Dogs, like people, go through different moods during the day depending on the situation we are experiencing and one of these feelings that we share with our pets is anxiety.
Anxiety in dogs, as in humans, is an alert mental state that is characterized by generating a high level of nervousness, insecurity and restlessness, and that ends up altering the conduct and behavior of our pets. For this reason, it is important to detect and treat anxiety in time, since if it is not controlled in time it can worsen and become a chronic problem.
In this article we will talk about how to detect anxiety and what you can do to make your puppy feel much more relaxed and happy in his day to day.
Causes of anxiety in dogs
Over the years it is more frequent that we hear cases of puppies that are suffering from anxiety, however; Not all anxiety pictures present the same antecedents. It is very important to know and understand the reason that has led our dog to have some abnormal behavior, since if the root is treated, the problem can be solved.
There are many factors why a dog suffers from anxiety, here are some of the most common causes:
- Fear of loud noises: Your hearing is 16 times stronger than that of humans, so if you hear any very loud noises such as fireworks, rocket explosions, balloon bursts, electrical storms, etc., it is natural that you get upset and be afraid of these situations.
- Lack of socialization: it is very important that pets learn to interact and socialize with other people, dogs and environments. Since if they do not live with what will be part of their environment, they will not know how to act or function in different situations and this will cause them anxiety.
- Lack of attention: spending many hours alone at home and the lack of interaction with their owners will make them get bored and start looking for a mechanism to release the discomfort they feel by biting things, destroying or tearing furniture, barking very loudly and constantly during the day, all this as a way to get your attention.
- Cognitive dysfunction: This problem, which is similar to dementia in people, appears in older dogs. That is, the dog begins to feel disoriented, and is unable to recognize his own home or his family. Your symptoms may occur mostly at night.
- Lack of exercise and/or physical activity: remember that dogs, regardless of their size or breed, are animals that need physical activity. They need to get out of the house every day to play, run and interact with other dogs.
- Sudden changes in their environment: moving, the arrival of a new member in the family, the absence of someone, or making a change in their routine can cause them a lot of stress and anxiety.
- Separation Anxiety – Dogs are social animals that need to feel part of a group in order to feel safe. This is because the group increases its chances of survival, just like a cub that is together with its mother. As a puppy gets older, their tolerance for separation increases and they become more independent. However, some dogs that have suffered abandonment, mistreatment or have been separated from their mother before 8 weeks, do not come to tolerate the separation from their owners because they feel completely helpless.
Anxiety symptoms in dogs.
Now that you know some of the causes that generate anxiety in puppies, it's time to talk about the symptoms or changes in their behavior that we can identify to find out if our pet is going through a moment of anxiety.
- Aggressive behavior, anxious dogs believe that everything and everyone in their environment is a threat, they are tense, alert and vigilant all the time.
- Destructive attitudes, which consist of breaking, biting and attacking everything that comes their way, especially when they are alone.
- Hyperactivity inside the house, jumping and running everywhere.
- Excessive barking without any stimulus that causes it.
- Demands exaggerated attention with tremors, nervousness and/or moans.
- He relieves himself at home despite being used to doing them outside.
- He scratches excessively that can even hurt himself.
- He can lick himself, lick objects, his bed, the floor... as a way to get rid of excess energy.
- He eats his own feces to get attention.
- Ride other dogs or people, even if he's neutered.
- Change in your eating habits (eat more or less).
- He gets sick more often, suffering mostly from vomiting and diarrhea.
How can I help my dog calm his anxiety?
Treating a dog's anxiety is not an easy thing and in a few days, this process can take months and even years. If you have detected any of the above symptoms, you can follow these tips that we recommend to help your dog a little to calm his anxiety.
- Establish a routine of meals and walks: this way your dog will know what to expect at each moment of the day and this will reduce his anxiety.
- Exercise and play with your pet: it is important that they receive different stimuli, interact with other dogs and release their energy. If your dog is very active, practice some sport with him, this will strengthen your emotional bond and will be of great benefit to the health of both.
- Do not leave him alone for long: when no one is at home, we recommend limiting the space he occupies to help your dog feel safe and protected, make sure he has enough water and food within reach, a bed or pillow to rest and a special mat on which you can relieve yourself. You can also leave him some toys with which he can entertain himself.
- Avoid scolding or praising your dog: When he is having an anxiety episode, avoid scolding and omitting praise or patting because this can lead your dog to believe that you are encouraging his anxious behavior.
- Play music and/or sounds of nature: Playing relaxing music, especially from the classical music genre, is a good alternative to calm him down. Another method is to use moderate nature sounds such as storms, rain, etc., to help overcome their fear of loud noises.
- Rely on a natural CBD for dogs: soft treats or relaxing oils with Waggy's CBD, may be a suitable option to keep your dog calm and relaxed in stressful situations, since cannabidiol works as an anxiolytic, reducing indicators of anxiety. Even the use of CBD can be a beneficial supplement for the general health of your pet, since it regulates important activities of his body. To learn more about CBD, visit our article Uses and Benefits of CBD in Dogs .
If after following these tips regularly for a month your pet is still very anxious, we recommend that you visit your veterinarian or an ethologist, so you can discover what is causing your dog anxiety and what is the most appropriate treatment. to follow.
In conclusion, anxiety is a behavioral problem that our pet can manifest and that has serious effects on its state of health. It is very important to always observe and be aware of our dogs to identify any change in their behavior, anxiety is not a game, and it is something that must be taken very seriously, treating it in time will prevent your dog from having bad moments of suffering.
Now you are ready to get to know your pet better and you will know how to help him!