It’s rewarding to own a dog, but it can also be a frustrating thing. There is a chance that you will have to deal with anxiety problems that your furry friend has. Just like humans, dogs are also susceptible to anxiety.
Anxiety can affect all breeds of dogs, but it is not easy to detect and it can affect each dog differently. Although canines experience it from time-to-time, if it’s serious and left unchecked and treated, your dog can develop serious behavioral problems.
The post will share with you what you need to know about anxiety issues in your dog and how to deal with them.
What is dog anxiety?
Anxiety is when your dog anticipates potential danger from unknown or imaginary sources. This results in bodily reactions to specific stimulus responsible for the anxiety issues. In most cases, your dog will change its behavior because of that stimuli.
This behavior can be reduced once you take the right course of action, but anxiety will not just go away when you don’t treat your dog. You need professional help from your vet to identify the root cause of the problem and might recommend calming treats for dogs to calm your furry friend.
Most anxieties develop as your dog becomes mature and this happens when they are between 12 and 36 months old. On the other hand, dogs that are of 8 to 10 months old develop anxieties for unknown reasons.
What causes dog anxiety?
Anxieties in dogs are caused by various reasons, but there are still a few common triggers that may be the main culprits. Some of the notable causes of dog anxiety are the following:
- When the pet owner separates with the dog. You may leave your house and the dog develops anxiety problems.
- If your dog is in pain because of some injuries, it can cause anxieties.
- Toxic conditions or infectious disease can cause anxiety.
- Your dog might have developed fear for a terrifying previous experience. Mistreatment such as physical and mental abuse can cause anxiety.
- A new environment can upset some dogs. A new home, new pets, and people can lead to anxiety.
What does anxiety look like?
It’s hard to tell if your dog has anxiety, but there are some symptoms that you can check. These include aggression, drooling, panting, urinating or defecating in your home, destructive behavior, and excessive barking.
While most of these symptoms can happen occasionally, some of them can become routine to cause more serious problems. However, aggression is the most serious symptom of dog anxiety.
A dog can display aggressive behavior toward other animals or people around them. Sometimes, a dog is only aggressive when a person comes between the canine and the thing that is causing its aggressive behavior such as another dog.
Even if you prevent your dog from harming other people, aggressive behaviors, including barking, can cause uncomfortable situations.
Urinating and defecating
A dog will urinate and defecate in your home because it’s going through symptoms of separation anxiety. Anxious dogs will be agitated to the point that they will pee in your home, even if they are well-trained. This can be frustrating to you as a pet owner as it can cause damages to your property and it gives you a lot of work to clean up.
Another common anxiety symptom is destructive behavior. Anxious dogs will usually destroy items that are near the exit and entry points of your home. Therefore, doorways and windows become their target as they go through their anxiety issues.
The worst part is that dogs in such a state of anxiety might injure themselves. A dog will attempt to destroy doors, windows, and crates resulting in serious injuries and unexpected and costly veterinary treatments.
Other common symptoms
Some symptoms are less obvious and you are likely going to miss them if you are not checking your dog. Your dog has anxiety problem if you see dilation of pupils, the dog is moving away from people who try to pet them, and displacement behavior such as avoiding interactions, lip licking, air sniffing, and wet-dog shaking.
A dog that is comfortable in your home will not feel unsafe and have these anxiety issues. Dogs will study and understand their environment for potential dangers and if they feel safe, they adjust to it. However, if your dog keeps on scanning its environment or appears to be very alert, anxiety might be the cause of it.
Dogs are concerned about anything that seems to affect their normal life. For that reason, an anxious dog might not sit in one place and they can also have physical symptoms including changes in their sleeping and eating habits, and shedding. Try to give your dog calming treats to see if there is going to be a change in behavior.
How to stop dog anxiety from happening?
It can be difficult to determine the real cause of anxiety in your dog, and even harder to find out if the anxiety is going to become a more serious problem. But, there are some ways you can use to prevent anxiety-related disorders.
It’s important to understand the body language of your dog. This will help you know when your dog is scared or feels uncomfortable. You can use this to prevent negative experiences or read the body language to train them. Body language is a good indicator if your dog is anxious, this is useful if your canine has aggression-related anxiety problems.
You need to ensure your dog socializes to prevent anxiety. Introduce your canine to the other dogs, new people, places, and other animals. New experiences will help your dog to adjust easily to different situations and they will avoid some unexpected responses.
If there is a right tool to prevent and manage anxiety in your dog, probably obedience training is the best option. The dog will have a great foundation and develops excellent relationship and trust with people and other animals.
A well-trained dog has no problems socializing compared to an untrained dog. Attend obedience classes where your dog can get acquitted with other dogs in a monitored environment and make sure to provide them with calming treats for dogs.
Exercises and the right diet
Regular exercises are essential for your dog’s physical and mental health. It stimulates a dog and is most likely going to avoid destructive behavior. The right diet is also important if your dog is going to have good health.
Ensure that you give your dog calming treats for dogs so that they can have good physical and mental health because this might prevent anxieties. Calming treats for dogs have become popular with most dog owners suggesting that it assists in calming their dogs.
