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How Do I Calm My Dog Down? 8 Tips for Anxious or Restless Pets

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Have you ever come home one day to a very excited dog? At first, you think it’s the excitement from seeing you, but thirty minutes into your stay, the dog keeps on barking, whining, and jumping around.

Most people love an active pup; after all, it’s a sign that it’s healthy. However, over-excitement and activeness can be exhausting for you, especially after a long day from work. All you want is to relax!

And you can only achieve this if your dog is calm. So how can you calm your restless dog? The following is a guide on what you can give your dog to calm him down. But first, let’s explore the reasons why your dog could be restless.

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Why Is My Dog Restless?

The following are some of the reasons why your dog could be restless:


Your dog may be restless because it is anxious. If you suddenly start leaving your dog home alone, or if the dog feels neglected or it’s abused, or when the dog is around some unfamiliar faces, it may develop anxiety.

Therefore, you will notice that the dog keeps on whimpering or barking, and you may experience a hard time trying to come him down.

Portrait of Sad Red Dachshund Dog
Image Credit: Seregraff, Shutterstock

Weather Changes

Specific weather changes could trigger your dog to be restless. For instance, when thunderstorms strike, the dog may constantly bark and may not stop running around.


Thyroxin, a thyroid hormone, is responsible for metabolism in a dog’s body. However, this hormone’s excess production pushes the cell and the body into overdrive, resulting in increased metabolism. This condition is referred to as hyperthyroidism.

The excellent news about hyperthyroidism is that it is a rare condition in dogs. However, the disease is characterized by hyperactivity, rapid breathing, vomiting, and diarrhea in the few dogs that experience the state.

Attention Seeking

How do you respond to your dog whenever it barks, whines, or whimpers, to mention a few? Do you respond immediately and give it your full attention? If you do, then you may have conditioned your dog to such responses from you.

Therefore, whenever the pup desires your attention, all they have to do is whimper, whine or jump around, and then they have your full attention and focus.

Excited dog
Image Credit: zoegammon, Pixabay

Type of Breed

If you notice that your dog is overly excited and active and cannot get him to calm down, the reason could be the dog’s breed. There may be nothing wrong with the dog.

Certain dog breeds are bred to hunt and for sporting activities, to mention a few. Therefore, such dogs will be active all the time. Good examples are the Jack Russell Terrier, Pointers, and Border Collies, among others.

The next time you want to purchase a poochie, you may want to be keen on the dog’s breed before focusing on other physical attributes.


Dogs are naturally active. Therefore, when a dog is bored, they may respond negatively. For instance, the dog may result in misbehaving by chewing on your shoes, disobeying, and being overly excited in an attempt to self-entertain.


The type of food that you give your dog could be the reason for your dog’s uneasiness. For instance, if you feed your dog on food made from soy products, they may become aggressive. Carbohydrates, too, may increase the blood sugar levels causing your dog to be hyper.

labrador dog eating from the feeding bowl
Image Credit: Monkey Business Images, Shutterstock

Your Behavior

A dog is a man’s best friend. Therefore, dogs are often attached to their caregivers and are sensitive to their feelings. A dog will be keen on the caregiver’s behavior and will often imitate them.

For instance, if you are angry, stressed, or even restless, the dog will pick up your behavior and respond with similar energy, and this is where the whining and whimpering begin.

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The 8 Tips to Calm a Dog Down

The following are ways you can help your dog calm down:

1. Ignore Him

As earlier established, a dog will be restless in an attempt to seek attention. Therefore, you can respond by denying it attention. No matter how long the dogs keep on running around the house, barking, and whining, you could simply ignore it.

You should keep yourself preoccupied and avoid eye contact with the pup. Once the dog realizes that its effort to get attention is unyielding, it will eventually calm down.

bernese mountain dog on the brown couch
Image Credit: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

2. Compose Yourself

Most of the time, a dog’s behavior is a reflection of your own. As dogs are pretty observant, they can pick up your feelings and emotions and end up replicating the same.

Therefore, once you notice your dog is restless, you should step back and examine yourself. Reflect on your feelings, and when you realize that you may be stressed, you should try and compose yourself.

When you remain calm, the dog will relax.

3. Exercise Your Dog

Another effective way to help calm your canine is by involving them in an exercise. An excellent example of a workout you could engage your puppy is a walk.

woman running with dog exercise
Image Credit: Freebird7977, Shutterstock

A walk is practical because it allows you to bond with the dog; therefore, it’s likely to calm down if it was experiencing anxiety because of separation from you, its caregiver.

What’s more, physical exercise involvement is a good way of also killing your pup’s boredom. And if you have a dog breed that loves to be overly active, then exercise is the way to go!

4. Provide Music Therapy

Music is the language of the soul. Most human beings rely on music for soothing. Now, you will be surprised to learn that music can be soothing to dogs as well.

Some dogs even have a preference for classical music! Therefore, if you are looking for a way to soothe your restless dog, you could turn up the music volume, whether in your car or at home.

Besides, music is a way of blocking noise from the external environment that causes your dog to be stressed. For instance, during thunderstorms, you could play your dog’s favorite song to distract it from the sound.

5. Keep the Dog Busy

It would help if you kept your dog preoccupied to avoid boredom. For instance, you could engage it with a puzzle, whereby, when the dog solves the puzzle, you reward it with, say, a snack.

As the dog is engrossed in solving the puzzle, it will eventually calm down.

6. Use Melatonin

giving yorkie a treat
Image Credit: Pezibear, Pixabay

Suppose you try music therapy, engage the dog in an activity, or even exercise them and still do not come down. In that case, you could opt to use melatonin.

Humans commonly use melatonin to help them sleep. However, it can be used on pets, including dogs, to help them relax and calm down. It’s worth noting that melatonin will only help your dog relax and not fall asleep, as is the case when used on humans.

If your dog suffers from anxiety, you may want to try a dog-safe CBD oil. CBDfx's Pet Tincture is made with non-GMO, organic hemp and has a tasty natural bacon flavor. Plus, you can choose between four dosages to calm any size of dog!

7. Gently Pat the Dog

Often, your pup may be restless due to anxiety for separation from you, its caregiver. Therefore, you could gently pat the dog as a form of reassurance of your bond. And through this, he may calm down.

8. Visit a Vet

If, after various attempts to calm your dog down, it remains to be restless, then you should consider visiting a vet, especially if you notice extreme conditions such as diarrhea and vomiting.

Your dog could be suffering from hyperthyroidism. Therefore, expert medical attention is necessary for an accurate diagnosis to help calm your pet down.

pomeranian dog being held by a veterinarian
Image Credit: GoodFocused, Shutterstock

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Dogs are an excellent source of company and security. The constant snuggles and playing around with your dog can be fulfilling.

However, every once in a while, your pup may be overly excited or active, which could be annoying. Therefore, you should learn the causes for your pup’s restlessness and familiarize yourself with what you can give to calm him down.

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