Did you know that dogs can suffer from anxiety? Fido is very emotional, and he can feel scared, lonely, confused, and anxious. Separation anxiety is quite common in dogs. Pups may also be frightened of specific things or situations, such as storms, crowds, or cars. Anxiety is often mistaken for bad behavior in dogs, but it in fact often stems from Fido’s history, or perhaps from specific phobias. A local Gresham, OR vet discusses doggy anxiety in this article.
All dogs are different, so the signs of anxiety will vary from pup to pup. Fido may bark, whining, or howling, especially when he is alone. Some warning signs include panting, pacing, shivering, and generally acting restless. Your canine pal may also try to run away, or indulge in destructive behaviors like digging, chewing, or eating things that aren’t food. Dogs with anxiety may also lick or chew themselves incessantly, lick their lips, cower, or soil inappropriately. Their eating habits may also be disrupted.
If you know or suspect that your pet has anxiety, you’ll want to take steps to address it right away. Left untreated, anxiety in dogs often just gets worse. This can snowball into a situation where people just think they have bad dogs, and end up rehoming them. This is very sad, as proper understanding and treatment really can make a huge difference.
There are treatments available for anxiety. Behavioral counseling is one option. This may cost a bit, but you’ll also have the guidance, peace of mind, and outcome that a professional can provide. Fido may also benefit from medication. With some types of anxiety, simply comforting your pet may help. There are also products made specifically to soothe pups, such as pet calming shirts and sprays. Your vet may prescribe medication. It’s also important to make sure that Fido has lots of toys, and walk and play with him daily. This will help him burn off that excess angst.
It’s important to make the distinction between behaviors that stem from anxiety and simple bad behavior. Never punish your pet for acting up … even if he did eat your brand new shoes. Focus on rewarding good behavior, and making your canine companion feel safe and loved. Ask your vet for more information.
Do you have questions about anxiety in dogs? Contact us, your local Gresham, OR veterinary clinic, today!