Dogs, like people, may suffer from significant levels of anxiety. At first, you may not notice your dog's symptoms. You may have noticed some slight signs of separation anxiety, but not realize that you have an anxious dog even as signs of anxiety increase. Are you seeing worrisome symptoms in your pet, including changes in your dog's behavior during thunderstorms or when loud noises occur? Learning how to identify those signs of anxiety can help you cope with dog anxiety in your home.
Dogs may find themselves struggling with high stress levels and chronic anxiety just like people can. While poor socialization or abuse can increase the risk of anxiety in a dog, sometimes, signs of anxiety in dogs can emerge with no clear cause. Instead, you may simply find that your furry friend has a more anxious personality, or struggles with certain stimuli, including loud noises, being alone, or having unfamiliar people in the house.
Sometimes, you may want your dog to have anti-anxiety medication. Anxiety is a medical condition, and treating it can help relieve those symptoms of anxiety and make your pet more comfortable. In other cases, behavioral modification options can help ease anxiety symptoms at home. Using an orthopedic dog bed, for example, may help alleviate your dog's joint pain, which can help eliminate some signs of anxiety in older dogs.
Dogs may struggle with different types of anxiety, depending on their unique personalities.
Pet owners may notice several signs that a pet is suffering from anxiety.
As a pet parent, you may notice any or all of these signs that may suggest that your dog is struggling with anxiety. Talk to your vet if you suspect that your dog has any symptoms of anxiety.
There are several strategies you can use to help calm anxiety in dogs.
Puzzle toys can help provide stimulation for your dog when you aren't at home. Going to dog parks can help give your dog a chance to run off extra energy and socialize with other dogs. When dogs are inadequately stimulated, they may struggle more with anxiety.
Training and counterconditioning can go a long way toward helping alleviate common symptoms of anxiety. Through counterconditioning, you might expose your dog to potential triggers, but provide positive reinforcement. You might also work with a veterinary behaviorist to help with the counterconditioning process and alleviate those symptoms for your dog.
Get a dog bed for your dog and create a space where your dog can calm down on their own, without having to worry about further exposure to potential triggers. If you have an older dog, an orthopedic dog bed, including a small orthopedic dog bed for smaller dogs, can help give your dog a place to get away. Try a dog blanket for the bed to help keep your pet warm and cozy.
Show your dog that there is nothing wrong and that you are in control. This simple step can help them feel much more trusting.
Have questions about how to make your dog comfortable or how to choose the best bed for an anxious pup? Contact us to learn more.
Immediate stress responses may include urine loss or drooling. Long-term, high levels of stress, including repeated exposure to triggers, may cause greater symptoms of anxiety and even long-term health problems for your dog.
Dogs may have a greater risk of suffering from high levels anxiety during times of big change. They may have trouble when new family members are added to the "pack" or when moving. You may also notice that your dog has anxiety after major changes or any type of attack: for example, going to doggy daycare for the first time, or suffering an attack from another dog while away from home.
Stressed dogs often have wide, dilated eyes. They may show changes in body posture that indicate that they are struggling. You may notice your dog cowering, or, depending on your dog's personality, more signs of aggression than normal. Identifying anxiety and acting on it quickly can help keep your dog healthier
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