What You Should Know About Anxiety in Dogs

What many dog owners do not realize about their dogs is that they can suffer from mental health issues much like a human being can. For example, depression and anxiety are both very real conditions that dogs can suffer from.

If you are concerned about your dog’s behaviors or you are just curious about anxiety in dogs, get to know more about canine anxiety. Then you can take your dog to the veterinarian at the first sign of anxiety troubles.

What Is Anxiety in Dogs?

Anxiety, whether in dogs or in humans, is a mental health disorder. It is characterized by excessive fear and worry and can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Many dogs, for example, experience what is known as separation anxiety. Separation anxiety occurs when the dog is left alone or is separated from its family.

What Are the Signs of Anxiety in Dogs?

When a dog has anxiety, they may engage in a variety of habits or behaviors that seem odd. For example, shaking (like shaking their head) can be a sign of anxiety in dogs if they engage in this behavior often. Trembling and shaking as if they are cold or afraid is another sign of anxiety in dogs.

Some dogs with anxiety tend to bark a lot and are jumpy whenever they hear loud noises. Others pant and drool a great deal when they are feeling anxious.

With separation anxiety, many dogs engage in destructive behaviors. They may tear or chew apart furniture, shoes, or even walls in some cases. A dog with separation anxiety may also urinate and defecate in the house when left alone.

Keep in mind that some dogs display very clear and obvious signs of anxiety while others have more subtle symptoms like excessive panting and shaking. Not every dog will experience anxiety in the same way.

What Can You Do About Anxiety in Your Dog?

If you suspect your dog suffers from some form of anxiety, there are various steps that you can take to help them with the situation. With separation anxiety, for example, you can take your dog to a doggie daycare center when you will be away from the house for a prolonged period of time.

You may also want to crate train them so that they can stay in a crate or kennel when you are gone. This can help them to avoid engaging in destructive behaviors while you are away from home and, in the case of doggie daycare, may distract them from the fact that they are separated from the family.

You may also want to purchase what is commonly known as a thunder shirt for your dog. These shirts provide slight pressure on your dog’s body. This pressure helps to calm their nerves and to quell symptoms of anxiety.

What Can Your Vet Do About Anxiety in Your Dog?

When you are trying these home remedies and strategies to help reduce your dog’s anxieties, you will also want to consult with your veterinarian.  There are a few things your vet can do to further help with the situation.

For example, they can help you identify what triggers your dog’s anxiety so that you can begin to counter condition them to reduce anxiety levels. Vets can help recommend trainers to help with this process as well.

Your vet can also prescribe medications that your dog can take to reduce their anxiety levels. These can be used on a short-term basis or a long-term basis depending on how the counter-conditioning and other methods work to reduce your dog’s anxiety issues.
Sometimes, a dog will have chronic anxiety and need medications over the course of several months or years to be able to function normally.

If you notice any of these signs of anxiety in a dog, bring them to Animal Medical Center of Appleton so they can receive the help they need.

Don’t hesitate to call us at  920-749-1717  or request an appointment here! We see animals from the Menasha, Neenah, Appleton, Grand Chute, and surrounding areas.