Did you know that Fido can get anxious and nervous, just as we can? Anxiety in dogs can be tricky to spot, as many of the warning signs are easily mistaken for simple bad behavior. A Galena, MD vet discusses doggy anxiety in this article.
Fido can be afflicted by several kinds of anxiety. Separation anxiety is a common one. As the name suggests, this is an anxiety dogs develop when they are isolated too much. There’s also age-related anxiety, which can happen as Fido grows older and begins to get confused and forgetful. If you aren’t sure what is bothering your canine pal, reach out to your vet.
The signs of doggy anxiety can vary quite a bit. It really depends on the pooch! Some pups will channel their angst into things like digging and chewing. Others may pace, bark, or whine. Fido may soil inside the house, or engage in pica, which is the term for eating things that aren’t food. Your furry buddy may get very clingy. Or, if his anxiety is tied to certain triggers, such as loud noises, he may hide a lot.
If you know or suspect that your pooch has anxiety, you’ll want to sort out what it is that’s bothering him. That will determine what methods you should use. That said, there are a few general rules of thumb to keep in mind. First and foremost? Make sure that your canine companion has lots of toys, and that he’s getting enough exercise. These things will give him a safe, healthy way to work off his angst. If your four-legged friend is upset by specific stimuli, such as thunder, desensitization training may help. Your vet may also recommend calming products, such as treats, sprays, or weighted shirts.
There are a few things you don’t want to do. Don’t punish your furry friend for mishaps, such as soiling indoors. That will only increase his anxiety! You also don’t want to go too far in the other direction. It’s fine to cuddle and comfort Fido if he is scared, but don’t go overboard and coddle him. He may figure out that he gets loads of attention for acting frightened. Ask your vet for more specific advice.
Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Galena, MD veterinary clinic, today!