A series of educational pet nutrition blogs written by pet experts, just for pet parents.

Pet Anxiety: Common Signs and Causes, and How to Help!

Posted on 06.07.2024

Summer time gives families much to look forward to - swimming, no school, spending time with friends and family, cookouts, vacations, and so much more! However, a break from our usual routine can cause a disruption in our pet's lives and sense of normalcy. With summer comes warmer weather, summer storms, and holiday celebrations. Most specifically, fireworks done by neighbors or at big shows/festivals near your home. The sights and scounds of these festivities can create stress and anxiety for our furry friends and their heightened senses.

Dog anxiety is a condition that affects a significant number of our furry friends, and as responsible pet owners, it's crucial for us to understand its signs, causes, and how to alleviate it. Read along as we delve into the world of dog anxiety, exploring the signs that indicate your dog might be anxious, common causes of anxiety, and effective strategies to ease their worries.

Common Causes of Anxiety in Dogs

While we might not be able to ever fully understand why our dog is exhibiting signs of anxiety, there are a few common causes:

  • Separation anxiety: Dogs are social animals, and being left alone for extended periods can lead to anxiety.
  • Fear and phobias: Dogs may develop anxiety due to specific fears or phobias, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or loud noises.
  • Lack of socialization: Insufficient exposure to various people, animals, and environments during a dog's early development can contribute to anxiety.
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders or cognitive dysfunction, can cause or exacerbate anxiety in dogs.

Signs That Your Dog Might Be Anxious

Dogs communicate their emotions primarily through body language and behavior. If you notice any of the following signs in your dog, it may indicate anxiety. Possible behavior patterns include:

  • Restlessness: Excessive pacing, inability to settle down, and constant movement.
  • Excessive panting: Dogs often pant when they are anxious or stressed.
  • Trembling or shaking: Physiological responses such as trembling or shaking are common manifestations of anxiety in dogs.
  • Excessive barking or howling: Dogs may vocalize more than usual when they feel anxious or uneasy.
  • Potentially destructive behavior: Anxiety can lead to aggressive behavior towards people, other animals, or objects. It may also manifest as destructive chewing or digging.

Some dogs also exhibit physical markers of anxiety, like whale eyes, having their tail between their legs, bowing their head down, or lifting up one paw while standing. It is important to keep an eye out for these signs in order to help alleviate our furry friend's stress and keep them happy and healthy.

How to Ease Anxiety in Your Dog

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to help ease your dog's anxiety:

  • Establish a routine: Dogs thrive on routine, so providing a predictable daily schedule can help reduce their anxiety levels.

  • Create a safe space: Set up a designated area in your home where your dog can retreat to when feeling anxious. Make it comfortable and include their favorite toys or blankets.

  • Regular exercise: Physical exercise is an excellent outlet for anxiety and helps to promote overall well-being. Engage your dog in daily walks, playtime, or other activities they enjoy.

  • Mental stimulation: Keeping your dog mentally engaged through puzzle toys, obedience training, or interactive games can divert their focus from anxiety-inducing triggers

  • Calming products: Consider using natural calming products, such as pheromone diffusers or herbal supplements, to help alleviate anxiety symptoms.

Treats Unleashed offers a number of different calming solutions for our furry friends. Brands like Super Snouts Pet Releaf offer delicious calming chews enhanced with CBD. CBD is a natural supplement that can produce stress reduction from dog's with anxiety. CBD supplements are more occasion based - benefiting dogs during summer storms, fireworks, and other loud environments.

Other brands, like Progility, use ingredients like melatonin, L-theanine, and thiamine to help pets withstand stressful situations. These aids are great for everyday use, whether it be separation anxiety, medical conditions, or otherwise. Looking for a more specific recommendation catered directly to your pet? Stop into your local TU for a free consultation!

We’re not veterinarians. Treats Unleashed staff are well educated, and our writing is well-researched, but neither the advice of a Treats Unleashed staff member nor reading Treats Unleashed's written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian. We offer carefully chosen, natural solutions, but we believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.

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