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 (Traditional Chinese Medicine) 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
Calming and fear releasing acupressure points for your pup:
KI3/BL60 top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on either side it is kind of like our Achilles this is actually two points KI3 and BL60 KI3 is a source point good for the kidneys which house original chi. This should help release unnecessary fears BL60 is a sister point helps with pain and stiffness in the body.
KI 27 found between the sternum and the first rib and 2nd rib two fingers off the ventral midline brings up and releases old issues, fears and thoughts or mental patterns that no longer serve them
Points to clear the brain and calm the mind:
Yin Tang center of the fore head at the medial edge of his eyebrow ridge. Good point to clear the brain and calm the mind also helps with anxiety and agitation…
GV20 dorsal midline between the ears there is usually a bump where the point is…revives consciousness clears brain from wind and heat
GB 20 Right behind the skull or occipital bone one finger off the cervical spine on either side in the divots. Also a good relaxation point good point to ease over thinking. Pulls the energy down from the head, in addition it helps with brain function and connection.
GV 17 Right behind the skull in between the GB 20 points. Little divot under the bump. Great point to disperse energy and create calm.