Does Your Dog Have Anxiety? 4 Signs To Watch Out For
There are a lot of things in this world that can cause your dog anxiety—a rolling thunderstorm, neighborhood festivities, separation from their family members, etc. Some dogs are even fearful and anxious when there really isn't an apparent cause. They just seem to have a nervous disposition. Anxiety is horrible for your dog to live with, but it's also hard for you to deal with. Chronic anxiety can cause behavioral issues that are hard to deal with and even harder to break. If your dog has been acting out, observe them to see if they have symptoms of anxiety and talk to your vet about your findings. Just as in humans, anxiety in dogs can be treated with medications.
When a dog becomes anxious, they may lose control of their bowels. They may even develop diarrhea. If your dog is housebroken, meaning if they don't go in the house regularly when you are home, they may be having accidents due to anxiety. This is especially true if the accidents seem to coincide with stressful events, such as a storm or while you're at work.
When dogs are in panic mode, they may try anything to escape, such as digging through doors and jumping out of windows. Not only can panic and escape behaviors lead to injuries, they can also lead to a successful escape. Each year when fireworks are set off, the number of runaway pets increases significantly.
On the mild end, anxiety may manifest as pacing back and forth, either from two specific points, such as the window and door, or with no seeming destination in mind. While it's hard to pick up on, pacing is a sure sign of anxiety or worry in your pet.
If your dog hides, trembles, or walks with their tail between their legs, they're likely experiencing anxiety. While in this state, your dog may walk away from you whenever you approach them. They may also display heightened aggression when they are disturbed. You should also watch out for obsessive behaviors, such as licking and biting, when they are hunkered down.
Anxiety is not fun for you or for your dog. Fortunately, many medications have been successful at alleviating the symptoms of anxiety. Additionally, behavioral therapy and/or training, usually used in combination with medications, has been proven quite successful. If you have a fearful dog, be sure to talk to your vet as soon as possible.