Our furry companions fill our lives with joy. But just like us, they can also experience moments of anxiety and stress. Understanding and recognizing these signs of anxiety in your beloved dog is the first step towards providing them with the care and support they need. In this blog, we’ll look at anxiety in dogs and give you tips to help your canine friend live a happier, more relaxed life.
Signs Your Dog May Have Anxiety
If you’re unsure if your dog has anxiety or not, there are some signs you can look out for.
- Excessive Vocalization: Your dog might bark or howl a lot, especially when left alone or in stressful situations.
- Physical Indications: Look for physical signs like panting, shivering, cowering, or pacing, which can indicate nervousness or discomfort.
- Escape Attempts: If your dog consistently tries to run away, digs excessively, or challenges the boundaries of your yard’s fencing, it may be a sign of anxiety.
- Destructive Behavior: Dogs with anxiety may chew on or destroy furniture and items that aren’t their toys, especially when left unsupervised.
- Self-Harm Behaviour: Keep an eye out for signs of self-harm, such as licking or chewing on their fur, paws, or other body parts. These behaviours can be a response to stress or anxiety.
- Restlessness & Inability to Relax: If your dog seems unable to settle down, is constantly on edge, or has difficulty relaxing even in familiar environments, it could be a sign of anxiety.
- Excessive Drooling: Some dogs may exhibit increased drooling when anxious or stressed.
- Loss of Appetite or Overeating: Changes in eating habits, whether a loss of appetite or overeating, can be indicative of anxiety.
- Avoidance Behaviour: Dogs with anxiety might actively avoid situations, places, or people that trigger their anxiety.
- Repetitive Behaviours: Keep an eye out for repetitive behaviors like tail chasing, obsessive paw licking, or circling, as these can indicate anxiety.
- Aggressive Behaviour: Some anxious dogs may display aggression as a defensive response to perceived threats or stressors.
If your furry friend displays one or more of these signs, he could have anxiety.
How to Calm Your Anxious Dog
In addition to getting professional assistance, here are some tips on how you can calm your anxious dog.
Create a Calm Environment
Ensure your home is a peaceful and comfortable space for your dog. This includes providing a cozy bed, calming music, or white noise to reduce external stressors.
Maintain a Consistent Routine
Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward calm and relaxed behavior. Treats, toys, and praise can help change your dog’s negative reactions to positive ones and instill confidence.
Avoid Emotional Farewells and Greetings
When leaving or returning home, try to keep your interactions low-key. Excessive attention during these times can heighten your dog’s anxiety.
Keep Yourself Calm
Dogs can sense your emotions, so try to remain calm and composed when interacting with your anxious dog. Your reassuring presence can be a source of comfort.
Caring for a Dog with Anxiety
If you notice any of these signs in your dog, consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer to address the underlying causes of anxiety and provide appropriate guidance and treatment. Having a dog with anxiety can be stressful for you, and the costs can add up. Give yourself some relief and remove the worry by investing in pet insurance for your anxious pup. This will ensure you never have to be burdened with the full cost of treatment and therapy.