Dog Anxiety - Causes, Symptoms & How to Help
Just like humans, dogs have anxiety problems. Dog anxiety leads to unintentional aggression. It is one of the top reasons as to why owners give up their pets, so it is important to understand why it is happening and how to effectively treat it.
The anxiety may be mild or severe depending on the animal. There are several possible causes of dog anxiety such as environmental stresses or changes, emotional or physical abuse and sickness. Some pets are just genetically inclined to have a nervous disposition.
Breeds prone to anxiety problems
|• German short-haired pointers||• Bull & Jack Russell terriers|
|• Dalmatians||• Basset hounds|
|• German shepherds||• German shepherds|
Why dog anxiety happens
Some puppies will have some anxiety when they are first adopted by their new owners. They will cry and possibly destroy things when they are left alone because they are not used to it. Wean your puppy away from being dependent; try not to coddle – that could make the problem worse as they get older.
Dogs may have anxiety when moving to a new home, or when another animal joins the family. Many dogs will experience anxiety when a baby is added to the household because they are no longer the center of attention. Dogs can become anxious during traveling or thunder storms.
Symptoms of dog anxiety
• Excessive vocalization, neediness or clinginess.
• Fear of being alone.
• Hypersensitivity to noise and other stimuli.
• Increased aggression. In some cases, dogs may be aggressive
when they become anxious which can be dangerous to their owners.
Any pet that has had a bout of anxiety for more than a few days should be examined by a veterinarian so they can look for potential underlying causes.
Treating dog anxiety
Anxiety can be treated as long as the underlying cause is known. If you can pinpoint the stressor, you can work to either remove it altogether, or use behavior modifications and training to help your dog adjust to whatever is causing them stress. Help from a professional trainer or animal behaviorist is often beneficial.
Supplements such as PSCPets Calming Formula can help ease your dog's anxiety as well!
Keeping your dog healthy can help to ease anxiety as well, make sure he/she has a healthy diet and gets plenty of exercise.
TIP: When it comes to treating anxiety, training slowly is important. If you train too quickly, this may simply increase the anxiety and negative behaviors.