Anxiety in dogs is common, and the resulting symptoms are not only inconvenient, but they can also be potentially dangerous. Anxiety can take a toll on your dog and can become the reason why they’ll eventually develop behavioral problems.
As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your furry friend stays healthy, and you can only achieve this goal if you manage their anxiety. Just like human beings, your dog can also develop anxiety because of abandonment, fear of being alone, or loud noises.
If you don’t want your dog to suffer from anxiety, take action the moment you notice any of these signs:
1. Nonstop barking
It’s common for dogs to bark as this behavior is already part of their systems. Dogs bark as an attempt to alert their owners of potential danger and as a way to protect themselves. This is the reason why your dog will bark loudly whenever they’re in an unfamiliar environment or surrounded by new people or pets.
However, if your dog barks for no apparent reason, that’s another story. Nonstop barking is one of the most common signs of anxiety in dogs and should be treated as soon as possible. Aggressive or fearful barking is common for anxious dogs.
If you notice that your dog, which is usually quiet, begins to bark even without seeing anyone or anything in their environment, consider giving them a calming treat or taking them to the vet.
2. Chewing everything in sight
Contrary to popular belief, knowing whether your dog has anxiety is an easy task because their behavior can give it away. If you’re suspecting that your dog has anxiety, pay attention to their chewing habits at home. Does your dog like to chew everything in sight? Or, do they only settle with playing with their chew toys? If it’s the former, your dog might have anxiety.
Chewing on different kinds of household objects and pieces of furniture is another sign of anxiety in dogs. Dogs often chew everything in sight because it’s their unique way of getting nervous energy out of their systems. The more severe your dog’s anxiety is, the more often they would chew on different objects present in their environment.
You can curb your dog’s unwanted chewing behavior by letting them play with a chew bone or other interactive toys. These items will allow your dog to release their nervousness more healthily and safely.
Being a dog owner requires 24/7 commitment. Having a dog around is like having a child living with you. You need to make sure that your dog is safe from any harm. However, when your dog loves to escape, it’ll be challenging for you to accomplish this role.
Escaping is another sign of anxiety among dogs because they think that escaping can alleviate their stress or anxiety. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe and prevent them from escaping. You don’t want them to meet accidents on the road or run down the streets.
If your dog has attempted to escape in the past, add a second barrier around your doorways and never leave them alone, even in a fenced yard.
4. Excessive yawning
Just like human beings, dogs also yawn whenever they feel tired or are sleeping. However, yawning more frequently than usual is also a telltale sign that your dog is stressed and anxious. Many pet owners often neglect this sign as they believe that their dog is just cute or sleepy whenever they yawn.
Noticing that your dog yawns excessively is a cause for concern, so make sure to see your vet as soon as possible.
The unpredictability of your dog’s behavior is one reason why taking care of them can be fun and fulfilling. You’ll never know what your dog will do next in your home, which is why you’re interested in getting to know them better.
If you’re spending a lot of time with your dog, check if they would often hide around different areas of your home. This kind of behavior is a sign of anxiety because dogs often hide to attempt escaping situations, objects, or people that stress them out.
You can correct your dog’s behavior by providing a safe place for them. Having this environment in your home will encourage your dog to become more playful and put their minds at ease.
See your vet ASAP
When you observe your dog displaying symptoms of anxiety in dogs, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. The earlier you can take steps to address the situation, the better. Depending on the severity of your dog’s anxiety, treatment can generally include a combination of medication and behavior modification.