Maybe you’re wondering if your dog has anxiety. If so, there are a number of signs you can look out for, but, first, if your dog’s behavior has you worried for their own safety, get them in to see the vet as soon as you can. If things aren’t that extreme, pay attention to their behavior.
QUOTE: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Lynn Buzhardt says, “Our furry friends can become stressed, too….However, our dogs don’t voice their feelings, slam down the phone or throw a tantrum….The signs of canine anxiety are often subtle.”
The following behaviors can be signs that your dog has anxiety:
An anxious dog will probably shake and shiver in the situations that make them upset. Observe if they start shaking in particular environments or around certain events.
Whining and Barking
One way dogs with anxiety express themselves is through excessive whining and barking. Does your dog freak out when you leave? Or do you notice other times when they seem to overreact? It could mean your dog has anxiety.
Does your dog get into strange hiding places when scared? Maybe thunderstorms have your small dog squeezing behind the toilet or your large dog refusing to come out from under the bed? When this need to hide and protect themselves goes beyond reason, you might want to look into if your furry pal needs help coping with anxiety. If your dog has a fear of loud noises, dog earplugs are a possible solution.
Another sign of anxiety in both humans and dogs is the general inability to settle down. Does your dog refuse to stay in one place? Do they look distressed as they wander around the house aimlessly for long stretches of time? This is an easy to observe indicator that something is bothering them, and that something could be anxiety.
It’s also possible that your anxious dog will go in the opposite extreme and shut down. Are they lethargic, refusing to even play? They could be acting that way because of a physical or mental health struggle – dogs can and do shut down.
Abnormal Drooling or Panting
Okay, some dogs are just big droolers. You can’t hang out with them without getting some slobber, well… All over you, however if your dog wasn’t a big drooler or panter in the past, and they’ve started being one now, it’s definitely something to look into. Drooling and panting might seem like a strange way that your dog shows they have anxiety
Something you should take as a serious indicator that your fur baby is struggling with anxiety is if they engage in any self-harm behavior. This behavior includes biting, chewing, or excessive licking of themselves.
Your dog’s intentionally chewing and scratching up the furniture or other household items they know are off-limits may actually be their version of a cry for help.
Based on my experience with dogs, they love to eat. In fact, they’re often willing to eat things that make us humans cringe. So, it’s possible your dog has anxiety if they are neglecting their food dish.
More Frequent “Accidents”
Feeling frustrated because your house-broken dog has begun urinating and defecating more in the house? Take time to think about why this change occurred. Did something in their routine change recently? Did they recently have a bad experience or a scare? Digestive and bathroom issues can be tied to canine anxiety.
If Your Dog Has Anxiety – Don’t Become Anxious
One of the key things to keep in mind if you think your dog has anxiety is to not develop anxiety about… Anxiety! While it may make you feel anxious, it’s important to know that if your dog has anxiety, it is treatable. First, get your dog into their vet for a check-up that includes lab values. If all turns out fine we recommend taking a more natural approach unless self-harming behavior is present. Even with self-harming behavior there are tools that can assist your anxious dog:
- Homemade pressure wrap (like this one)
- Dog earplugs (use these patented CrittEar dog earplugs)
- Soothing music (like this)
- Soothing pheromones (like these)
- Anti-anxiety massage (like this one)
The above is just the beginning of a long list of approaches and tools that can help your anxious pooch. We work with veterinarians and pet experts to bring you anxiety, noise phobia, and noise anxiety relief. So join our mailing list and stay in touch.