Dog Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
“The greatest fear dogs know is the fear that you will not come back when you go out the door without them.” – Stanley Coren
Dogs can experience anxiety just like humans do. All breeds are prone to anxiety but can be manifested differently. Although this is commonly experienced, anxiety, if not addressed early on can lead to an anxiety disorder that can cause behavioral problems if left untreated.
How would you know if your pet is suffering from anxiety? What caused it? How can it be treated? This post will let you know the possible causes symptoms, and treatment of dog anxiety.
Anxiety has numerous causes but is commonly caused by the following:
Anxiety caused by fear may be caused by the presence of unknown people, loud noises, other animals they are not familiar with, and specific situations like riding in a car or going to the vet.
Anxiety caused by separation happens when a dog doesn’t feel comfortable when separated from his family or when left alone.
Anxiety caused by aging affects senior dogs and can also be caused by cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). When dogs are getting old or have CDS their awareness, perception, learning, and memory starts to decline. This leads to confusion and anxiety.
Came from a shelter or rescue
Most dogs who came from a shelter or rescue have had traumatic experiences that make them generally anxious which can sometimes turn to separation anxiety for fear of being abandoned again by their humans.
Anxiety can also be caused by illnesses such as encephalitis, hypothyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, loss of vision, loss of hearing, pre-diabetes, and other illness that causes physical pain or bodily changes.
It is essential to know the symptoms of anxiety so you can prevent it from getting worse. Here are crucial signs you have to watch out for:
- Excessive barking
- Urinating inside the house
- Defecating in the house
- Destroying furniture
- Running away
- Hiding in a corner
- Not eating
- Compulsive or repetitive behavior
Ways you can ease your dog’s anxiety:
Nothing can comfort your dog as much as your touch does. As soon as you spot any sign of anxiety, give him a hug, a cuddle, or a long petting session until it goes away
If your dog has separation anxiety, going out for a walk or a run regularly can ease your dog’s mind that you will go back to bond with him every time you leave and make him look forward to your return. This can also teach him to socialize with other people and pets. It will also keep both of you healthy and fit.
Just like humans, dogs will also feel calm and relaxed after a good massage.
Music therapy is beneficial to both humans and pets. Music can reduce stress, make them calm and relaxed.
Place your pet in a quiet and safe place where he can feel calm and secure.
Anxiety jackets apply gentle pressure around your furry baby’s torso that makes him feel as if he’s in a continuous comforting hug. This feeling helps to calm your pet down and reduce anxiety.
The earlier you find out that your dog is suffering from anxiety, the greater is your chance to succeed in treating it. If any of the tips mentioned above don’t work, take your dog to the vet immediately. The vet can help you identify what kind of anxiety your dog has and the probable triggers and causes. The vet can then help you come up with a good plan for your pet’s treatment