True hyperactivity, also known as hyperkinesis, is a relatively uncommon condition that occurs in dogs. MedlinePlus, in association with the U.S. National Library of Medicine and The National Institutes of Health (NIH), states that hyperactivity is condition wherein a dog shows symptoms of ‘a constant activity, being easily distracted, impulsiveness, inability to concentrate, aggressiveness and similar behaviors’. Hyperactivity in dogs can be due to medical conditions like a hearing or vision problem, or just a natural personality characteristic. A dog with hyperactivity will constantly chase its tail, pace constantly and pant. There are various reasons for a dog to become hyperactive. While some highly energetic dogs suffer from hyperactivity due to lack of space to move about freely, there are others who when not provided with enough exercise become prone to hyperactivity. Apart from physical factors, emotional factors can also contribute to dog hyperactivity. Hyperactivity that appears suddenly in dogs can be due to medical conditions. Go through the following lines to know the symptoms and treatment of hyperactivity in dogs.
Symptoms of Hyperactive Dog
The most common symptom of dog hyperactivity is that your dog will appear to be anxiously restless. It will behave in a frantic abnormal way and get destructive. Other symptoms include spinning in circles, barking at shadows, licking its own feet, pacing endlessly, excessive panting, compulsive habits (tail chasing) and behaving obsessively.
Treatment of Dog Hyperactivity
- An hyperactive dog can be treated through prescribed medication, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. They can also be treated with ADHD medications like Ritalin and Dexedrine that are used for treating the same condition in humans.
- In case your dog is hyperactive in the young age, train him accordingly in the growing age.
- If your grown up dog is getting hyperactive, punish it, but not severely. Reward your dog if it obeys and follows your orders.
- Ignore your dog’s hyperactivity and see how quickly your dog settles down. Dogs require attention and by paying more attention, you are adding to the situation. Simply ignore the canine the next time it jumps or nips at you in an overexcited way.
- If your dog has lots of energy, take it out for a walk in open fields or parks. The large area would give the dog enough space to play, exercise and walk. This will consume a lot of your dog’s energy, leaving it pleasantly exhausted and too tuckered to jump and nip.
- Allot tasks to your hyperactive dog that will utilize its energy and redirect the state of hyperactivity elsewhere. Make sure that the task so given should be one that the dog can easily and comfortably complete.
- Just like human being, a soothing fragrance can calm a dog as well. After all, dogs experience the world by scent. Hence, consult your vet or a holistic professional to check out what smells can soothe your dog.
- Feed your dog with the best quality food, since diet also plays a significant role in a dog’s behavior. Avoid sugar and other sweet food in its meals.