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Doggy Anxiety Basics

May 1, 2024

Did you know that dogs, like people, may suffer from anxiety? Our canine companions, like humans, have strong emotions. Fido may experience fear, depression, loneliness, or grief. This might have a significant emotional and physical impact on him. In this article, a local Heath, TX veterinarian discusses dog nervousness.

What is separation anxiety in dogs?

The most prevalent type of dog anxiety is separation anxiety. Fido is basically programmed to work as part of a pack. In the wild, dogs are almost always accompanied by their pals. your pooch may automatically feel anxious if left alone. Our canine companions can’t really express themselves in therapy, so they try to relieve their anxiety in other ways. If you return home to find that your dog has made a mess while you were away, separation anxiety is likely to blame.

Any dog can have separation anxiety. However, it is especially common in rescue dogs, most likely because their owners have previously abandoned them. Rehomed dogs are also more susceptible to this.

What Are the Signs of Dog Anxiety?

Fido, of course, cannot communicate his feelings. You’ll need to keep an eye out for any warning indications. These may change slightly based on Fido’s stress level and what is bothering him.

For example, if your furry buddy is afraid of a loud noise, he may shudder, tuck his tail, hide, or attempt to flee the situation. This is one of the reasons that lost pet reports increase around the Fourth of July: many puppies are frightened of the noise and commotion of fireworks and attempt to flee. A pet that is suffering from separation anxiety may be more prone to destructive actions, such as digging and gnawing, while at home alone.

Here are some main symptoms:

  • Trembling and Tucking of the Tail
  • Hiding
  • Reduced activity
  • Escape attempts
  • Panting: Pacing
  • Licking and chasing tails.
  • Diarrhea
  • Fear Urination.
  • Licking, biting, and tail-chasing might cause hot spots or lesions.
  • Yowling/barking when left alone
  • Destructive Behaviors (going into the trash, digging, and damaging furniture)
  • Cowering, Digging, and Not Eating.
  • Urinating more often
  • Soiling improperly
  • Restlessness
  • Licking the lips
  • Displaying the whites of the eyes (whale eye)
  • Looking away
  • Aggression 

If you know or believe that your four-legged friend suffers from anxiety, and you’ve noticed any of the following symptoms in your dog, contact your local animal clinic right away.

What Are the Most Common Reasons for Dog Anxiety?

There is no one specific issue or event that may cause anxiety in our canine companions. Fido’s temperament, background, living conditions, and breed are all possible factors to consider. However, there are a few typical causes that might cause anxiety in dogs.

Here are some of the important ones:

  • Prior Trauma
  • Illness
  • Schedule Disruptions
  • Conflict With Other Pets
  • Discomfort
  • Genetics
  • Lack Of Socialization
  • Noise Phobia
  • Age-Related Cognitive Decline

While separation anxiety is certainly the most common cause of canine anxiety, it is far from the only one. There are other alternative alternatives.

Let us take a closer look at some of the primary triggers.

The Unknown: Dogs, like humans, are most content when they feel safe and secure. Being placed in a new environment or setting can certainly shock and unsettle Fido. Unfamiliar persons and/or other pets can be very difficult for Man’s Best Buddy.

Improper Socialization: Lack of socializing is also a major issue here. Socialization must occur while dogs are still puppies. It is critical for tiny Fido to be introduced to new places and faces while still a baby. These events should be enjoyable for him, not terrifying. This will help him grow up to be more open-minded and optimistic about the world. As adults, dogs who were not properly socialized are far more prone to exhibit anxious or aggressive behavior.

Major Changes: Fido, like many of us, has a habitual behavior. Significant changes can be quite upsetting for our animal companions. Moving, acquiring a new roommate, whether it’s a human or a pet, losing an owner, and scheduling adjustments are just a few examples.

Phobias: Did you realize that dogs can get phobias? Storm anxiety is a common phenomenon. Many dogs are afraid of loud noises, like fireworks. Another example is a dog who was kenneled excessively and became terrified of crates. (Unfortunately, this is not commonplace among abused or neglected dogs.)

Health Issues: Our canine companions are susceptible to many of the same illnesses and injuries as humans. They don’t grasp what’s going on, though. Anything that impairs Fido’s senses, mobility, or nerve system may cause anxiety. Canine dementia, for example, can cause uneasiness in aged canines.

Are any breeds more prone to anxiety than others?

Anxiety can affect any dog for a variety of reasons, but it is more common in specific breeds. Those include the German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, Toy Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Vizsla, Chihuahua, Basset hound, German shorthaired pointer, Dachshund, Greyhound, Miniature Schnauzer, Shetland sheepdog, and Yorkshire terrier.

As previously said, any dog who has been abused, neglected, or rehomed is also at risk, as are those with specific medical conditions, such as dementia. For further information, ask your Heath, TX veterinarian.

How Can I Help My Pooch Cope with Anxiety?

The first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. If an undiscovered medical condition is to blame, you’ll want to have it diagnosed right away. In certain situations, medicine may be the best option, though of course you should never give anything to your dog unless your vet specifically recommends it. Some puppies may require behavioral training.

If your canine companion suffers from separation anxiety, you might want to consider adopting him a buddy. Of course, this is contingent on your furry buddy’s personality. You shouldn’t rush into this choice, so give it some serious thought. Making the correct match is also important; if FIdo doesn’t like his new roommate, he may become even more upset.

It’s also critical to ensure that your canine buddy receives enough stimulation and exercise. Walking and playing with Fido will allow him to release excess energy in a healthy way. This is also useful for bonding. Trying to keep your pooch on a consistent schedule for walks and play sessions may also help, by instilling a sense of stability.

There are also some soothing products that may be useful. These include calming shirts, appropriate chews, comfort mattresses, and toys. Consult your vet for recommendations.

There are a few things you should not do. Never penalize your pet for acting restless or anxious. Fido doesn’t understand punishment; he’s simply attempting to communicate and protect himself in the only manner he knows how. Reprimanding him may aggravate the situation and even make him afraid of you. Your best option is to concentrate on positive reinforcement. Consult your Heath, TX veterinarian for particular recommendations.

Visit Your Heath, TX Animal Clinic

Do you have a question about your dog’s health or care? Contact your pet hospital at any moment! As your local Heath, TX pet hospital, we are always willing to assist!