Not sure why your dog is acting a certain way? We put together five signs of dog anxiety to watch out for and what you can do to help them.
Do you think that your dog may have anxiety?
Wondering how you can recognize anxiety in your dog?
Believe it or not, it’s not just humans who are prone to anxiety from time to time. Dogs can also experience anxiety and all of the feelings that come along with it, making it much harder for them to enjoy themselves and live their best lives.
Unfortunately, if you don’t know what to look for you may miss a lot of the dog anxiety symptoms that your pet has been exhibiting.
Luckily, we’re here to help you out. Below we’ll tell you about 5 common signs of dog anxiety and tell you what you can do to help.
- Hiding and Escaping
If your dog has anxiety, one sign that may appear is a tendency for them to want to be alone more often. Your pet may start hiding from you and your family or from other animals that are in the home. They may also make a quick escape if something happens that makes them anxious such as if there is a new visitor to the home.
While all dogs are different, if you find that your pet has started to retreat and hide more often than they have in the past, it may be a sign that they have an anxiety problem that needs to be dealt with.
- Nervous Tics
Another thing to look for to determine if your pet has been suffering from anxiety is nervous tics and behavior.
This can include a number of things but often will include panting, shaking, or similar unconscious body language that shows they’re not feeling at their best. While a dog is likely to pant after they have been running or playing, this type of behavior may also occur during times they become anxious. This may mean there is an unusual object, a noise, or another animal nearby that is making them feel especially nervous.
Additionally, if your dog is excessively chewing or licking at their own fur, this may also be a sign that something is wrong.
- Accidents and Misbehavior
Certain accidents may also be a sign that your dog is not feeling like his or her best self. A dog with anxiety may be less well-behaved than they used to be and may start acting up.
If your dog destroys furniture in your home, this may be a sign that your dog is feeling anxious. Similarly, if your dog has been trained for the indoors but has recently been defecating indoors then it may be a sign that there is a problem as well.
If your dog is doing anything out of the ordinary or suddenly becoming less well behaved than they once were then it could be a sign that there is a deeper problem at play. They may be suffering from anxiety.
- Energy Level Changes
Excessive energy may also be an indicator of anxiety in your pet.
While many dogs, especially younger ones, often have a lot of energy, a sudden change in their amount of energy they have could be a sign that they have anxiety. This excessive energy can show itself in different ways, but if it is drastically different from their baseline behavior it may mean that something is up.
Some dogs may be more energetic and may also become more aggressive than they once were. They may growl more or play a little more roughly with you than they had before.
On the other hand, your dog’s energy may change in the opposite way as well. If your dog experiences a big loss of energy all of a sudden, then it may also be a sign that your dog is suffering from anxiety problems.
- Increased Need For Attention
In addition to becoming more or less energetic, an anxious animal may also start needing more attention from you or from other family members. They may start coming up to you for comfort more often, jumping into your lap or demanding that you pet them. This kind of craving for attention can be a sign that they don’t feel like their best selves.
As a result, they’ll seek extra comfort from those that they love and do it more often than they had in the past. If you notice this happening with your pet, this may mean that there is an anxiety problem at play.
How to Help Dogs with Anxiety
If you’ve identified an anxiety problem in your dog, you’ll want to look into some solutions for helping them. While anxiety can be debilitating for your pet, it can be overcome in various ways.
Here are a few steps you’ll want to consider taking when you suspect that your dog may have anxiety.
- Identify the Problem: First of all, you’ll want to try and see if you can discover exactly what is causing your dog’s anxiety. This will be particularly helpful if there is just one thing that has been causing them anxiety, but in some cases, there will be more than one stimulus. Any number of things could be making them anxious, but if you can identify a specific stimulus then you’ll be able to start looking for solutions.
- Try Desensitization Techniques: Desensitizing your pet to the stimulus that makes them anxious can be a good method for helping your dog. Controlling their exposure to the thing that is causing them anxiety and giving them rewards when they exhibit positive behavior can sometimes be all that’s needed to solve the problem.
- Talk to a Vet: Talking to a vet is also important if you think your dog has anxiety. A vet will be able to better identify the problem that your pet is facing and they may be able to offer solutions to help them to feel like themselves again.
- Get Medication: There are several types of medication that can help a pet who has anxiety. Anti-anxiety medications and supplements are common options for helping your dog with their anxiety problem. Additionally, it can also be a great idea to try using other natural methods for muscle pain and anxiety as well.
Paying Attention to the Signs of Dog Anxiety
By keeping an eye out for these common signs of dog anxiety, you’ll ensure that you’re aware of your dog’s wellbeing. If you notice dog anxiety, make sure that you do what you can to identify the problem and look for possible solutions.
Be sure to make use of the tips above if you want to help your dog overcome their anxiety and get back to being themselves once again.