5 Signs Your Dog is Anxious (and What To Do About It)
There are certain situations you find yourself in that can make you anxious. As a human, you have the ability to communicate these anxieties. Your dog can feel anxious at times too, but unlike us, they do not have a means of communication that tells us exactly how they are feeling. What can we do to help our fur babies feel more at ease? Having a safe spot for them with an anti-anxiety dog bed might just do the trick.
What Causes Your Dog Anxiety?
Just like different things cause you anxiety, your dog can feel anxiety from a variety of stimuli. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, which is the most common form of anxiety dogs suffer. This anxiety is when your dog doesn’t want to be away from you. There are ways you can address this as a dog owner, but it is often best handled at a young age.
Loud noises can trigger anxiety in some dogs. Things like fireworks and thunderstorms can create large amounts of fear and anxiety that can be crippling during that moment. Having a safe space for your dog during these times, especially a calming dog bed, can create the security your dog needs.
Changes in your dog’s environment or feeling the need to be protective of their food or other possession can bring out the anxious side of your pet. They may seem like they are being protective, but their actions often display a side of them that you aren’t used to.
How can you recognize anxious traits in your dog?
The Signs of Doggy Anxiety
Some anxious activities are more evident than others. Understanding that these actions are signs of anxiety can help you address your dog’s needs better. What are these signs of anxiety?
Dog behavior can be a tricky subject because not all aggression means bad behavior. Many people think that an aggressive dog bites, but that is not always the case. Some tones are aggressive sounding in nature but do not mean that the dog is going to bite. In fact, some of these are simply because of your dog feeling anxious about something.
The signs of aggressive behavior in your dog include:
- Stiff body posture
- Ears pinned back
- Baring teeth
- Bites of different intensities – varying from light snipping to actual skin puncture
People have the misconception that some dog breeds have a natural predisposition to aggression, which is not true. Noticing the signs of aggressive behavior in your dog can help stop it before it escalates.
Although pacing is not an uncommon trait for a dog to exhibit, excessive pacing may be a sign that your dog is experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety. If pacing becomes too much of a problem, you may have to seek help from a professional dog trainer for ways to deter the behavior.
You may find that adding more exercise and mental stimuli into your dog’s daily schedule will help with pacing tendencies. Pacing isn’t always just about stress or anxiety. If you have an older dog, pacing may indicate a larger problem, such as dementia. Having your dog’s pacing checked out by your veterinarian can rule out other potential problems.
Excessive barking can be a sign that your dog is anxious. It may also signal territorial behavior, fear, seeking attention, or boredom. Depending on the situation, it may alert you to the type of barking you are dealing with. Part of anxious behaviors is compulsive behaviors. Barking is one of those behaviors.
Working with excessive barking in your dog requires patience, proper technique, and time. Remaining calm is one way to help address your dog’s excessive barking behavior. Teaching them the word “quiet” can help them understand when to stop barking.
Your dog’s drooling could come from several causes. Your dog may drool because they are stimulated by the food you are eating, or they may be nauseous. Sometimes dental problems can create a problem in your dog’s mouth, making them drool more than usual. Anxiety is also a huge contributor to a dog’s excessive amount of drool.
Helping your dog feel secure in their own space can help reduce the anxiety and hopefully reduce the amount of drool they leave behind. Purchasing an anti-anxiety dog bed can help alleviate your dog’s anxiety, giving them a safe space, free from the stimuli that cause them to get anxious.
Chewing is a normal behavior in dogs – destructive chewing is not. You may have seen some dogs who chew at fabrics, mimicking the suckling of a puppy to a mother. Still, when left unchecked, it can turn into more of a compulsion and be used as comfort. Like small children, puppies go through a teething process. They will likely grow out of this as long as the proper chewing toys and methods are used to ease their need to chew during this time.
Destructive chewing is something rooted much deeper in your dog. To overcome this, you may need to turn to a professional or work with your dog to increase physical exercise, mental stimulation, or practice ways of reducing their anxiety. Remember, scolding and punishment are never acceptable forms of handling these behaviors. Using positive encouragement and patience can create a longer-lasting deterrence from the behavior – teaching your dog to cope with anxiety instead of displacing it.
Conquering Your Dog’s Anxiousness
Handling the anxiousness in your dog can be done through many different approaches. One of the proven ways to help your dog through their anxiety is by exercising them. Exercise reduces the amount of excess energy your furry friend has, which in turn can reduce the amount of anxiety they hold on to.
Creating a safe space for your dog using a calming dog bed can help wrap your dog in a luxurious plush fur surrounding them with safety and calm vibes. Best Friends by Sheri offers a full line of beds and plush blankets that may help keep your dog’s anxiousness to a minimum.
Other therapeutic methods may help with your dog’s anxiousness. These include:
- Physical contact between you and your dog
- Musical therapy
- Calming coats/ shirts
- Other veterinarian recommended therapy
The best treatments will depend on your dog’s preferences and their response to the therapy. You can rest assured that having a restful and safe space can keep your dog’s anxiety to a minimum. If you are still concerned with your fur baby’s anxiety level after making these changes, seek help from a professional trainer or your veterinarian.