Animals

Tips to calm a dog with anxiety

When a pet enters our family, we promise to make her very happy. But no matter how hard we try, we may we are ever doing something wrong without realizing it, we are giving our dog an inappropriate environment or insufficient care. This, sometimes, triggers a lot of anxiety in dogs.

If your dog does not walk enough, suffers separation anxiety or is going through a bad time, you may have a dog with anxiety and do not know. We teach you to detect it!

Causes of anxiety in dogs

Why do dogs have anxiety? The truth is that There may be different causes that trigger this situation. One of the most frequent is a change in the environment, such as a move or a change in family structure (arrival of a new baby or pet, or a death), these situations cause stress and discomfort in dogs.

As well your dog's habits and lifestyle can cause anxiety if they are not appropriateFor example, a lack of physical exercise, if your dog is at home all day, it will accumulate energy and that will cause a lot of stress. The same can happen if you spend a lot of time alone.

Symptoms of anxiety in dogs

How to know if a dog has this problem? Anxiety in dogs usually presents with the following symptoms:

  • Excessive or unjustified barking, at the minimum noise he hears.
  • Bite everything you find: furniture, plants, even you!
  • The dog is hyperactive, runs and jumps compulsively at home, without any justification and sometimes awkwardly.
  • Adopt unusual behaviors, how to do the necessities at home (when he already knows how to do them in the street), or lick himself without stopping, and can even get hurt.
  • General nervousness and aggressiveness with other dogs. This is common when anxiety is given by a lack of socialization.

These symptoms, in addition to being annoying and problematic for you, noticeably worsen the quality of life of your dog. Therefore, if you suspect that you are facing a case of anxiety in dogs, reactions to be treated as soon as possible. Go to your veterinarian and he will advise you the best!

Does your dog have anxiety? What do you do to help him?

Fear, phobias and anxiety in dogs

Fear is a response of the autonomic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary actions, unlike the somatic nervous system.

The involuntary response generated by the autonomic nervous system it can cause the so-called fight, flight or paralysis reaction, a physiological response to an impending attack or threat.

This type of behavior is triggered to ensure survival of the animal in dangerous situations. In the face of fear, the body reacts with this syndrome and prepares the subject to fight or flee in the shortest possible time.

When fear ends up being persistent or only triggered by a specific stimulus, we can start talking about phobias. Sometimes, a phobia can reach the extreme of triggering an answer in the animal simply with places or objects related to it.

Anxiety is triggered bythe anticipation of future dangers arising fromunknown or imagination. It triggers physical and psychological reactions related to fear. The most common in dogs usually occurs before the separation of its owner for prolonged periods of time.

Causes and symptoms related to anxiety

The fears and phobias of each individual have an eminently subjective character that complicates their classification. Some of the most common causes can be listed below:

  • The suffering of a disease or a painful injury It can increase the animal's anxiety levels and contribute to the development of fears, phobias or anxieties.
  • A change in the nervous system caused by age or infectious diseases of the central nervous system they can lead to behavioral problems, including>

If some of these hard experiences appear in the animal's past, your dog will be more prone to develop a scary and dependent personality, or to suffer an anxiety attack at some time in his life. Identifying the moment when this anxiety attack is occurring can save your pet's life.

    Small fears or shocks can lead to tremors, tail shrinkage, loss>

Treatment and prevention of anxiety in dogs

Few know that Anxiety in dogs is diagnosed in the veterinarian's office, and that there is medication To treat your symptoms If these persist and endanger your dog's life, this is the most effective measure to make him feel at peace.

The simplest prevention measures go through do not expose your pet to situations or elementswho have previously triggered anxiety episodes. If this exhibition is unavoidable, try to calm it with caresses and prizes and keep it away from the source of stress as soon as possible.

Anxiety in dogs by ru>

Specifically, anxiety in dogs by rocket and fireworks is very common. These noises usually occur suddenly and continuously, causing the dog to panic. In these cases, if we are in the street we must be especially careful because it is likely that the dog, scared, try to run away of the belt. We will observe that the dog seeks shelter, groans, hypersaliva and is very restless and nervous so that he is not even able to listen to us.

In those moments it is easy for us to try to caress it in order to reassure it but this action can be interpreted as a reinforcement of anxious behavior. Therefore we must anticipate your reaction, what we can do if we know when parties are held with pyrotechnics.

It can help to close the windows and lower the blinds to minimize outside noise. It is also convenient that we provide a place where you feel safe and that we accompany you, always keep calm so as not to increase your insecurity. If we observe that our dog remains quite calm we can reward him. For this we must give you some order that you know, such as "come" or "sit" and, as soon as you do it, we will reward you with caresses or food so that you know why we reward you.

Anxiety in dogs by separation

Disorders related to separation are increasingly known. They usually manifest when we leave the dog alone and the usual picture includes crying, howling, barking, destruction or elimination inside the home, either through urine, feces or both.

