More up-to-the minute methods are becoming popular, too. Dog snack website Snack at Franks has started trialling ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos for dogs.
ASMR, which has grown in popularity on YouTube, uses certain sights and sounds to trigger a natural response that boosts relaxation. In humans, ASMR videos might feature someone gently crinkling paper or opening and closing a zip. For dogs, a video might feature another animal being groomed or gently lapping water.
Dog behaviour expert Graeme Hall, also known as ‘the Dogfather’ thanks to Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly, says ASMR for dogs is “interesting new territory that might just provide a real antidote to canine anxiety.”
“CBD oil for pets is also set to be a big thing,” says Barclay. “There are lots of other new treatments, like a powdered form of milk protein that’s found in their mums’ milk that is said to make dogs sleepy, and also vitamin supplements. For general anxiety or sleep issues, these products can all help.
“But,” she adds, “for serious trauma or behavioural problems, they won’t touch the sides.”
For deeper issues, therapists such as Barclay are becoming increasingly in demand. She sees animals suffering from aggression, self-mutilation – where they scratch their paws until they’re raw – OCD-like behaviour, anxiety and noise phobias. “They’re caused by underlying emotional issues. Emotionally, dogs are similar to humans and share similar neurochemistry. The big difference is, they can’t tell us how they’re feeling.”
Barclay, who moved from Nottinghamshire to Jersey, often has clients referred to her by vets. Sessions, which are usually at the client’s house or outside in parks or fields, take up to four hours, cost between £300 and £500, and involve therapies such as desensitisation.
“If an animal has been traumatised by fireworks, I’ll play a very quiet recording of a firework, so quiet they’ll barely hear it. Then I’ll play it slightly louder. I’ll also study body language, and help owners understand what their pet is feeling.”