I have an 11-year-old Maltese. For the last two years, we’ve noticed that whenever people come over, he gets extremely anxious and whines throughout their entire visit. He humps his toys. He licks his privates. I’ve read that as dogs get older they become more anxious. I’ve tried an anxiety shirt. It doesn’t work.
– Monica K., Deer Park, New York
Some dogs do get more anxious as they get older, which is why there are so many “behavioral health products” on the market now. Some of these products are available as daily supplements through veterinarians; some are available in treat form over the counter and online. Many of these products contain “theanine,” an amino acid that has been shown to impact mood and reduce anxiety in dogs. Try an over the counter product, and if it doesn’t reduce your dog’s anxiety, talk to your veterinarian about one of the daily behavioral health products they carry.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal