Just like humans, our dogs can become anxious too and it’s important for dog owners to know when their dog is experiencing this. There are a number of reasons why a dog may become anxious and it’s important to know what to do if you are worried about your pet. From identifying the reason for the anxiety, to managing it and treating it accordingly, the following tips have been gathered to help you when it comes to any anxiety your dog may have.
Dogs are usually very happy, lively animals so it’s always noticeable when they aren’t feeling themselves. For many dogs, anxiety can have a real effect on them and result in them becoming very low, tired and unsettled. The main causes of anxiety in dogs are fear, separation and aging. Fear is something that can really affect your dog, especially if they’re scared when in the house. Whether it’s walking past other dogs, or loud noises from the television, certain things can trigger that fear and result in anxiety for long periods of time. Similarly, if your pet has been separated from you for a long period of time, you are likely to see some separation anxiety. This is often something that can be resolved quickly, but if a dog is missing someone it can be really difficult to bring them round.
Identifying the Symptoms
We all know our dogs very well and it’s obvious when something is bothering them, but you may not know exactly when they’re suffering from anxiety. The main symptoms for anxiety within dogs are aggression, drooling, panting, excessive barking and depression. If your dog is usually extremely soft and gentle but you notice they have become slightly aggressive or bark much more than often, then this is a clear signal that something isn’t right. Similarly, if your dog seems to be keeping to themselves and not interacting much, they may be going through some depression which it’s important to identify and get on top of to bring them back to feeling their happy selves.
In order to get on top of your pets’ anxiety, there are a few things in which you can do that will help them settle and relax. Firstly, training your pet can really help them to calm down and feel more in control. By teaching them basic commands such as sit and stay, you can keep their brain engaged and interacting, rewarding them as you go and making them feel good about themselves. Similarly, you can introduce key products to your home such as the Adaptil diffusers, available here, to help de-stress your dog and keep them comfortable. Having these in the home can help to create a calming atmosphere for your dog, without having to change anything else in that space.
How to Prevent
Managing your dog’s anxiety is one thing but knowing how to prevent it from reoccurring is essential. Whether your dog has had anxiety before, or it’s something you worry could happen in the future, you can try to prevent it by following some simple steps. Ensure your body language with your dog is positive, helping them to learn and teaching them new tricks, rewarding them for good behaviour and showing general loving emotion towards them daily. Socialisation is another key preventor, as many dogs become anxious when they are exposed to people or situations they aren’t used to. By keeping your dog’s social life going and introducing them to new dogs, humans and interactions, they will become used to the experience and therefore not panic or become anxious.