Did you know that our canine buddies could suffer from anxiety, just as people can? Fido is very emotional, and can be affected by fear, trauma, loneliness, and other issues. Here, a Mt. Airy, MD vet offers some information on canine anxiety.
Causes Of Anxiety
Quite a few things can cause dogs to feel anxious, nervous, or stressed. Separation anxiety is a big one. As the name suggests, this is a type of distress dogs feel when they are separated from their humans. It’s quite common, affecting as many as 14 percent of our canine pals. If you sometimes come home to find that Fido made a bit of a mess in your absence, this may be the issue. Major changes can also cause anxiety in dogs. That includes things like moving, changing owners, discord with other pets, discomfort, and phobias. Some pups become anxious as they experience age-related issues, while others may be frightened of specific stimuli, such as thunderstorms or loud noises like banging doors.
Signs Of Anxiety
Fido may express his anxiety in a variety of ways. Many of these indications can easily be mistaken for simple bad behavior. Some common indicators include aggressive behavior; soiling improperly; destructive behavior, such as digging and chewing; excessive barking and/or whining; clinginess; pacing; or restlessness. Drooling and panting can also be signs of anxiety, though they can also be warnings that your furry buddy is overheating.
Helping Fido Cope
There are things you can do to help keep your pooch calm. Make sure that Fido is getting plenty of exercise. Offering him toys and stimulation can also help, by keeping him occupied. Puzzle toys are good for this, as are certain types of chews, such as Kong toys. If your furry friend has only recently started displaying signs of anxiety, bring him in for a thorough exam, to rule out potential health issues. It’s also important to know what not to do. Don’t punish your four-legged companion for acting up: that may only make him more anxious. Instead, focus on rewarding good behavior. If your dog’s anxiety is severe, consult your vet or a pet behaviorist. Training and/or medication may be needed for some pups.
If you have questions about your pet’s health or care, please do not hesitate to contact us. As your local Mt. Airy, MD animal clinic, we’re here to help!