Does your dog have anxiety? Here’s how to help them
May 14, 2023
Just like us, dogs can suffer from anxiety. There are many different causes, and each dog will be different. Sometimes there may have been an event that has caused the dog to learn to be anxious, and some dogs just seem to have anxiety in their nature. Separation anxiety is fairly common in dogs and can happen whenever they are away from their owner or another person/pet they are close to, even for a short period of time.
Looking out for signs of anxiety in dogs is important so that the cause can be investigated and a treatment plan, that will often include behavioural modifications, can be put in place.
Pet Anxiety Week is in May and so the veterinary team at Edgewood Vets in Essex have put together a list of signs for dog owners to look out for at home below.
Eight common signs of anxiety in dogs
- Behavioural changes
- Excessive urination/defecation 4
- Excessive panting
- Excessive vocalisation
This list is not exhaustive, and not all may be present, but it gives Essex pet owners an idea of what to look for.
How to reduce stress for your dog
There are many things you can try to help reduce stressful situations that might lead to anxiety in your dog, such as:
- Desensitisation to what is causing the concern – ask our advice about this
- Use of pheromone diffusers
- Interactive mind games to distract
- Creating a den or a safe space for your dog
- Reducing stimulus by closing curtains and having a quiet space
If you recognise any of the symptoms and are concerned, our vets can advise on how to best help your dog. In some cases, anxiety can be caused due to a health problem. Pain in particular can cause anxiety and so it is important to rule out any other causes. Our vet may also suggest enlisting the help of a professional behaviourist to help your dog overcome or reduce their anxiety, and they can help you manage your dog’s anxious behaviours.
It’s important to note that if your dog is experiencing separation anxiety in particular, it can take a long time and a lot of patience, commitment, and training to turn things around for the better.
Get in touch with our team in Purleigh and they can book you an appointment with one of our vets.