It is not uncommon for dogs from animal shelters to be fearful. Many of these dogs have experienced a traumatic event or were not properly socialised before coming to their new home. These experiences can cause a dog to become anxious and have a hard time building trust with other people.
There are different types of fears a dog may have. Some dogs are afraid of loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. Others are afraid of people or other dogs. Some dogs even have generalised anxiety disorder, where they are afraid of many different things and situations.
From animal welfare to a new home
When a dog is adopted from a shelter, there are a few things that need to be considered to help the dog settle in successfully. Of course, the arrival of a fearful shelter dog in a new home can be challenging. But there are some best practices to help the dog feel safe and secure. First, it is important to give the dog time and space to get used to its new surroundings and new people. This means not overburdening the dog and giving it enough quiet and space to retreat. It can be helpful to have a crate or basket with a blanket where the dog feels safe and can retreat.
Another important factor is consistent and loving supervision by the new dog owner. It is important to use positive reinforcement to encourage the desired behaviour. Rewards such as treats or petting (if the dog allows it) can help to strengthen the trust and bond between dog and owner. However, it is also important to let the dog “come”, not to build up pressure and not to be too compassionate. Time is one of the most important factors here, lots of time. Some dogs need up to half a year to get used to the new environment. But this cannot be generalised, dogs are too individual for that. There are also dogs that never completely lose their fears and only build up trust with one person.
What supportive treatment options are there?
There are several treatment options to help an anxious dog. Some dogs may benefit from gentle desensitisation or behavioural therapy, but the use of Bach Flower Remedies or other herbal remedies that can help the dog calm down can also be helpful in alleviating the dog’s anxiety. In cases of very anxious dogs, it is important to seek professional help from a behaviour specialist.
Another option is to use supplements such as DOG FIT by PreThis® VITAMIN B Complex, which is specially formulated for dogs. The B vitamins it contains can help promote the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep and appetite. A deficiency of serotonin can lead to anxiety. Supplementing B-complex can promote the production of serotonin, which can help an anxious dog feel more comfortable and confident.
However, it is important to note that supplements alone cannot work miracles. They should always be considered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes other methods such as training and behaviour modification.
In summary, it is important to understand that anxious shelter dogs often have a difficult past and need time and patience to adjust to their new homes. Appropriate support and care are crucial here to help the dog build confidence and overcome its fears. Overall, it is important for dog owners to be aware of what they may be facing and to be attentive to the dog’s needs and to seek professional help if there are fears or other behavioural problems. Giving a dog a nice home is important, but it’s not everything, often a lot of work is needed.
Which animal welfare organisation can we recommend?
We can wholeheartedly recommend the animal welfare organisation Friends for Life e.V.. This organisation takes care of Romanian street dogs that live in terrible conditions and have no chance of a happy life. Friends for Life e.V. is a trustworthy organisation that has made it its business to give these dogs a second chance. They are committed to placing dogs in good homes and are supported by a vet we know in caring for the dogs on site.
Our own dogs also come from Romania and we can say from our own experience that the work of Friends for Life e.V. is invaluable. The dogs are cared for by competent foster homes and lovingly prepared for their new lives. In addition, the organisation ensures that the dogs are vet checked and vaccinated before they leave for Germany to make sure they are healthy and ready for their new families.
We encourage you to support Friends for Life e.V. by finding out about their work, making a donation or even taking in a foster or adoptable dog from them. You can find more information on their website: https://www.friends-for-life.de. Every contribution can help change the life of a Romanian street dog and give them the chance of a happy life.
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