Anxiety in dogs can manifest itself in various ways and at different levels. To find out if your dog’s behavior is a symptom of anxiety, look no further: you are on the right blog. Dogs that experience anxiety can display their stress in a variety of ways. Some symptoms, such as panting or shaking, are subtle and can be easily missed because they are normal in other circumstances. But other more noticeable symptoms include excessive barking and aggression.
Pet owners may mistake symptoms for simply bad behavior due to boredom or other behavioral causes. But if these symptoms occur in common situations, such as during a storm or when pet owners leave the house, it may indicate that the dog is responding to anxiety.
Subtle symptoms of anxiety in dogs
Some of the less obvious symptoms of anxiety manifest as a slight change in behavior. These symptoms can go unnoticed by many pet owners. They include:
- Hiding or Loneliness – Some dogs want to be alone when they experience anxiety. They may hide out of fear or stay away from people and other pets.
- They seek affection and protection: Other anxious dogs will have the opposite reaction and will seek more attention or affection. They may jump onto their owners’ laps or require more attention.
- Shivering and panting: Dogs that are shaking or panting, or acting generally nervous may be experiencing anxiety. While it is normal to pant after exercise, it probably will not be during a fireworks display.
- Excessive licking or chewing: Anxious dogs may compulsively lick or bite their fur or paws.
Obvious symptoms of anxiety in dogs
It’s hard to miss the most notable symptoms of anxiety in dogs. Depending on the cause, these behaviors can only appear normally caused by the phobia and insecurity of the animal:
- Excessive barking and howling: One of the most obvious signs of anxiety is a reaction to noise. If a dog starts barking due to a loud noise and cannot be easily calmed down, even after the noise has stopped, he may be feeling anxiety.
- Aggression: anxious dogs can suddenly become aggressive, even towards their owners. Anxious dogs may suddenly growl or show any other signs of aggression.
- Try to escape: dogs that feel anxious at certain times can react by fleeing. But locking them up can make their situation worse.
- Excessive energy: Anxious dogs sometimes show exaggerated energy and are hyperactive.
- Excretion: they can defecate suddenly inside the home because they are under the pressure of anxiety.
- Destruction: a common anxiety symptom is the destruction of furniture or other objects that would not normally bite.
- Panic Attacks: dogs that experience any of these symptoms may start to have panic attacks as well. Panic attacks can last from minutes to hours and can involve any of the above symptoms.
Symptoms of anxiety, such as destruction of objects and excessive mismanaged energy, can lead to self-harm. The mental and physical stress that dogs endure when they suffer from anxiety is exhausting and must be dealt with as soon as possible.
How to deal with a dog with anxiety?
As the person responsible for your pet, you must act when your dog suffers from anxiety. Avoid punishing or scolding your dog when he is experiencing an anxiety episode. You should also avoid praise or patting because that can lead your dog to believe that you are encouraging his anxious behavior. It is important to identify the stimulus that is causing the reaction. Controlled exposure to the stimulus and rewarding positive behavior is one way to desensitize the dog.
But above all, it is advisable to seek the help of an expert in canine behavior. If the problem persists, you can also consult our veterinarians to help you and your dog deal with the problem from a medical approach. There are nutritional supplements that can help control the problem.