If you are a dog owner you know what it's like to be worried when something is not right and a dog with anxiety definitely will show you signs that something is wrong. So what exactly are these anxiety signs and what causes a dog to be anxious?
Spontaneous elimination (urination/bowel movement)
- Avoiding interactions
Displacement behaviors: yawning, lip licking, air sniffing, “shaking it off” like a wet dog
Let's not get confused, it is normal to show any one of these behaviors from time to time but to show them every day or multiple at a time is a cause to be concerned.
Leaving Them Home Alone
- Being destructive
- Whining and crying
- Making potty where they are not supposed to
Being A Rescue Dog
Rescue dogs usually have a traumatic experience in their past that affects their current anxiety and fear levels and that's completely normal considering they did not have an easy start. Some of their anxiety may also convert to separation anxiety due to the fear of being abandoned again. They may have also had to deal with an abusive owner and may have anxiety towards people because of that.
Because they fear change, establishing a routine that rarely changes will help these dogs feel more secure about their day to day lives. A professional dog trainer can also help figure out their specific anxiety behaviors and triggers and come up with a personalized solution just for them!
Having an illness
This type of anxiety is usually one that comes as soon as your dog becomes diagnosed with a disease. If they start to exhibit anxious behaviours out of the blue you should take them to see a vet to see if its due to a disease.
- Hypothyroidism: when fear responses and anxiety symptoms are coupled with weight gain, hair loss or lethargy, the cause might be a thyroid gland that doesn’t produce enough hormones
- Thyrotoxicosis: also called Grave’s Disease, a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland
- Encephalitis: inflammation and swelling of brain tissue can lead to anxiety behavior, as well as aggression, seizures, clumsy gait and even coma
- Pre-diabetes: when new generalized anxiety is accompanied by weight gain, excessive thirst or appearance of cataracts, pre-diabetes may be the issue
- Hearing or vision loss: dogs without one of their senses may startle easily and become anxious of their unknown surrounding
Anxiety With No Cause
- German & Australian Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- Border Collie
- Shorthair Pointer
- Cocker Spaniel
- Bichon Frise
- King Charles Spaniel
- Many toy breeds
Consistency in your schedule is key to reduce general anxiety!