Just like us, dogs too can suffer from anxiety and stress. Triggers can range from something as simple as the doorbell though to a thunderstorm. How your furry family member reacts can be unpredictable and unexpected. Since our dogs can’t speak for themselves, it’s important you understand what causes anxiety, the most common symptoms, and how you can help ease their stress.
So … what causes anxiety in dogs?
Fearful situations could cause lasting effects in your pet, so whenever that situation reoccurs your dog is unable to cope and adopts destructive and disruptive behaviour. In some cases, it may not be a situation causing anxiety at all but specifics actions or stimuli.
The four most common types of dog anxiety are:
1. Separation anxiety
Separation anxiety can happen to any dog at any time and is one of the most reported stress caused in pets. Your dog can grow anxious or agitated by the thought of being left alone all day. If your dog becomes too attached to you and your family members, it could result in excess crying or barking that can be heard streets away as soon as they are left in the house alone.
2. Noise anxiety
Noise anxiety is increasingly common in dogs. Noises from fireworks, constriction, traffic or even the vacuum can cause your fur baby to become stressed and agitated. Thunderstorms are a main cause of noise anxiety, but it’s not just the loud crack of thunder contributing to the stress. Changes with the bio-metric pressure, humidity and the flash of lightening also play a role.
3. Social anxiety
If your furry family member wasn’t correctly socialised as a puppy or received little to no human interaction, they may suffer from social anxiety. Encountering other dogs at the park, or hearing the doorbell ring could cause undue stress. Social anxiety can usually be cured through gradual introductions to other animals and humans but it’s a timely process that requires patience.
4. Post-traumatic stress disorder
Incidents such as abuse, abandonment and mistreatment can have lasting effects on dogs too. No matter if the cause was deliberate or accidental, your furry family member’s mental health could be impacted down the line; with the slightest action setting them off.
Do you recognise the symptoms of anxiety?
Not every dog is the same, nor will they show their anxiety in the same way. Symptoms can be difficult to spot and be influenced by different circumstances and situations, such as thunderstorms or a car horn beeping. It’s important to pay attention to your furry family members behaviour and understand when they are acting out of character or feeling stressed. Here are some of the most common symptoms to look out for:
• Whining, moaning or howling
• Shaking or trembling
• Excessive drooling, barking or energy
• Destructive chewing or behaviour
• Scratching or digging
Is there a cure for my dog’s anxiety?
Just like us, your pet’s anxiety can come in degrees of severity. In most cases your best friend can be cured, or at the very least there are steps you can take to help them remain calm during stressful times. By understanding what causes changes in their behaviour, you’ll be able to take steps to ease their nerves. You can also help ease their anxiety with natural calming supplements before, during and after panic attacks or anxious times.
CALM – A Natural Animal Solutions that is suitable for the entire spectrum, ranging from mild stress and anxiety to chronic and acute stress. Calm is the perfect companion to help your special pooch handle moments that can be scary like thunder storms, lighting, fireworks and even puppy training school.