Is My Dog Anxious? When to Worry.

Is my dog anxious?

Anxiety and other mental health issues have started to become a more well-known topic. As there has been more research done, we have learned that humans are not the only ones who experience anxiety. Dogs are also able to experience feelings of anxiety. If you notice that your dog is starting to act differently, you may be concerned that they are experiencing anxiety. There are a few signs that you should look for.

Constant Peeing and Barking

Dogs need to be known for barking. This is something they will do to deter strangers and alert you if something is wrong. However, if they bark for hours on end at nothing, then it is a safe assumption that they are experiencing some anxiety. Another thing that many anxious dogs will do is walk around your home and just dribble urine. When a dog gets nervous, they will start to leave a trail of pee that follows everywhere they go. This pee is a triggered response from the flight or fight instinct that animals and humans have.

Pacing and Tail Thumping

Your dog may pace around the house if may just be bored. However, pacing around is also a sign of anxiety. Humans are guilty of pacing when are nervous. Tired dogs are less likely to be anxious and pace around. So, make sure that they are getting plenty of activity so that they will be more tired and less anxious. Tail thumping is an annoying but obvious trait of anxiety. Many people think that if a dog is wagging their tail, they are happy and enjoying their life. However, if your dog is wagging its tail and has a submissive look on their face, they are experiencing anxiety. Anxious tail wagging will also be slower and sluggish.

Escaping

There are certain breeds, like huskies, that will escape any chance that you give them. Although most breeds are pretty content just to stay home and in their yard. So, if your dog starts exhibiting escaping habits, you will need to put a stop to it as soon as you can. Escaping can be dangerous for your dog. Try to make a calm, relaxing environment that your dog will not feel anxious in.

Trembling and Shaking

Trembling and shaking are the most common things that people will associate with anxiety. If your dog looks visibly nervous or stressed out, you can assume it is anxiety. They may have wide eyes and a furrowed brow. Their ears can even be an indicator that they are feeling anxious.

Scratching

Your dog may scratch themself when they are feeling itchy, but they may also do it when they are feeling anxious. Scratching is a nervous habit that they will develop. As their anxiety gets worse, this habit will only get worse. Scratching is known as one of the calming signals that dogs have. This means that they will scratch whenever they are feeling overwhelmed, and they do this as a way to try to calm down.

Hiding

Hiding is a pretty apparent sign of anxiety. If a dog is very stressed out or nervous, and they already deal with anxiety, then they will just try to avoid the situation. This is one of the ways that humans also deal with anxiety. If your dog always hides when new people visit your home, it is a good time that they are experiencing anxiety. Pay attention to what they are hiding from because that will help you determine what you can do to help.

Helping an Anxious Dog

If you have noticed that your dog is exhibiting some of these behaviors, then you should do everything thing in your power to make them feel better. The first thing that you will want to do is determine what is causing them to feel anxious. Did you just move? Are they only anxious in the car? Did you just have a new baby? There are a lot of different things that can trigger a dog’s anxiety. Once you have decided what is causing their anxiety, you will know better how to treat them. You should try to keep a routine and always have a relaxing place for them to decompress. You should also make sure that your dog is getting plenty of activity. If a dog is bored, it can also cause them to feel anxious.

What Causes a Dog’s Anxiety?

You must know what causes anxiety. Certain breeds are more prone to anxiety than others. German Shepards, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, Bichon Frises, Cocker Spaniels, and Basset Hounds are some of the most common breeds that suffer from anxiety. If you don’t want to deal with an anxious dog, then you should avoid these breeds. However, these are not the only breeds that will experience anxiety. If a dog has gone through an abusive or traumatic situation, they will more likely to have anxious tendencies. Another thing that can cause anxiety would be if your dog didn’t get all of the necessary socialization that is needed as a puppy. When they are young, they need to stay around their family until they are at least eight weeks old. Some times dogs can even experience separation anxiety if they have become attached to their owners.

Conclusion

As a dog owner, you need to know how your dog feels so you can know how to treat them. If your dog is anxious, they may be more aggressive toward people. This can be dangerous for others, and it can end badly for your pup. There are a lot of things that you can do to help ease your dog’s anxiety. Some of these things are as simple as spending more time with them, while others are a bit more serious and can even require medication.

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