Understanding Anxiety in Dogs & How to Deal With It

Madelene Hissom · May 17, 2023 · All

With May being dog anxiety awareness month, it’s a good time to educate yourself on the causes and symptoms of anxiety in dogs and the treatments you can turn to. We’ve outlined everything to know about understanding anxiety in dogs and a few ways on how to deal with it.

Anxiety Causes

Fear, separation, and aging are three of the main causes your dog might be facing anxiety.

Fear based anxiety

Anxiety related to fear is usually from a specific situation such as if your dog doesn’t like the vet or riding in the car, loud noises, new or strange people, animals, and environments, and something they visually see like hats or large jackets.

Separation anxiety

Anxiety related to separation is when your dog has trouble being left by themselves or if they are separated from their owners. Usually, you’ll find your dog has done bad behaviors when you come home like going to the bathroom, barking, or destroying different items in the house.

Anxiety related to age

Anxiety related to aging affects senior dogs as their memory, learning, and awareness start to decline to lead to confusion and anxiety.

Anxiety Symptoms

If your dog has anxiety related to fear, separation, and aging, there are a few signs they might show:

  • Aggression
  • Panting
  • Going to the bathroom inside
  • Destruction behavior
  • Pacing and restlessness 
  • Barking, panting, and/or drooling

Of course, each dog is unique like people, so you know your pup best on what type of behavior is abnormal.

Ways To Help

Training, medication, and CBD products are all ways to help your dog as they experience anxiety. The best course of action is to speak to your vet about what might be the best prevention and treatment option for your dog.Two main training strategies can be used to treat anxiety: counterconditioning and desensitization.

Counterconditioning changes your dog’s response to what is causing them anxiety by replacing their anxious behavior with another command and their focus stays on their owner.

Desensitization is essentially exposure to what is causing their anxiety and rewarding the positive behavior they show towards it.

If your dog has severe anxiety, your vet might prescribe them medication, natural therapies, or recommend trying a CBD product.

Separation Anxiety Interview

In this video interview, Allison, a dog trainer from Delighted Dogs, shares her expertise on separation anxiety in dogs. She offers insights on identifying the problem, addressing it through training techniques, and providing tips to help dogs feel more comfortable when left alone.

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