Does my Dog Have Anxiety?
When it comes to a dog’s life, it seems it doesn’t take much for them to be happy; eat, sleep, play, go for a walk and repeat. Simplicity should be key to our pup living stress-free.
However, it’s not uncommon for owners to notice abnormal behavior, leading them to question whether or not their dog may be suffering from a bout of anxiety.
Anxiety is defined as one’s natural response to stress. Just as in humans, there are certain things that can trigger our canine pals and send them into an upsetting state. In an effort to cope with this state, our pets may display strange or alarming behaviors.
4 Signs your dog may have anxiety
The following fours signs are good indicators that your dog may be suffering from anxiety:
Barking – Non-Stop
Barking, a dog’s natural reaction to someone ringing your doorbell, or trying to befriend the neighborhood squirrel is normal. However, barking, excessively, or for no apparent reason could be a sign that your dog is dealing with a stressor.
Is your dog jumpy around noises and quick movements? Studies show that leaving the TV or a radio on low volume before you leave the house, could help ease your dog’s anxiety. Background or even white noise from a fan or a white noise machine can help an anxious dog acclimate to any outside or unusual noise thus helping to silence their excessive barking.
Accidents around the house
Getting excited and creating a little ‘puddle’ could be deemed normal for a hyperactive pup, but defecating inside could be the warning sign for an anxious pup.
Dr. Turnera Croom, a holistic veterinarian, stated in an article for Bustle, that leaving accidents around the house is most likely attributed to triggering an animals “fight-or-flight” response.
“The animal’s body (just like humans) produces a sympathetic nervous system response, which increases adrenaline, and allows them to get out of there. A by-product of this is relaxing of the bladder and anal sphincter muscles, allowing waste to release.”
Dr. Croom states that it is important for an owner to react calmly to any accidents your pup may have and cautions that yelling at a dog will just reinforce the sense of fear and angst.
Once you’ve ruled out common causes for itching such as fleas or allergies, it’s important to take note of how much/where your dog is scratching.
When dogs are presented with stressful environments, they may begin excessive itching, biting or licking a part of
themselves. Keep note of the hotspots and seek veterinary help if necessary.
If your is dog pulling away on a leash, hiding behind your legs or running out of a room quickly, it may be a sign that he is trying to avoid situations or things that scare him.
It’s not uncommon for dogs to find a place like a bathtub or underneath a bed to hide from external things that are causing the stress. Oftentimes, and understandably, you’ll see this type of behavior during firework displays.
But if this behavior continues to occur long after fireworks have settled, the you’re most likely dealing with a stressed dog.
If you’ve seen any of these four behaviors in your dog, he or she is most likely suffering from anxiety. While there are organic or natural products along with traditional medicines that can help, it’s best to get to the root of the problem.
Working with a trainer has proven to be beneficial for over-frightened dogs. A trainer will work with both you and your dog to help ease your dog’s fearfulness, so you can both get back to enjoying life!