Searching for the signs of Dog Anxiety and how to treat it? You’ve reached the right place. Like humans, dogs have emotional needs and can experience stress and anxiety that affect their health. Because of this, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs that your dog is in distress and try to find ways to help them, and this article will cover exactly how to do both of these things.
1. Aggression & Destruction
One of the first signs that your dog is anxious, and one that may be quite apparent, is that it’s destroying your property, such as tearing up your furniture or your lawn and behaving aggressively towards people or other animals.
According to PetMD, dogs can bark for a number of reasons, and most of the time, it shouldn’t be of any concern, but sometimes it can be a sign your dog is dealing with separation anxiety due to you not being home.
Similar to destroying your belongings or property, dogs who are stressed out may try to run away, and this often consists of digging in the yard near fences.
Another common behavior that indicates a dog is distressed is that they might hide or cower, and typically this will be in a corner or behind furniture.
Like barking, panting is an ordinary dog behavior in response to temperature or exercise, but if these aren’t factors, your dog might be panting due to stress. Sometimes pacing and restlessness might accompany it.
6. Weak Appetite
Just like people, dogs can have a hard time eating, and it’s common for them to refuse to accept food multiple times from their owners.
A sign of dog anxiety that is one of the most visible ones is trembling and shivering, but it can also be an indicator of a more severe medical condition.
8. Biting & Scratching
Dogs can exhibit “self-harming” or compulsive behaviors because of anxiety, and while they can be used to cope with it, excessive chewing, biting, licking, and scratching can also lead to hair loss, skin irritation, and bleeding.
9. Lack of Eye Contact
Dogs who are feeling stressed out may try to avoid making eye contact with people, including their owners.
While dogs can use their urine and feces as a way to mark territory, this is not always the reason for it, and many dogs may use the “restroom” inside the house when feeling depressed and anxious.
What To Do If Your Dog Is Showing These Signs
Dog anxiety is something that can be treated, but it’s important to try to rule out other causes of these symptoms first because many medical issues can cause some overlapping ones. Therefore, making an appointment with your veterinarian is advised if these symptoms are persistent.
If it’s determined that your dog is dealing with some anxiety around the house, behavioral training is an effective way to treat dog anxiety, and it will start by diagnosing why it’s happening in the first place. In general, separation and fear are the most common causes of dog anxiety that aren’t medically related or caused by aging.
By figuring out what might be the source of the problems, you can develop a treatment plan for your dog, just like you would when treating anxiety in people. In fact, not understanding your dog’s health and wellbeing can also be very stressful, and by talking to a counselor or therapist, you can learn how to cope with your dog’s distress. Visit MyTherapist to learn more about mental wellness and how to obtain it.
By recognizing these ten signs of dog anxiety, you can not only improve your dog’s health and wellbeing, but you can also save a lot of headache by addressing the issues that come with it, such as property destruction. However, your dog might require some professional assistance to overcome anxiety, just like humans do when trying to learn how to cope and live happier and healthier lives.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.