Avoid other situations
If you know that your dog has anxiety problems, make sure that you avoid situations that might trigger anxiety. For example, if your dog becomes anxious around other dogs, don’t go to dog parks where there is a good chance of encountering other dogs.
However, if there is no way of avoiding it, you can give your dog calming treats for dogs, use harnesses or leashes to avoid dangerous situations.
How to calm dog anxiety? (What are the common ways and how are CBD treats the best option)
A common mistake that many people make is comforting them when they have anxiety. This appears to be an ideal solution, but you might be harming the dog by doing this. Your dog will take this action as a form of reward, and they will be encouraged to continue with their unfavorable behavior.
The best option to treat anxiety in your dog is to give them calming treats for dogs or consult your vet. Your veterinarian will examine the symptoms to identify the type of anxiety your canine might be suffering from. They will also narrow down the causes and the what might be triggering it.
The vet is in a better position to uncover if the anxiety is simply a once-off condition or it is becoming routine for the dog. It’s only the vet who can find out if any medical conditions could be causing anxiety in your dog.
From there, the vet will pinpoint the leading trigger that might be causing anxiety and will suggest ways to prevent it from causing further problems to your dog. The vet can also do a blood test to find out if there is any toxin in the blood system of your dog that could cause anxiety.
The vet will then offer you various options that might involve calming treats for dogs, depending on the severity of the problem. Because several factors contribute to excessive anxiety, there are normally multiple ways to calm your dog.
Often, you can use preventive measures, training, and some calming treats for dogs. Below are specific ways of how you can manage anxiety in your dog:
Training your dog will be the best way to manage excessive anxiety. There are various training methods but the common one is called counter-conditioning. The intention of using counter-conditioning is to attempt to change your dog’s bad behavior with a positive one. Therefore, you replace the anxious behavior with a more suitable behavior such as sitting.
Alternatively, you can use desensitization to calm your dog. In this method, you subtly introduce your dog to the source of anxiety, which could be thunderstorms or fireworks. You then increase as the dog gets used to the source.
It works well if you repeat the process and reward the dog for positive behavior. But, if you find this to be overwhelming for you to do alone, you can seek the services of a professional dog trainer who can advise you the best approach to train your dog.
Another suggestion that works well is to do crate training to help their anxiety problem. However, this depends on the type of dog you own as some of them don’t feel comfortable with this method. Most dogs feel safe staying in a crate when you are gone because they consider the space to be safe for them.
While this technique works for most dogs, others get opposite results. Some dogs feel trapped staying inside a crate. This is the reason why you need to analyze the condition of your dog before using this method.
Using CBD Oil
CBD has also been used successfully by humans to deal with various ailments. Some people are now using CBD Oil to calm their dogs. It’s important to buy calming treats for dogs from a reputable outlet and use them in the correct dose for effective results.
The calming treats for dogs and other pets have been used for years when people observed a change in behavior. If you see that your dog is having an undesirable behavior caused by sources such as fireworks, probably it might be the right time to introduce your dog to CBD.
CBD for dogs performs by acting on the endocannabinoid system. This system can distribute the CBD compound throughout the nervous system, meaning it provides relief to various parts of the dog’s body. Through the same process, the compound stimulates the brain to release serotonin that is responsible for calming the body. The bottom line is that calming treats for dogs are a great option for calming your dog.
If your dog is showing extreme levels of anxiety problems, talk to your vet if giving your dog CBD is an ideal way of overcoming it. It’s always the best thing for you to proceed with care and caution by ensuring that you follow the recommended dosing guidelines.
What types of anxiety can dogs get?
The potential for a dog to have anxiety is common for all types of dogs, but some dogs are more prone to it. Breeds that are usually affected by anxiety include Labrador Retrievers, German shepherds, Australian shepherds, Vizlas, Cocker Spaniels, and Greyhounds.
Dogs can be affected by various types of anxieties due to fear, separation, or aging. Discussed below are some types of anxiety common in most dogs
Fear-related anxiety is a result of strange people or other animals, loud noises, or strange environments like car rides. Some dogs might have a brief reaction to this stimulus, but it can be recurrent every time your dog experiences it.
This is a common anxiety problem for dogs and dogs suffering from separation anxiety find it difficult to stay alone when you leave from your home. Unfortunately, this anxiety issue can be witnessed by your dog’s undesirable behavior. The dog will urinate and defecate in your home, barking, and destroy furnishings and even doors.
As a dog age, they tend to be affected by cognitive dysfunction syndrome. For dogs that have this syndrome, there is a reduction of memory, perception, learning, and awareness. The symptoms are quite similar to humans who have an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease. For that reason, senior dogs will be confused and they have anxiety issues.
Many dogs will have anxiety, just like humans at some point in their lives. Although not all of the dogs will experience it, it’s always important to know how to deal with the causes, their symptoms, and treatments.
Understanding these aspects will help you to come up with the best way to help your dog. But, if you suspect that your dog has anxiety problems, you should consult your vet immediately. The vet will diagnose your dog and assist you to create a treatment plan that suits your dog. The calming treats for dogs are safe to use and they might benefit a dog affected by anxiety.
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