September 26, 2020
Feelings of stress and anxiety are familiar to most of us humans, but many don’t realize that these feelings are also quite common (and normal) in dogs, too! Anxiety is a feeling that many dogs experience.
When seen occasionally, anxiety in dogs isn’t a big cause for concern. However if your dog’s anxious behavior becomes the norm, anxiety disorders can develop. At this point, significant steps should be taken to help your dog find relief from their anxiety.
Here, we’re going to talk about causes and signs of anxiety in dogs. We’ll look at what’s normal, and what’s not, and address when professional attention is needed.
Anxiety in dogs is a sense of worry or fear. Usually, owners suspect their dog is experiencing anxiety due to behavior. This might be unwanted behavior when the owner is away, obsessive behaviors, subtle changes in personality, or obvious signs of fear in specific situations.
Dog anxiety can be generalized, meaning a constant state of general anxiety or fear. Or your dog’s anxiety might be tied to specific situations. This might be something like any time you leave them (separation anxiety) or when you take them to the groomer or vet.
Many dogs experience anxiety from time to time, or in specific (often uncommon) scenarios, and can lead a pretty normal life. However, for some dogs, their anxiety results in destructive behavior, destructive habits, and difficulty coping with their daily life.
Related Reading: Jealousy in Dogs
As we discussed above, most owners suspect anxiety in their dog based on behavior. Dogs can’t exactly tell us that their mind is racing, heart is beating, or stomach is flip-flopping, the way a human might describe their anxiety.
But even so, it’s usually not too hard to tell if your dog might have some issues with anxiety going on. Let’s take a look at some signs of anxiety in dogs.
As you begin to dive into your dog’s anxiety, understanding the root cause is key to helping them cope and figuring out a treatment that works. Usually, anxiety in dogs is rooted in fear, separation, illness, or age. In some cases, your dog’s anxiety may be caused by more than one of these issues. Or one might stem into some of the others.
Dogs rescued from shelters offer suffer from anxiety. This gets labeled as rescue-dog anxiety, but usually is rooted in one of the four other causes. However, it can be difficult to pinpoint because their pasts may be unknown.
Luckily, there is a lot you can do to help your dog cope with their anxiety. Here are some of the top recommendations:
If your dog is suffering from anxiety, I know how challenging this can be. You might be frustrated with the unwanted behaviors and feeling horrible about what your dog is going through.
It’s not always easy to address dog anxiety, but with some trial and error you can figure out something that can help them cope. It will probably involve a few different solutions and some dedication, but I know that you will see some improvement!
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