Anxiety and stress are two things that even dogs feel. Like humans, your pet dog can also be prey to anxiety attacks. But, it is completely normal and a healthy emotion in most cases. And neither does it happen to a specific set of breed(s).
Now, anxiety has a lot of solutions, and they aren’t tricky. It is an extensive list, from music therapy to CBD oil for dogs with anxiety. With that said, it’s worth remembering that too much anxiety is not good.
Do you think your dog has had too much anxiety recently? Can it lead to an anxiety disorder then? Well, yes, it can if left unchecked for days. Here, in this article, you will find the common causes, signs, and solutions to anxiety in dogs.
The Causes of Anxiety in Dogs
Anxiety can come on its own, but mostly it is an effect, not a cause. The reason behind that? It can be anything – a change in routine, environment, lifestyle, activities, etc. So, anxiety doesn’t appear out of nowhere but is brought to action.
Anything that happens suddenly without a prior habit or routine can trigger anxiety. For example, as the world started to reopen after the COVID-19 lockdowns, many pets had anxiety attacks. That’s because they weren’t habituated to spending any less time with you than 24×7.
Here are a few most common types of anxiety seen in dogs:
Dogs are the best examples of social animals. They love being around people and in touch with those you call a “family.” They value everything that goes on around them – the company of people, the habits, the food, etc. Separation anxiety triggers the moment they feel they are left out. In fact, estimates say that this type of anxiety affects around 15% of pet dogs.
Fear-centric anxiety is also quite common among pet dogs. This type of anxiety is more common, especially for small dog breeds like Pomeranians, Spitz, Chihuahuas, Llhasas, Pugs, etc. Your furry friend might feel insecure in car rides, the vet’s chamber, or when meeting new people or animals. Fear-centric anxiety can also be triggered when there’s a loud noise like firecrackers or if there’s a fire torch or smoke around.
Sometimes, aged dogs have Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). CDS in dogs is almost similar to the early stages of Alzheimer’s in humans. If your dog has CDS, his memory, learning, habits, awareness, and perceptions might start to decline. And this is where confusion and anxiety step in.
You might ask how social anxiety can be a thing when dogs are social animals. Well, pet dogs are friendly and sociable only when they are in their circle, and it can be a circle of people, any environmental circle, and so on. When you bring your pet dog in front of new people or other dogs, they can have anxiety.
The Signs of Anxiety in Pet Dogs
Anxiety can manifest in various ways in your pet dog. You need to recognize the signs to start working on them. So, here are the most common things dogs do when they are anxious:
- Constant barking for no reason
- Whining frequently
- Excessive panting or being restless
- Backing of the ears and/or tucking of the tail
- Losing appetite
- Aggressive behavior
- Urinating/defecating in the house or at uncommon places
- Compulsive behavior
- Depressed attitude
- Trying to hide under tables, furniture, room corners, etc.
5 Impressive Ways to Treat Your Dog’s Anxiety
The most impressive way to treat your canine companion is to determine what triggers their anxiety. Once you get the stimulus, you can help them recover in the following ways:
1. CBD Oil to Treat Dog Anxiety
CBD (Cannabidiol) oil has long been a great resource of natural remedy. Yes, you can help your anxious dog by administering CBD in their diet as per the dosage.
Derived from the hemp plant, it has non-intoxicating properties. So, you can be sure that your dog will not get high after taking it. Nevertheless, the best thing is to consult your vet on the correct dosage for your dog. Also, never try to administer human CBD products to your dog. There are specific companies selling CBD explicitly made for canines.
2. Exercise and Play to Engage Your Dog
Follow this mantra – a tired dog is also a happy dog. No, it’s not about getting tired after barking or panting. Rather it is about getting tired after exercising and playing with you. Different researchers say dogs love spending time with their human parents and family members. You should pick a time daily when you have plenty of physical contact with your dog. Talking while playing with your doggo also works amazingly in releasing his stress.
3. Increase Physical Connection
Even more than you think, your dog loves to be in physical touch with you. Frankly speaking, there is probably nothing like soothing your anxious dog with a touch. Hug your dog, pat, or cuddle with them to release their stress. It’s not just in Hollywood movies but is scientific in real life too.
4. Music Therapy
Music is probably your first shelter when you feel stressed and anxious. According to different studies, it is now proven that music therapy works for pets as well. So, when you are at home, play soft and soothing music near your dog. When you take your dog in your car, play the same music. In that way, you can help your furry companion by blocking outside noises.
5. Massage Therapy
Massage is always something that relaxes and calms even the most anxious humans. It is something you can do when you are with your pooch. For your pet dog suffering from anxiety, it’ll do wonders too. When you massage your dog, you relax their tensed muscles. It does work in alleviating stress.
CBD oil for dogs with anxiety is something that most dog owners are unaware of. The natural properties of the compound have always been popular among soothing humans. Moreover, there are CBD-infused treats too. All and all, don’t forget to connect with your vet if your dog grows a habit of being stressed and anxious.