Humans struggle with anxiety and its impact on their health. Hence, various studies have established sleeplessness and restlessness as some of the signs to look out for in relation to the condition. Similar to humans, dogs experience anxieties, but they can’t communicate the feeling to their owners easily.
When owners notice some of these signs, they often downplay and overlook them as nothing significant. However, they can endanger the life of your dog, resulting in shorter lifespans, and an increased disease frequency and severity.
It requires a knowledgeable and keen eye to notice these signs. This article discusses signs you should note to determine if your dog is anxious:
Unusual Appetite and Destructiveness
The most common dog anxiety signs you can spot in your dogs are physical signs such as a lack or increase in appetite. Some breeds are more susceptible than others to this symptom, but if you see this change in your dog’s appetite and eating habits, it is probably an indicator of other health problems or psychological trauma that your dog may be suffering from.
Anxiety can also play out as a destructive attitude such as chewing at anything including toys, furniture, and household items. According to experts, it’s a way for your dog to get nervous energy out of its system. For anxiety-prone dogs, you should provide healthy meals, new toys, and more training to control these tendencies.
Hyperactivity and Restlessness
A common sign of anxiety in dogs is hyperactivity. It usually shows up as being overactive around people and in new places. Possible triggers include smells, sounds, animals, and any new thing in their immediate environment.
For anxiety, symptoms include trembling, hyperventilating, and increased heart rates. Stress in dogs also is related to genetics, so some dogs are more likely to develop nervousness than others.
For example, military dogs are known to be particularly prone to stress because they have been exposed to hard challenges, such as military training and combat dogs are generally more stressed than normal service dogs and other canine breeds.
If your dog has suffered an unpleasant trauma in the past, then it’s more likely to be prone to stress than other dogs similar to how military and service dogs respond to anxiety differently.
Sometimes stress is brought on by the owner’s reaction to a certain behavior problem—it could be a case where the owner doesn’t understand what the dog wants and the dog reacts negatively by biting or barking. This can be a form of communication between the dog and the owner.
Another symptom of dog anxiety is excessive barking. This may also be caused by triggers such as stress and fear. Another sign of anxiety in dogs is whining, scratching and chewing his paws, licking his lips and making other types of noises. Some dogs will also act out of fear and try to escape from certain situations.
A dog may also display aggressive behavior towards people, animals, or even objects. Another anxiety symptom is your dog becoming very nervous about things they don’t need to worry about, like snakes, insects and other wild animals. One of the symptoms of anxiety in dogs is that they will get very depressed and anxious. If your dog is acting in this way, take them to the vet right away for an examination.
Panicking and Trembling
A recent peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that, out of a sample of 13,000 Finnish domestic dogs displaying panic-related behavior problems, over one-third of the dogs had excessive noise anxiety, and another third were afraid of being startled.
Sound and sight are common causes of panic anxiety in dogs. This can happen when you’re driving down the road and suddenly your dog starts whimpering. Especially if you live near a busy highway or busy airport, the sound of a car horn or a faulty and loud vehicle can irritate your dog making it have anxiety attacks.
You can prevent these problems from occurring by using a noise-canceling collar and other dog training devices. You can use a training collar to train your dog in other ways, such as sit, stay, come, and heel. Once you have practiced these calming techniques with your dog, you can easily calm them down when you notice any anxiety symptoms.
Excessive urination can be a huge sign of anxiety. It is usually caused by the body being in a fight-or-flight response. The body produces a large amount of urine and its urination frequency spikes or it starts dribbling urine around the house. This sign is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as stomach aches, rapid breathing, and an increased heartbeat.
The cause of such induced urination is a sympathetic response in the nervous system that increases adrenaline and relaxes the bladder. This increases the rate at which body waste is release. It’s advisable not to overreact by yelling or scolding your anxious dog instead seek ways by which you can calm its nerves.
A Habit for Escaping
This particular sign is associated directly with separation anxiety where your dog is not familiar with being alone away from you. Therefore, immediately you leave them at home alone, they take off and it’s often in a frantic search for you.
Although escape is rightly a sign of anxiety, it’s also dangerous for your dog. They could get lost or involved in an accident. You should seek ways to calm their anxiety while away from you and increase the time it spends alone to ensure they’re not in danger when you’re away from home.
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Anxiety symptoms should be discovered early in your dog to prevent the damaging effects of the condition by adequate treatment. The notable signs to watch out for in your dog include an unusual appetite, restlessness, excessive barking, panicking, and excessive urination.
There are several ways by which you can treat your dog’s anxiety. They include behavioral training, establishing environmental control systems, and medical treatment. You should ensure to talk to your veterinarian about any past events that may have contributed to the dog’s anxiety. With sufficient information provided, doctors always find ways to help ailing dogs bringing them to health very quickly.