Most people today know that people can be and are regularly are diagnosed with anxiety disorders. We have special doctors for them because we understand how debilitating illnesses like anxiety can be. However, very few people know that animals can be affected by chronic anxiety as well.
Dogs, in particular, are frequent sufferers of anxiety disorders. It impacts their life just as much as it does with a human, but the difference is that they can’t clearly communicate that with their owners. If you are a dog owner, you may need to take a closer look at your furry friend.
In this article, we will explore:
- The warning signs of anxiety in dogs
- What causes you dog to have anxiety
- How you can help your pet
The best way to help Fido is to get informed. Learn about the signs and what you can do if, in fact, your puppy has an anxiety disorder of his own.
The Warning Signs of Anxiety Disorders in Dogs
If your pet dog is suffering from anxiety, it will manifest itself in many different ways. Some are more obvious than others. These signs are:
Dogs are generally friendly and laid-back animals. If yours is showing signs of aggression toward you or others, he may be anxious. This aggression is typically characterized by excessive barking, growling, baring of the teeth, or biting.
If your dog is pacing the floor, turning over and over in his kennel/bed, or constantly checking out windows, he may be anxious. Sometimes the vigilance is justified. However, if there is no apparent cause of the behavior, it may be a symptom of something bigger.
It can be expected that all puppies occasionally tear up a favorite shoe or destroy a pillow before they’re housetrained. After this stage, though, most dogs are perfectly polite. If your dog was once a model of good behavior and now reverts to these juvenile destructive tendencies, it may be because he’s dealing with emotions that he can’t handle in a healthy way.
When dogs feel helpless and overwhelmed, they become depressed. They will stop eating, lose all interest in playing, and sleep the day away. This isn’t natural. Anxiety could be the culprit.
Urinating or defecating in the house
After your pet is potty trained, you should have very little trouble with accidents unless something is wrong medically. If physical illness has been ruled out, the stress of anxiety could be to blame.
Panting or drooling
When dogs are excited, they drool or they pant. While this could be because of a juicy treat or the result of seeing a rogue squirrel, the behaviors may also be due to something negative like anxiety or stress.
What causes anxiety in dogs?
A few things can set off anxiety in a pet. While fear responses are normal in these situations from time to time, dogs with anxiety will exhibit these behaviors consistently and excessively. These are:
Fear-related anxiety is triggered usually by the stimuli in the dog’s environment. Loud noises, bright lights, unfamiliar places, and strange people can cause an anxious dog to exhibit the behaviors discussed earlier. Thunder, yelling, and strangers are the most common causes of fear-related anxiety.
Some anxious dogs have issues stemming from separation. When you leave, they become uncomfortable, aggressive, and destructive. Even leaving them at home while you work sometimes causes these unwelcome incidents.
Older dogs are prone to anxiety because of the unpleasant effects of Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS.) CDS presents itself in a similar way as Alzheimer’s in humans. The confusion that comes with this disease triggers anxiety.
How to Help Your Anxious Dog
If you believe that your pet dog may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, it is important that you take him to a trained professional as soon as you can. A qualified vet will be able to examine your pup and determine how to best help them manage the symptoms of this anxiety.
Dog owners need reliable doctors, so if you don’t already have one, then you should give us a call at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency. We are located in these areas nearby Ventura County:
- Simi Valley
- Thousand Oaks
No one should have to suffer the effects of anxiety alone. Dr. Ron’s will make it so your pet doesn’t have to go it alone.