Why Does Your Dog Feel Anxious? A Breakdown of Canine Anxiety
Dogs can feel anxious, just like people. However, some dogs appear to live in constant anxiety or respond with surprising agitation to specific triggers. Some dog anxiety symptoms may include panting, cowering, restlessness, destructiveness, or even peeing and pooing indoors.
Even the best pups can express their stress through poor behavior. Since dogs can't tell their humans how they feel, people may need to spend some time understanding the source of these behaviors. Besides, no pet parent wants to see their four-legged friend feel blue and out of sorts. Find out what causes Fido or Fluffy to appear stressed and how to help your pet cope.
3 Common reasons dogs feel anxiety
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs of any breed can suffer from pet anxiety. Primarily, individual pets may suffer from stress for various reasons and express their negative emotions differently. Explore three common types of anxiety in dogs to understand any specific pet's feelings and behavior.
Some dogs feel anxious whenever they're left alone. It doesn't matter if pet parents must leave for five minutes or five hours. Besides showing agitation, well-trained pets might defecate or urinate inside, chew up the furniture, or bark incessantly.
Some dogs don't react well to variations in their standard routine or surroundings, like a trip to the vet or even a new sofa in the den. Many dogs cower and run for cover when they hear loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks. The pets will usually demonstrate their apprehension by quivering, cowering, hiding, or refusing to heed their learned commands.
These days, many people adopt pets they find as strays or in pet shelters. Most dogs quickly acclimate to a new, loving home, but some can't shake their fear of abandonment or other bad experiences. Unfamiliar noises, other dogs, or confinement might trigger agitated behaviors.
How to help anxious dogs curb their anxiety
Stressed dogs can cause their owners a considerable amount of anxiety as well. Some suggestions to help pets and people cope with anxious dogs include:
- Use an indoor security camera to check on the dog's behavior when everybody's away. Many of these gadgets interface with smartphones, making them convenient to use. Special pet cameras even offer two-way communication and dispense treats.
- Crates, closed-off rooms, or even cars upset some pets. If a dog appears to dislike confined spaces, take the time to acclimate them slowly. They might even begin to anticipate car rides or a chance to retreat to their own special space.
- Reward positive behavior with a treat. Dogs pick up on their owner's moods. Respond with gentle words and a calm tone of voice. Try a petting or brushing session to calm bad moods and strengthen bonds when the dog appears agitated.