Anxiety is a serious mental health issue that should be addressed and taken seriously. Anyone with anxiety could suffer for a long period of time without anybody else beside them to help them out.
Sadly, the man’s best friend who gives us happiness is not exempt from anxiety. Yes, our beloved dogs can also suffer from anxiety. To make matters worse, dogs aren’t even capable of voicing out how they feel.
Therefore, you have to rely on your own judgment and be very observant to be able to spot any signs of anxiety in your dogs.
Dogs get anxiety due to a variety of reasons. It could be because of a traumatic experience for them in the past, it can be a result of separation, it may be because of old age, or an effect of an illness.
Some of the traumatic experiences that can trigger anxiety in dogs is being abandoned by its owner in the past, or any exposure to abuse before.
Many (if not all) dogs feel down after being left alone, even just for a few hours. Around 14% of dog population suffers from separation anxiety. If they are going to be left alone for the first time at a dog kennel or in a dog boarding environment, it may be a good idea to take them to doggy daycare a few times first to see how they will do in that type of environment. Some dogs don’t do well with other dogs and these types may do better with a pet sitter coming to stay with them rather than them going to a place where there is a potential for lots of noise and scary dogs.
As dogs grow older, their behavior might change. They could easily get anxious. Loud noises, confinement, and thunder are just some of the most common things that can trigger anxiety in dogs with old age.
Effect of an Illness
Just like in humans, diseases such as thyroid problems can trigger anxiety in dogs.
Signs of Anxiety
Signs of anxiety in dogs can include the following symptoms:
Loss of appetite
Lack of energy or expressing disinterest in any activity
Too much barking or crying
What To Do If Your Dog Has Anxiety
Taking your dog to the vet for a professional check up will help you understand a lot about your dog’s anxiety. The vet could prescribe anti-anxiety meds for your dog – depending on the severity of the case.
You can also undergo some training with your dog so you can learn how to provide proper care and comfort to your dog during episodes of anxiety. Your dog undergoing some training with other dogs can also help them socialize, which might help in reducing stress and anxiety.