Dog anxiety is something that affects all different dog breeds and it can lead to behavioral problems if it is left untreated. Dog anxiety happens when a dog feels fear, or apprehension from a situation.
The body reacts to this perceived fear or threat by preparing with the flight or fight reaction. Usually, the body reacts this way when it is in danger and that reaction is considered normal.
It is not normal when this behavior becomes excessive, and the abnormal reactions are happening around a specific situation or phobia. Anxiety is what happens when a dog anticipates future dangers from unknown origins, creating a psychological reaction.
There are ways to help dogs who are suffering from anxiety.
What are the Symptoms of Dog Anxiety?
Some people may think that their dog is showing phobia’s or anxiety just by the dog’s natural reactions and behaviors. The symptoms of dog anxiety vary from dog to dog, but some of the most common symptoms include: mild fear, anxieties that cause secondary behaviors, autonomic nervous system activity, panic, and compulsive behavior.
A dog showing mild fear signs might have their tail tucked between their legs, withdrawal from humans and animals, hiding, escape behaviors, and reduced activity. These behaviors are very similar to the behaviors that are shown when a dog is in a state of panic. When a dog panics, they may show active escaping, hiding, and injurious motor activity (excessive tail chasing/biting).
These are all signs that dog owners should look out for. These signs are usually accompanied by bodily functions such as diarrhea. Make sure to pay close attention to excessive aggression, using the bathroom in the house, drooling, licking, panting, barking, restlessness, and repetitive behaviors.
Most of these behaviors are very submissive but aggression can be a very dangerous symptom of anxiety. A dog can show both indirect or direct aggression when they feel nervous or anxious in a situation.
What are the Causes of Dog Anxiety?
Dog anxiety can happen for a multitude of reasons but there are some common reasons that a dog can be diagnosed with anxiety. It is more common in dogs that are aging or experiencing significant change in the nervous system. Different poisons can lead to problems in the nervous system and can be a cause for concern.
Some dogs have anxiety because of previous fearful experiences and deprived social and environmental exposure. There are so many reasons why a dog could have anxiety but the most important thing about it is recognizing the signs.
This is especially important in dogs who have been rescued or adopted. Many dogs who have been adopted have separation anxiety from their owners. This is usually due to neglect from the prior owners or abandonment.