Dogs and Anxiety: Part One -Symptoms
Many of us suffer various forms of anxiety. Signs of this may be subtle or obvious. But that energy is channeled and may generate stomach and other aches, nail biting, hair twirling or pacing and more. Treatment may vary from meditation to medication. It is not uncommon for dogs to experience anxiety as well. Just like humans, it can vary in its symptoms and treatments from simple to serious and complex. This week’s article is exploring examples, or symptoms of what anxiety looks like for our canines.We at Healthy Dogma care about our furry friends and aim to keep them healthy on all levels. Check out our healthy dog treats here.
Their anxiety may come out in the following forms: pacing, excessive grooming, non-stop barking or whining, chewing on anything from shoes to walls, inappropriate urination or defecation in the house even though they’ve had successful housebreaking, eating their own poop, lack of eye contact, tail between their legs, and any sort of aggression.
The most important thing to remember is to always consider the context of the situation, if the behavior makes sense with what is occurring.
It’s when behavior doesn’t make sense that we want to make note of it, even log it. This could become important information to be shared with your vet.
After a walk, or if the weather is hot, it makes perfect sense for your dog to be panting. Displaying this behavior in other situations may be a sign that your furry friend is stressed out. This is true for the opposite, shaking when cold temperatures are not the cause.
In addition to close attention to your dog’s body language, keep an eye out for consistent muscle tension and how they observe their environment. A socially anxious dog may want to hide or may seem on edge, always scanning the area when other dogs are around.. Other physical signs to watch out for are lip licking, any excessive licking, yawning (when not tired), tucked back ears, dilated pupils (without a change in lighting), excessive shedding, perhaps even displaying bald spots.
Anxiety can affect one’s routine, such as eating and sleeping. There may be a loss of appetite and weight loss, perhaps vomiting, or the opposite, an increase in appetite and consuming things out of the ordinary. Sleep patterns may change. This one tends to be associated with long-term anxiety.
As you get to know and love your pet, always take note when their behavior seems out of the ordinary. Jot it down. In time, a visit to the vet may be necessary to rule out anything serious with their health, and for good advice to follow.