We can try to improve this behavior by establishing an exit schedule that is gradually increasing, so that, little by little, we get the dog to get used to being alone. Maintaining a level of activity appropriate to the dog's needs so that he has enough time to exercise, play and burn energy are practices that will contribute to improving anxiety.

These cases usually require professional intervention to provide concrete guidelines as appropriate, which can be complemented with the use of stimulation toys, such as kong for dogs.

Anxiety in puppy dogs

Bringing a puppy to our home is a big change for him and sometimes, during the first few days, we can see that it is hard for him to be alone, for example, if he doesn't sleep with us overnight. In these cases it is normal for the child, accustomed to his house and his family, groans, cries, scratches the doors or barks if, suddenly, he is alone. It is totally normal.

Years ago it was recommended to ignore his calls and just offer him a bed with some garment of ours to have our smell and a clock underneath to remind him of his heartbeat. At present, experts already question these practices so yes we can comfort our puppy and reward it as explained in the previous section. A good socialization of the puppy is very important to avoid anxiety.

Anxiety in older dogs

When our dogs get older, we may observe changes in their behavior compatible with the syndrome of cognitive dysfunction or dementia, which we could interpret as Alzheimer's that affects humans. The dog will show uneasy, nervous, misplaced, cry or bark and may exhibit destructive behaviors, improper disposal, etc. Separation anxiety may also appear.

These cases should always be valued by the veterinarian to rule out that there is a physical cause that explains them. Drugs can be administered to try to keep the dog calm and thus improve its quality of life. The most important thing in advanced ages is to try to influence the behavior and the environment in a positive way. Proper exercise, simple games and mental stimulation exercises are highly recommended.

If you want to read more articles similar to Anxiety in dogs - Symptoms and solutions, we recommend that you enter our Behavior Problems section.

Concept of anxiety in dogs

The anxiety It is an adaptive response to a harmful situation in which the animal tries to survive. This becomes counterproductive when this reaction goes from being temporary to long periods of time, so that it becomes excessive and exaggerated, resulting in changes in the animal's behavior. Often, the neurobiochemical and neurophysiological mechanisms involved in animal behavior are altered, and pharmacological treatment is necessary.

  • When an animal suffers from anxiety, it is in a harmful emotional state. The dog will try to suppress or reduce it as much as possible.
  • Dogs feel the threat. This can be natural, in which the animal reacts innate (evolution) before situations, or it can be acquired, in this case due to situations in the previous life of the animal that are negative.
  • Faced with a situation that he does not know and could be negative, as well as in situations that he knows will not be favorable for him, the dog has the ability to anticipate.

Among the situations that cause anxiety to a dog are: owner separation or group, unknown situations, unknown individuals, loud sounds (thunder, firecrackers), pain or punishment.

How to identify anxiety in dogs?

As stated earlier, knowing the normal behavior of the dog we can more easily identify a state of anxiety. So, being aware of the risk factors that can cause this reaction is essential.

Many times, behavioral problems in dogs have a genetic component. For this reason, it can be very helpful to find out, whenever possible, if the parents of our pet suffer or have suffered anxiety.

If our dog has had a late socialization, you may have anxiety more likely. After the birth, the mother knows how to act before the behaviors that her puppies have. Many times, the owners do not know how to act in these situations, causing situations of stress and imbalance in our animals that can lead to anxiety.

Although anxiety is more common in young dogs, can be given at any age. Hence the importance of observing the behaviors of our animals. It is not uncommon for our animal to drag anxiety since it was very young, with very mild symptoms that go unnoticed.

When we adopt a dog, we may worry about how it will adapt to the new conditions. It is very important to know your history, to know if you have experienced situations that could lead to anxiety. The animal will always have a adaptation period. On these occasions, we should speak with a veterinary professional to advise us and give us the guidelines to follow so that this adaptation is as traumatic as possible for the animal.

Why does anxiety occur in dogs?

Anxiety in our friends dogs can occur for several reasons, the most common being the following:

  • Move.
  • A new family member, whether you have two legs or four legs.
  • Tense family atmosphere.
  • Loud noises.
  • Important changes in your routine. For example, a newly adopted dog that has to get used to living in a home.
  • Spend a lot of time alone.
  • Lack of physical exercise

As you can see, there are many causes for which a dog can end with anxiety. For this reason, in case of doubt I encourage you to consult with an ethologist or canine trainer to help you determine the origin of your anxiety, and tell you what you should do so that the dog can feel happy and calm.

Canine anxiety symptoms

The anxiety symptoms dogs may have are the following:

  • Bark very frequently, before any movement or noise.
  • Smash objects, furniture, or plants.
  • Make your needs in inappropriate places.
  • They can lick themselves steadily
  • Hyperactivity. Anxious dogs are not calm, but can run from one place to another.
  • If they have not socialized with other dogs and / or with other animals, they can be especially nervous, and could even attack them.

If your friend has one or more symptoms, do not hesitate to contact a professional who works positively.