A recent study examined the premature graying of dogs in the U.S. The researchers concluded that fearfulness, anxiety and impulsivity are significant factors in dogs that begin to go gray around the muzzle between the ages of 2 and 4
So from a TCM perspective this is interesting as the emotion of fear is housed in the Kidneys. The Kidneys in TCM oversee many aspects one of which is fur or hair . So the correlation of the study makes sense. The kidneys also oversee bone so it would be interesting to see if these pups who grey early also have early onset of joint or arthritis pain. The Kidney also opens to the ear so if you pup is very afraid of loud noises that may also lead to premature greying
If you have a fearful pup there are many ways to help them. First if possible find the source of the fear.
Here are a few tips from Dr Karen Becker
In addition to behavior modification (for example, avoidance of triggers, desensitization and/or counter conditioning), there are many things you can do to help alleviate stress in your anxious or fearful dog. For dogs with separation anxiety:
- Leave your dog with an article of clothing or blanket with your scent on it.
- Leave a treat-release toy for your dog to focus on in your absence. Place small treats around the house for her to discover, along with her favorite toys.
- Add a flower essence blend like Separation Anxiety from Spirit Essences to her drinking water. This works wonders for some dogs. And put on some soothing doggy music before you leave.
- Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, playtime, mental stimulation and TLC. The more full her life is when you’re around, the calmer she’ll be when you’re not.
For dogs with noise phobia:
•Play calm, soothing music before a possible stressor occurs. This may relax your dog and have the added bonus of drowning out distressing noises.
In addition calming massage, acupressure and certain essentials oils and or bach flower remedies are a good add. For essential oils always be sure to let your pet smell and choose their oil before diffusing or applying. Having choices can be very empowering for your pup.
- The researchers hope their study results will prompt owners, veterinarians and others to assess prematurely graying dogs for issues with fear and anxiety
For the full article click below and scroll down for some calming and fear releasing points for your pup