t a high-energy individual, then perhaps certain dog breeds aren’t for you, unless, of course, you are willing to adapt. All dogs need exercise, but some dogs need more than others.
Have a look to see if you can rule out any medical conditions (only a licensed veterinarian can do this), try to add an extra walk or two to your daily routine, introduce training (using only positive reinforcement methods) or opt for testing out a natural remedy like aromatherapy, calming treats like KarmaPet chews or other similar products. The one thing you need to know is that there is always a solution; there is a way to calm your hyper dog, and it is just a question of finding the strategy that works for your furry friend.