Like humans, dogs experience anxiety, too. Anxiety in dogs occurs across every breed but affects each dog differently, just like in a person. While unpleasant, it’s a healthy emotion; however, if anxiety is left untreated, it could lead to a disorder or behavioral issues later.
Anxiety in dogs can be brought on by many variables, including past trauma of abuse or neglect, but anxiety can also occur from external stimuli, like household visitors, trips to the vet or groomer, loud noises, and separation anxiety.
Signs of anxiety in dogs
Just like humans, dogs react to every emotion differently. If you’ve ever heard someone say a dog bit them “out of nowhere”, chances are the dog was expressing anxiety as dogs rarely bite for no reason.
Along with biting, your dog might pace constantly, growl, shake, or bark and whine more frequently than usual.
Here are some examples of what you might see in an anxious dog:
- Urinating or defecating in the house
- Destructive behavior
- Excessive barking
- Repetitive or compulsive behaviors
If you begin to notice a regular pattern of anxiety, consider making an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the treatment options available. It’s better to act now, than wait until there’s a true behavioral issue.
Dog Anxiety Treatment and Prevention
The best way to treat anxiety in your pet is to discuss their behavior with your veterinarian.
Since anxiety is caused by a number of internal and external factors, your doctor will have the best plan of action for a treatment plan.
Here are some additional treatments your vet may discuss with you:
- Training: Seeking an expert’s opinion may help you reach the root of the anxiety issue. Trainers can also teach you strategies to help you prevent those anxious situations.
- Anxiety Medications: In some cases, your vet will prescribe medications to help your dog cope with the stress. Often, these medications are taken before predictable anxiety-producing events, like thunderstorms, fireworks, etc.
- CBD Oil: Both humans and dog owners have found CBD oil helpful in relieving stress. Consult your vet before trying any CBD products to discuss side effects and risks.
- Anxiety Vests: In some cases, anxiety vests can suppress anxiety without the need for medications or other treatments. These vests that fit around the dog simulate a “hug”, applying pressure to all sides, making them feel secure.
Like humans, dogs also experience occasional anxiety. Understanding your dog’s body language, signs, and treatment options for anxiety will help you and your dog navigate stressful situations.
For more information or questions about your dog’s behavior, please don’t hesitate to contact us.