What foods calm a hyper dog?
Hyperactive Dog: How To Calm A Hyper Dog
Many dogs tend to be hyperactive. It can be excitement, boredom or happiness that motivates your furry friend to jump around and this can be either cute or exhausting for dog parents. Find out what to do to calm your dog down!
Hyperactive, over-excited and jumping up and down. Dogs going crazy can be quite cute and funny to look at! But, if your hyper puppy leaves you exhausted every single day, you might not see the fun anymore. Here are a few tips to calm your crazy friend.
Table of contents
- Causes of hyperactivity in dogs
- Hyperactive dog: does diet play a major role?
- Can I treat my hyperactive dog with medicines?
- What to do if your dog is hyperactive
Causes of hyperactivity in dogs
There might be more reasons why dogs are hyperactive, such as biological factors like ADHS. The syndrome refers to a dysfunction of dopamine, where your dog never learned to relax. These dogs will develop a missing impulse control and some situations will favor a hyperactive behaviour, such as:
- issues in behaviour
- nutritional issues
- not enough exercise
In general, there is no need to worry. An energetic dog is completely normal. Most dogs have a lot of steam to burn off and, therefore, they need daily activity. If your dog is bouncing off the walls it might just be a sign of happiness, excitement or maybe boredom and a lack of stimulation.
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In some cases, the energy reaches a this-drives-me-crazy-level which leaves many dog owners frustrated and exhausted. Here we have a few simple techniques you can try at home to calm your hyperactive dog.
Hyperactive dog: does diet play a major role?
While a dog doesn’t necessarily become hyperactive due to diet reasons only, a certain type of diet or certain foods can play a role on your dog’s activity level. The chemical substances dopamine is decomposed in phenylalanine. Therefore, try to avoid feeding your dog too much chicken, turkey or wild meat, since these contain high amounts of phenylalanine.
Consider a phenylalanine-poor diet for your furry friend. Go for sheep, lamb or hot pork meat instead.
Can I treat my hyperactive dog with medicines?
Unfortunately, there are no medicines for handling ADHS. Should your dog suffer from this syndrome, there still are small help guidelines that you can use. Start with little things and incorporate them in your daily relationship with your dog. For example, try to avoid yelling to your dog, since this will make him even more agitated. As much as depending on you, show your dog a positive and calm behaviour and he will more than often try to imitate you.
What to do if your dog is hyperactive
- Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise. Take daily walks with your pup and/or play outside to get him physically active as often as possible.
- Mental stimulation can also keep your dog calm. Use puzzles, treat-release toys or outdoor activities that appeal to your dog’s natural instincts.
- Try to give your dog a job. By giving your dog a job to do, you are removing his hyperactive behavior and are redirecting his energy elsewhere. Having a task to focus on can be a tremendous help.
- Feed your dog a balanced diet. Food sensitivity can contribute to restless, hyperkinetic behavior. If you don’t know which food is best for your pet, it’s a great idea to ask the opinion of your vet!
- Is your dog completely out of control? Then enroll your pup in an obedience class that helps your dog focus.
- Neutering your dog may cause them to be less hyperactive
Have you already tried the above listed techniques? Do you still have an hyperactive dog who is out of control? Then it would be wise to make an appointment with your vet. It’s important to investigate potential underlying physical or emotional causes for your dog’s unwanted behavior.
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How to Calm a Hyper Dog (8 Proven Tips & Tricks)
Hyper dogs can be a real challenge for any dog owner, experienced or not. Some breeds are more prone to hyperactivity than others, so you may already have been aware of what you were in for when first adopting your dog. However, there are always exceptions to the rule with any dog breed, and even the most mellow breeds can become hyperactive.
A hyper dog is characterized by a constant level of high energy and excitement provoked by even the smallest of events — a crunching leaf underfoot can set them off, for example. Not only is it painful to watch your beloved pooch in this state of constant hyperactivity, but it can make training far more difficult and walks and outings almost impossible.
Luckily, there are effective ways to solve this issue, some as simple as regular exercise and others that may take a large investment of time and patience. In this article, we take a look at eight proven ways to calm a hyper dog.
How to Calm a Hyper Dog? (8 Tips & Tricks)
An often overlooked but crucial method of not only calming a hyper dog but giving your dog a happy and healthy life is regular exercise. There is a popular meme among dog trainers that states, “a tired dog is a well-behaved dog,” and in this case, a tired dog is a calm dog. A dog that is sufficiently exercised from a long session of activity, be it a walk, run, or intensive play session, simply does not have the energy to be hyper. Exercise will help rid your dog of any pent-up energy and prevent any boredom from occurring, both of which could be the cause of hyperactivity.
There is as yet no scientific evidence that exercise will stop hyperactivity, but there has been a study that shows that as little as 25 minutes of exercise can reduce levels of cortisol in your dog, a hormone often associated with stress. It will also at least subdue your dog enough to begin some training and obedience exercises while they are slightly calmer.
Exercise is an essential activity for all dogs, hyper or not, and if your dog is not getting enough, this may be the simple answer to their hyperactivity. It is free and easy to introduce, and as little as 25 minutes may be sufficient.
Diet may seem like an unlikely cause for a hyper dog, but good nutrition is the basis of good behavior too. Dogs need protein both to build and maintain muscle mass, and it is their primary source of energy. Feeding your dog too much protein could cause them to have an overabundance of energy, especially if they are eating more than they are expending. A study from the American Veterinary Medical Association found a correlation between high-protein diets and aggression and hyperactivity in dogs and that lowering the dog’s protein intake may lower levels of hyperactivity.
