For some pet owners, the idea of a dog having anxiety is unthinkable. It’s hard to imagine that a cute and lovable furry pet can suffer from such a debilitating disorder. However, in reality, dogs can develop anxiety for a number of reasons. But dog anxiety, just like any other type of anxiety, is real and it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible if we want to prevent it from seeping into our dog’s psyche. It’s important to know the signs of anxiety in dogs so that you can speak with your veterinarian about what could cause these signs and how to treat them.
But how do you find out that your dog has anxiety in the first place? It’s not always easy to tell, but there are a few signs you can look for. This article will go over 10 warning signs that your dog may be experiencing anxiety, as well as tips on how you can help calm them down.
If you’re finding that your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, other animals, or even humans, this can be a sign that they have anxiety. This is actually more common than you think. If your dog is snarling, barking, growling, or otherwise acting aggressively when they’re around specific people (or animals), they might be afraid of whoever it is. They might be feeling like they need to protect themselves in some way – which they might do by biting. This kind of aggression is referred to as “fear-based” aggression. And yes, it can be very dangerous for both you and your dog if left untreated!
If your dog is drooling a lot, that could also be a sign of dog anxiety. In some cases, drooling is a sign of a painful condition, such as decreased saliva production or another form of oral disease. In most cases, however, it’s a symptom of anxiety. Many dogs will drool when they’re afraid or anxious – it’s a natural thing for them to do. In extreme cases, drooling can mean that your dog is about to bite someone or something. If you see this, try to get away from them as quickly as possible. Drooling from anxiety usually happens when a dog feels like they’re cornered or trapped in some way.
Dogs pant for many different reasons. They might be overheated, overstressed, or in pain. However, it can also be a sign of anxiety. For example, if your dog is panting heavily but not because of heat or other factors, this can definitely be a sign of anxiety. If your dog is panting heavily and seems to be showing other signs of stress – such as excessive drooling or shaking – it might mean that they’re experiencing an extreme degree of anxiety.
4. Excessive Barking
A dog might also show signs of anxiety through excessive barking and whining. If your dog is barking and/or whining for no good reason, it could be a sign that they’re feeling agitated or stressed out. This kind of behavior often happens when a dog feels like they don’t have any way to take their anxiety out on something (like another animal, person, etc.). It can also happen during thunderstorms. Anxiety during storms is normal for many dogs; it’s not abnormal or uncommon to see this in pets. However, excessive barking and whining during storms can still be a sign that the dog has an underlying anxiety issue that needs to be addressed.
If you notice that your dog is acting very restless, this could be a sign that they have anxiety. Dogs might pace and circle around a lot, or just find themselves unable to sit still for any length of time. If your dog seems to be restless at all times of the day – it doesn’t matter if they’re inside or outside – then this could be a sign that they’re feeling anxious. You can also see restlessness as a symptom of separation anxiety in dogs.
6. Weight Loss
If your dog is eating less and/or losing weight, this can definitely be a symptom of anxiety. Dogs suffering from extreme anxiety and distress will often lose interest in eating and drinking. This is usually a sign that they’re feeling really stressed out about something. It can also be a sign of separation anxiety in dogs. If your dog isn’t getting enough food or water, this could mean that they’re having a hard time coping with all of their stress.
7. Wetting Indoors
If you notice that your dog is “wetting” the floors of their house, they are most likely experiencing anxiety. Many dogs do this when they’re feeling anxious or tense. It’s a very common symptom, especially in dogs that are purebreds or have had little experience with indoor living. This is usually triggered by stress, which can lead to behavior patterns that don’t usually occur in most purebreds before they’re even two years old.
Depression is one of the major signs of dog anxiety. Pups suffering from depression will often show signs of nervousness, stress, and frustration. They might walk with their head low or their ears back. It’s also common to see them nip at people or other animals. This can be a sign of anxiety in some dogs. If this happens, try to keep an eye out for signs of stress. Also, make sure to get them checked out by a vet if their depression goes on for more than three days.
9. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If you notice that your dog is suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, they might also be suffering from anxiety. Obsessive behaviors are actually the most common sign of anxiety in dogs – but many people don’t check for signs of OCD when they’re trying to diagnose anxiety. Certain dogs that have been abused or neglected as pups will then go on to develop obsessive-compulsive behaviors later on in life. These behaviors will often include shaking, pacing, and other signs of stress and anxiety.
10. Destructive Behaviors
If you notice that your dog has been chewing on rugs, furniture, and other objects more than usual, this could mean that they’re anxious and upset about something. A lot of dogs will do this if they’re feeling agitated. If you notice that your dog has destroyed something, check with them about it to see what’s causing them to have more stress than usual – then try to find the source of that stress and help them to cope with it (if possible).
It can be very difficult to tell if your dog is feeling anxious. A lot of the time, it’s not easy to tell if they’re even showing signs of anxiety. It can be hard to pinpoint what’s causing them to act this way – especially since dogs don’t always act on their anxiety the same way that people do.
However, if you notice that your dog is showing any of the symptoms on this list, it’s important to figure out what might be causing their stress and then address it as best as possible. Try figuring out why your dog is feeling anxious and how you can help them cope with that stress. It’s not necessarily an easy process, but it’s absolutely necessary if you want your dog to feel better.
To explore more, check out our other articles on dog anxiety.
Have you ever noticed any of these signs of anxiety in your dog? If so, how did you treat it? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below.