Does Your Dog Suffer From Anxiety?

Yellow lab looking anxious.

When life gets to be too much to handle, it helps to have a safe place to hide. Create a haven for your dog in a room in your home. Put a few toys and comfortable bedding in the room, and make sure it is always accessible. Add one of your unlaundered shirts. Your dog may take comfort in snuggling against an item that smells like you.

Change Your Habits

Your dog has learned that when you pick up your keys, you are leaving. If simply holding your keys, triggers a reaction, change your behavior -- and his. Pick up the keys, but do not go anywhere. Or slip your keys into your pocket well in advance of your departure. When you depart and arrive, do not make a big fuss over your dog. Wait a few minutes before you greet him. If you do not turn arrivals and departures into dramatic scenes, they may be less traumatic for your pet.

Talk to Your Pet's Veterinarian

Your dog's veterinarian can recommend strategies that can be helpful in overcoming anxiety. If nothing works, he or she may suggest over-the-counter products that may help calm your pet or anti-anxiety medication that will help your furry friend feel more relaxed.

Causes of Anxiety

Dogs can develop anxiety for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Fear. Dogs have long memories and they do not forget about the bad experiences they have had. If these experiences occurred before your dog came to live with you, you may never know the cause of the fear. Even a trip to a kennel can provoke long-lasting anxiety in dogs.
  • Poor Socialization. Puppies need to be exposed to a range of people and situations to become confident. If your pet did not receive proper socialization during the first months, anxiety may become a chronic problem.
  • Aging. Aging causes many changes in your dog's health and behavior. It's not unusual for a previously fearless dog to develop anxiety, particularly if vision loss, dementia or other health issues are a problem.
  • Being Trapped. If your dog experienced a stressful situation in the past and could not escape, anxiety may develop when a similar situation occurs. For example, if your dog was confined to a crate when firecrackers went off nearby, you may notice anxiety symptoms when you bring out the crate.
  • Disease And Conditions. Viruses that affect your dog's central nervous system can cause permanent damage that may alter your pet's reaction to stressful situations.
  • Unknown Causes. You may never know what caused your dog's anxiety. Some breeds of dogs, including poodles, Siberian huskies, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, Great Pyrenees, German shorthaired pointers, border collies and Bernese mountain dogs, are more likely to develop anxiety.

Don't Leave Me!

Separation anxiety is the most common type of anxiety in dogs. Dogs that experience the problem can't stand to be away from family members for even a minute. If you must leave them alone, they tend to become destructive. This behavior is not a way to get back at you for leaving your pet. It's simply the way your pet handles anxiety.

Signs of Anxiety

Your dog may suffer from anxiety if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Barking And Howling. Dogs are often very vocal if they feel anxious. Although you may never hear the barking, whining or howling if it occurs when you are away from home, your neighbors might.
  • Scratches On Doors And Windows. Your anxious dog will do anything to be reunited with you, including clawing and scratching at the doors and windows in an attempt to escape.
  • Potty Accidents. Anxiety can cause your housetrained pet to experience accidents while you are away.
  • Ear Position. You may notice that your dog's ears are erect and pressed closer to its head.
  • Pulled-Back Lips. Pulled-back lips or a tightly closed mouth can be signs that your dog does not feel calm and relaxed.
  • Drooling, Shedding And Trembling. These physical signs are very common if your dog is anxious.

Are you concerned about your dog's anxiety problem? We can help. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Exclusive Offer

New patients receive 15% OFF first office visit.

Office Hours

Monday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

  • 6 Questions to Ask At Your Senior Pet's Next Check Up

    Want to keep your senior pet healthy and happy? Ask these six questions at your pet's next check up. ...

    Read More
  • Why the Controversy About Pet Vaccinations?

    As with anything, pet vaccinations can be too much of a good thing. Similar to parents who are learning more about vaccinations for children, veterinarians and pet owners alike are beginning to question some of the standard wisdom when it comes to protecting pets. There are certain fatal diseases against ...

    Read More
  • Pet Clothes: A Fashion Statement or a Necessity?

    There is nothing cuter than a pet in a colorful sweater, but do our furry friends really need to wear clothing? Although clothing is not a necessity for every pet, some animals benefit from a little extra protection during cold or damp days. Others enjoy wearing festive clothing during holidays or other ...

    Read More
  • Introducing a New Pet to Your Current Ones

    Pet Proofing Your Home Introducing your new pet to your current one is only a single part of the equation relating to taking a new pet home. You also have to make sure your new pet is comfortable in your home, which is a foreign environment to the animal. Like humans, animals can experience high levels ...

    Read More
  • Put Some Teeth Into Your Pet’s Dental Care

    According to the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly two-thirds of pets suffer from dental problems because their owners do not provide dental care for them. Imagine what would happen to your own teeth if they were never brushed or examined by a dentist. The same thing can happen with your pet’s ...

    Read More
  • Managing Pet Allergies in Kids

    Are you concerned that your child's allergies may mean that you will have to give up your pet? Although rehoming a pet may be necessary if allergies are severe, most children can live with pets if you are willing to make a few changes. The Problem About three in 10 people who have allergies are allergic ...

    Read More
  • Euthanasia: Saying Goodbye

    It's not easy to say goodbye to cherished pets, even those that have lived long, happy lives. Although you may hate the thought of life without your pet, euthanasia can be the kindest decision you can make when your friend is suffering. Making the Decision If your pet has been seriously injured in a ...

    Read More
  • Is a Wet Nose a Sign of a Healthy Pet?

    Have you ever heard that a wet nose is a sign that your pet is healthy? Although that's often the case, it's not always true. A moist nose can benefit your pet in several ways, but it doesn't necessarily guarantee good health. How Does a Wet Nose Help My Pet? Have you ever been woken at 5 a.m. by a cold, ...

    Read More
  • Obesity and Diabetes in Pets

    Think diabetes only affect people? Overweight pets may be at risk too. ...

    Read More
  • Does Your Cat Have a Grooming Problem?

    Noticed a sudden change in your cat's grooming habits? Over- or under-grooming can be a sign of trouble. ...

    Read More