Many dogs experience symptoms of anxiety and stress, but their owners may not know it. Just like it humans, stress can negatively impact their immune system, reduce their lifespan and decrease overall happiness. Because of this, it’s important to know what stress and anxiety might look like with your dog so that you can help your pup out when they need it.
Stress and anxiety can manifest itself in a lot of ways, but here are a few different signs that your dog may be under pressure:
- Excessive panting
- Licking or chewing
- Excessive whining, barking, howling
- Urination - accidents
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Repeated attempts to escape
- Destructive behaviors
One of these signs alone does not necessarily mean that your dog is suffering from anxiety or stress. You know your dog the best so look for changes in behavior or a combination of these different behaviors in your dog over time.
Causes of anxiety can vary, but many times it is related to a change of home or a disruption in their daily routine. You might notice these stressed out behaviors when you leave your dog at home for extended periods, take them to the vet, groomer or even a being put in the crate for a car ride. Loud noises from fireworks or a storm commonly stress your dog out too.
It’s necessary to be aware of your dog’s anxiety levels so that you can treat it and make your dog’s life easier. If you don’t know what to look for or when it might happen, you won’t be able to help your dog.
So, What Can You Do?
If these signs sound similar to what your dog is experiencing, you should try to find a way to calm your dog down. You might have to try a few different strategies to see which one is the most effective for your dog.
Exercise: Humans relieve their stress by exercising and dogs can do the same thing. To help with your dog’s anxiety, you can make sure that you’re taking your dog on regular walks and helping them exercise. If the weather isn't cooperating, playing with your dog indoors can help to reduce their stress and get the exercise they need.
Massage: Just like humans, dogs enjoy massages. Try rubbing your dog’s back by using a slow and long motion. Petting and belly rubs count here too. Your dog loves that.
Healthy Distractions: Dogs have active minds and so they get bored like you do. You can try to distract your dog with healthy treats, toys, or calming music. Chew toys and bones are a good way to keep your dog occupied for a little bit while you are away.
Companionship: Like people, dogs are social animals. They don’t like to be left alone for extended periods and they prefer to interact with their human. So make sure you or someone else you trust is spending time with your best friend.
Natural Supplements: Many dog owners have found that an anti-anxiety supplement can be really helpful. CBD oil and other natural ingredients can help your dog chill out and relax.
If none of these ideas help, you should talk to your veterinarian. Some dogs might require medication or a change in diet or a different daily routine to treat their anxiety. If you notice these behaviors consistently, It’s a good idea to mention it to your veterinarian the next time you go, even if you think you have it managed. Your veterinarian will be able to give you other suggestions based on your dog’s specific signs and needs.