Dogs struggle with anxiety too – What to look for & how to deal with anxious pets

Like us, dogs express a wide range of emotions through physical and verbal cues. It’s not uncommon for your dogs to deal with anxiety and stress.

Man’s best friends are capable of feeling some of the same emotions as their human counterparts can. Like us, dogs express a wide range of emotions through physical and verbal cues. From being left alone at home too long to stressing a veterinarian visit and sometimes riding in the car, it’s not uncommon for your dogs to deal with anxiety and stress.

Dogs can display several behavior indicators to show that they may not be feeling well, emotionally and mentally. 

Understanding your dog’s emotions is a pivotal step in ensuring their happiness. 

Before we dive into how to help your little (or big) canine pal, here are a few signs that your dog might be suffering from anxiety and stress. We’ve highlighted some useful tips on treating your pup to get them back to feeling good at the end of the article. 

How To Help Your Dogs

Whereas regular exercise, a healthy diet, establishing a routine, and creating a safe zone for your dog can help its mood, several tactics can help your pup who might be stressed or anxious. Consider trying these alternative methods:

Music Therapy

Music is a powerful tool for both humans, dogs, and even cats. The power of music can be both calming and relaxing while alleviating the noise sensitivity for your pup by blocking out the ambient (and sometimes loud) sound of the street, cars, and passerby.

Research has shown that dogs prefer classical music, specifically the soothing sound of harps and pianos, which can be used as a natural sedative to relieve stress and anxiety. 

Sound Researcher, Joshua Leeds, says music positively impacts the mammalian nervous system (including humans), and his work may be worth a look (and a listen) for pet owners.

Holistic Treatments

One of the most talked-about alternative options for dealing with pet anxiety has been CBD, a natural substance found in the hemp plant. Not to be confused with THC, its psychoactive counterpart, CBD, has been used by humans for hundreds of years in the medical field, and cannabis oil for dog anxiety is becoming more and more common.

It works by helping the immune system modulate activity, supporting a reduction in stress and anxiety, arthritis, joint issues, blood disorders, tumors, and cancer.

Calming Coats

Calming coats apply a mild amount of pressure onto a dog’s torso, surrounding the dog like a cradled baby. It’s recommended for dogs with any anxiety induced by travel, separation, noise, or trauma. 

At-Home Diffuser

Similar to music to their ears, aromatherapy is an odorless sense that’s music to their noses. Diffusers release pheromones that naturally alleviate stress and anxiety, which humans can’t smell. 

Common Anxious Tendencies

Drooling, Panting, And Sweating

Similar to us, when dogs are placed in stressful environments, they experience a rise in body temperature. Obviously, things that stress us out don’t necessarily apply to dogs. Still, if they’re put in situations that make them uncomfortable, they can excessively drool, sweat, and pant as a result. 

Dogs sweat from their paw pads and noses. 

Shedding And Shaking

If your dog is dealing with anxiety, it might start to shed excessively. Similarly, if you take your dog to the vet, they quickly start to shed as a sign of not wanting to be there. 

Excessive shedding can also be linked to shaking.

Tucking In Their Tails

A tucked-in tail can indicate your dog is feeling anxious, aggressive, or scared. Apart from emotional cues, a tail tucked between its legs can indicate that something is not right.

Destructive Tendencies

Often, anxious and stressed dogs will look for a physical outlet to alleviate their feelings (we’ve all been there too, huh?), especially with the increase in separation anxiety as owners go back to work. This can result in your couches, beds, chairs, tables, clothing, and toys becoming targets.

If your dog starts to gnaw on its fur, body, and legs excessively, it could be dealing with some uncomfortable feelings. 

Avoidance Tendencies

Sometimes, a dog dealing with emotional problems can start to avoid its owner(s). If you notice your dog hiding behind furniture or going into rooms alone for a long period of time, you might need to address it. 

Urination

Look, when you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go, but sometimes inappropriate or untimely urination can be more than just a medical issue. 

If you notice your dog urinating or defecating during a vet visit when people come over or in the presence of other dogs, it could often be linked to stress.

Ear Positioning

Dogs often use their ears to express emotions. When dogs’ ears are tightly pinned against their heads, it’s often an indicator that something is wrong. It might be wise to carefully monitor where your dog’s ears are in different situations (since all breeds are different). That way, you’ll be able to tell when it’s in a situation it’d rather not be in. 

Excessing Yawning

If you notice your dog yawning excessively, it may be trying to displace feelings of anxiety. Yawning can often lead to barking, whining, growling, and/or whimpering, essentially trying to convey to its owners that something is wrong. 

Aggression

You obviously know your dog’s behavior better than anyone, so if you notice unusual aggression towards other dogs, strangers, friends, and vets, your dog might be trying to tell you something. This is why many veterinarians prefer to treat dogs who are restrained.

Let’s talk dogs, or even better, let’s learn about dogs.  Set aside some time to receive Spike’s dog blogs by Acme Canine.
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