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Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs and How to Treat It

Having a pet will help give you energy. Pets have an uncanny ability to help their owners get through tough times, such as going through an illness, recession, or death in the family. Many people have turned to their dogs to help them survive lockdown.

Dogs can also help lower feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger in their owners. They can also help improve your social life, and some studies have shown that owning a pet can also improve the owners’ heart health.

However, dogs are living creatures too, and they also go through bouts of sadness, depression, and anxiety. Here, we will discuss the symptoms of anxiety in dogs and the steps you should take to alleviate their suffering.

Symptoms of Dog Anxiety

If your dog is barking or whining all the time, then it may be anxious. It is usual for dogs to bark when they see something suspicious outside or if they are startled by a loud noise. However, if your dog seems to bark for no apparent reason, and no amount of soothing seems to help, then it may be suffering from anxiety.

Shedding now and then is also something to investigate; a very nervous dog may lose its coat altogether. If your dog is shedding more than usual, it may be suffering from anxiety.

Avoidance or loss of focus are also things to look for. They may simply turn away, lick themselves, or sniff the ground to try and escape an unpleasant situation. If your dog doesn’t want to interact with you or other dogs, it may be highly anxious.

Your dog may also try to run off to escape a tense or scary situation. They may even begin digging aggressively or may run around in circles in an attempt to escape a precarious position. They may also run off and hide behind a parked car or tree to help alleviate some of their anxiety.

Causes of Anxiety in Dogs

Separation anxiety may cause anxiety in dogs. If your dog is calm when you are around but panics when you are away from them, they may suffer from separation anxiety.

Your dog may also whine, bark, make a mess on the carpet, or destroy furniture if it suffers from separation anxiety. In some cases, their anxiety may be caused by boredom, while they may feel lonely in others.

A rescue dog can also suffer from shelter anxiety. Many rescue dogs have undergone traumatic events in their lives. They may also have terrifying memories of being locked up and abandoned in a shelter.

An unpredictable environment or routine may cause a rescue dog to be anxious all the time. Or, they may fear that they are being abandoned again when you leave them alone for a prolonged period. Rescue dogs need to be reassured that they are loved and in a safe and loving environment.

Anxiety may also be caused by fear. Your dog may become spooked by strange animals or people. New environments may also cause nervousness, as can loud noises. Some dogs may even become anxious due to certain visual stimuli, such as umbrellas or hats. Even a car ride or a trip to the local vet can generate anxiety in some dogs.

Age-related anxiety is also something to look into as your dog ages. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) affects many older dogs and may cause stress. CDS also impacts awareness, memory, perception, and learning in dogs, leading to anxiety and confusion in older pets.

Treatment for Dog Anxiety

Training with exercise can help your dog deal with anxiety. For instance, your dog can undergo obedience training to manage and even prevent its anxiety. Regular stimulation and exercise are also essential to help promote healthy mental and physical development.

There are also herbal and nutritional medications available to help treat anxiety in dogs. There are natural therapies, antidepressants, and SSRIs, which can treat anxiety, depression, and fear in dogs.

Selegiline and benzodiazepine can help dogs suffering from chronic anxiety or CDS. Your dog may also benefit from aromatherapy or CBD oil. Medicines like zylkene have also shown great promise in helping dogs who are suffering from anxiety.

Your dog may also benefit from regular massages. Yes, pets also enjoy massages, and they can help eliminate stress and anxiety by releasing oxytocin and endorphins. There are pet spas and other such facilities that provide spa treatments and massage therapy treatments specifically designed for dogs.

It is essential to keep your dog busy. If your dog just mopes around, then it will become lethargic and listless. Take your dog out for frequent walks so that it can get some fresh air. Take it to the park so that it can socialize with other dogs. Like humans, dogs need to be motivated and active, not only for fitness reasons but also for their psychological well-being.

There is no scientific data available on how CBD oil affects dogs’ well-being. While some dog owners have suggested that CBD oil has helped their dogs deal with their anxiety, the current information is anecdotal at best. Please speak to your veterinarian to determine if CBD oil is an effective treatment for your dog’s anxiety.

There is Hope for Anxious Dogs

Stress can lead to psychosomatic reactivity. Some dogs with chronic anxiety will become ill due to a compromised immune system. Others may become malnourished due to a lack of appetite. Some dogs may suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal ailments due to chronic anxiety.

Fortunately, pet anxiety can often be treated with tender love and care. Ensure that they are eating and exercising regularly and they are kept cool during summer and warm during winter. Playing with your dog regularly and showing it that you care is the best way to naturally reduce their stress and anxiety.

Author: Devon Graham is a blogger in Toronto. He graduated with honors from the University of British Columbia with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing. Devon Graham is a community manager for small businesses across Canada. He also likes to research various topics related to pets, food, storage solutions, and business solutions.

Originally posted 2021-04-28 18:12:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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