Excess carbohydrates may also play a role in hyper dogs, and too many carbs like wheat, soy, corn, potatoes, and lentils may be causing your dog to have excess energy. This is, of course, further exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle, but it may occur in some dogs even if they are getting sufficient exercise. Lastly, refined sugar should be strictly avoided, and you’d be surprised by how many dog treats and even common food sources contain some source of refined sugar.
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3. Physical Contact
Like humans, dogs crave and enjoy physical touch, like stroking, scratching, and of course, cuddling. Dogs are social animals and left to their own devices, will quickly amass into packs, similar to wolves. They play together, hunt together, eat together, and sleep together, and even though dogs have changed much in their evolution from wolves, the fact remains that they love to be close to their families. This close living provides them with comfort and security, and feral dogs will often clean and de-tick each other too.
When you bring a dog home, you are their new pack leader and your family is their new pack. As well as exercise and good nutrition, your dog also needs your physical and emotional attention. It has been shown that domestic dogs prefer touch to vocal praise, and a small amount of gentle petting can decrease their heart rate and may help in calming a hyperactive dog. This is especially true if you are away from home for extended periods.
However, excessive hugging can cause dogs stress and anxiety, as some breeds will feel trapped by the lack of movement. You know your dog better than anyone and are the most qualified to know how much is too much. That being said, gentle stroking and petting is a great way to calm a hyper dog.
4. Dog Training
Good training is the essential foundation for a well-behaved dog, and it should begin as early as possible, even the day you bring your dog home. Dogs love routine, and most high-energy breeds will benefit greatly from the discipline and mutual understanding that comes with good training. Of course, it can be difficult to train an already hyper pooch, and we recommend training after a long walk or play, when they have burned off excess energy.
Most dogs are eager to please their owners and will quickly take to command training facilitated by reward-based methods. This is especially important during developmental stages, as their desire to obey you may override their hyperactivity later on. Good training takes time, dedication, and a ton of patience but is vastly worth it in the end.
Your dog’s hyperactive energy may just need a distinct goal to be directed toward, and with the addition of regular exercise training, this may just be the perfect outlet.
- Related Read:Best Dog Clickers for Training: Our Top Picks!
5. Classical Music
It may seem unbelievable, but Mozart and Beethoven could potentially have the solution to your dog’s hyperactivity. Playing different kinds of music has different effects on your dog’s mental and emotional state, but classical music in particular seems to have a calming effect on dogs. Dogs in an experiment spent more time resting and less time standing when exposed to classical music, and similar research has shown a startlingly similar effect.
Scientists are not quite sure exactly what causes the calming effect, but it has shown promising results. When dogs were played heavy metal music, they would bark and pace in their enclosures, indicating that there is something in the classical music that lessens stress. Next time you leave your dog at home or even before a training session, try playing your dog classical music as a calming technique.
6. Dog Aromatherapy
Most of us are aware of how calming some scents can be, especially when combined with heat. The calming scent enters our noses, which are primitive when compared to a dog’s powerful sense of smell. An interesting study has shown that when dogs were exposed to ambient lavender odors, they spent less time pacing and vocalizing and more time resting and sitting during car trips.
Lavender essential oils exposed to your hyper dog may help calm them down significantly. Combining this with classical music may just do the trick to ease your dog’s hyperactivity!
7. Dog Medication
While calming medication can help, we should say that this should be used only as a last resort. Medication may help a stressed and hyper dog during traveling or moving to a new house, but it is by no means a solution. Pharmaceutical drugs can often have a host of side effects and should only be used after a vet consultation. That being said, oral amphetamines can be a great help to hyper pooches and can slow your dog’s heart rate by up to 15%.
If you’d rather opt for a more natural solution, cannabidiol (CBD), found in cannabis and hemp, has a safe and effective natural calming effect. While CBD has been federally legal since 2018, it is unfortunately still illegal in a few states in the U.S., but hemp powder-based treats can also have calming effects, and hemp is perfectly legal.
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Some male dog’s hyperactivity is caused by hormones, and in this case, neutering may help calm them down. Neutering involves the removal of both your dog’s testicles and stops them from producing testosterone. The physical effects that testosterone has on a male dog’s body are fairly obvious, but the behavioral effects are slightly more subtle. They will usually stop roaming to look for females and stop marking their territory, and you may see a reduction in aggressive behavior. Of course, this is no magic pill, and while it will help with certain behavioral issues, it may not always calm a hyper dog.
Final Thoughts: Calming Your Hyper Dog
A hyper dog can be a real challenge for their owner, but the issue is usually easily fixed by one or more of the methods above. Often, a change of diet and regular exercise are all that’s required to calm their hyperactivity. More unorthodox methods, like classical music and aromatherapy, are also great options to try out, as they’ve had some proven success in the past. As always, it is best to consult a vet if the behavior is not stopping after trying any of these techniques.
It is also vital to remember that some breeds are more prone to hyperactivity than others and that all dogs are individuals with their own unique needs. You, their owner, know them better than anyone, and hopefully, with time and patience, you should be able to resolve the problem relatively simply.
Featured Image: Seaq68, Pixabay
- How to Calm a Hyper Dog? (8 Tips & Tricks)
- 1. Exercise
- 2. Diet
- 3. Physical Contact
- 4. Dog Training
- 5. Classical Music
- 6. Dog Aromatherapy
- 7. Dog Medication
- 8. Neutering