Dog Anxiety Awareness Week helps raise a dog owner's awareness of anxiety in their pet. Nearly all dogs experience anxiety at one time or another, but some dogs have a hard time with the emotion and are prone to developing an anxiety disorder. Dogs who have anxiety issues or disorders can be tough to live with as their behaviors become unpleasant. However, the signs of anxiety aren't always obvious and pet owners sometimes write off the behaviors as willfulness, being stubborn, or aging. Following is a look at the signs of anxiety in your dog, how to recognize it, and when you should bring your dog to Blue Sky Vet Clinic for help:
3 Common Causes of Anxiety in Dogs
Dogs can develop anxiety behaviors and disorders through multiple causes including genetics, poor socialization during early life, traumatic events and brain health. The most common causes of anxiety in dogs include separation, fear and age.
Dogs who spend a lot of time alone are more likely to develop separation anxiety disorder. Dogs are pack animals and don't always thrive when left alone for extended periods of time.
Fear is a normal response to the perception of a threatening situation that's imaginary or real. However, a dog can develop anxiety over stimulus from items that are not a threat in any way, shape or form.
Sometimes dogs suffer from what is known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) as they age. It's similar to memory loss and dementia in humans and has similar features. Anxiety can result from a loss of memory and cognitive function.
10 Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
All dogs get anxious now and again for various reasons, but when the behaviors don't cease or a dog is failing to respond to attempts to calm them down, you're most likely dealing with an anxiety disorder. If your dog is frequently exhibiting one or more of the following behaviors or symptoms, call the vet clinic in Bend for an appointment and get your dog help. Signs of anxiety in dogs include:
- Toileting in the house
- Destructive behavior
- Restlessness or won't settle down
- Repetitive behaviors
- Excessive barking or vocalization
If you've noticed that your dog is frequently exhibiting one or more of these behaviors, your dog is most likely experiencing anxiety. You can make an appointment with your veterinarian in Bend for help, but you can also start working with your dog to lessen their anxiety before you bring them in to see your vet.
Treatment for Dogs with Anxiety
Several options exist to help you and your dog manage the symptoms of anxiety. Your first step is to identify the source of the anxiety and find ways to address the stimulus. Steps you can take include exercise, building on existing training or introducing new routines, and socializing your dog through doggy daycare or visits to the dog park if they're not scared of other dogs.
The best course of action for treating your dog's symptoms of anxiety is to see your veterinarian in Bend for a diagnosis and a treatment plan for your dog. Sometimes medication is needed to help your dog get through the worst of their fears and relieve the stress that their mind and body goes through when they're having an episode. Call our vet clinic in Bend and make an appointment to start the process of helping your dog live a better life.