Dealing with anxiety is difficult at the best of times. At times it can be crippling, and can cause a great deal of stress to your life and stop you from doing even the most simplest things.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know if someone is suffering from stress or anxiety, as they have their own ways to help cope and deal with it. Other times though it may be a little more obvious that someone is struggling, as there are a number of telltale signs that we can spot.
Anxiety in Animals
Animals and pets, such as dogs and cats, can suffer from anxiety just as much as we can. The one thing that differentiates anxiety between people and animals is that as people, we can communicate to others about what we are feeling, and more importantly, why we are feeling stressed and anxious.
Animals unfortunately don’t have that communication ability, so the emphasis is on us as pet owners to be aware of the signs and anxiety and to know what to do to help them.
Signs that your dog is suffering from anxiety
Dogs are the most popular pet around the world, and millions of people share their homes with their canine friends. Dogs are prone to anxiety as much as any other animal, and in some cases, they can get extremely stressed out in some situations. There are a number of different signs that we can look for to know if our dog is suffering from anxiety.
The quality of their sleep is just as important as it is for us, and they will also suffer the same fatigue and lack of concentration that we experience after sleepless nights. It’s a good idea to try a calming bed for dogs, as it can really help them relax and destress.
see also: Siberian Husky Golden Retriever
Constant howling or barking
One of the obvious signs of anxiety is if your dog is barking or whining constantly throughout the day. This is especially common for animals that spend a lot of time at home alone while their owners are out at work. Sometimes your dog will bark constantly even when you are at home, with the main aim of this being to get your attention.
Panting and drooling
Though this is common for dogs to do during the hot summer months, it is something that they can also do is they are feeling stressed. If you notice your dog drooling or panting during cold periods of the year, it’s a clear sign that they are not happy.
Frequent urination or defecation
When people are nervous it can sometimes affect our bodily function, with a strong urge to urinate being a very common symptom. This is also something that dogs can suffer from, so if you notice that your dog is urinating more frequently or even defecating more often, then this is something to be aware of.
Loss of appetite
Another similarity between us and animals when depressed or stressed is the loss of appetite. If you notice that your dog has a loss of appetite for a period of more than 3 days or so, it’s a good idea to get them checked out at your local vet. If they are not suffering from any physical ailments, then the loss of appetite can be attributed to anxiety.
Helping calm your dog
There are various things that you can do that can help with your dog’s anxiety. Not all options are going to be suitable for all dogs, as their levels of anxiety could be very different.
Before deciding on a course of action to help your pet, it’s important that you speak to your local veterinarian, who will be able to offer you some solid advice on which path of treatment is most likely to be the most beneficial for your dog.
Look at your daily routine
By this, we are referring to the routine that you have with your dog when you are at home with them, and not your work or fitness routine. Is the routine you have with your dog a consistent one, or is it something that changes on an almost daily basis? Dogs like routine, so if they are having to deal with new events and happenings everyday, it could lead to them being stressed and anxious about what the day will bring.
Take them out for regular exercise
Dogs need to run and be outside. It’s something that can really do them the world of good. It’s all very well going for a 10 minute walk around the block so that they can do their “business”, but if you were to actually take them out for a longer run or walk, it will be beneficial to both of you.
Maybe once or twice a week you can take them on an hour long walk, or somewhere to play ball with them such as in a local park. Not only will they enjoy being in your company, especially if they suffer from separation anxiety, but they will also tire themselves out and will hopefully have a restful and good night’s sleep.
Consider a compression wrap or calming coat
There are some people that like to dress up their pets. Most of the time this is for purely fashion reasons – I mean, what dog won’t look great in a pair of Levi 501s and a bandana wrapped around their necks? But on a serious note, there are actually some forms of animal clothing that can help soothe an animal’s anxiety.
For your dog, why not look into getting a calming coat or t-shirt. These work by applying mild pressure to the body, which will work similar to when you wrap up a baby with a swaddling cloth. It is something that can have a huge impact on the anxiety that they experience, and can help soothe their worries away.
Some final thoughts
It’s important that you take action right away if you believe that your dog is suffering from any form of anxiety. If left, it could develop into something much more serious and could lead to potential issues with their behavior and how they are around people.
Getting professional advice from your vet is essential. Any anxiety that your pet, whether it’s a dog, cat, goldfish or even an ostrich, is suffering from can have a very negative effect on their wellbeing, and there are lots of things that you can do to help alleviate the problem and keep them calmer and reduce their levels of stress.