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Anxiety In Dogs: Causes And Treatments

May 01, 2024

Our canine pals are very emotional, and can experience a wide range of emotions. Just like us, Fido may experience fear, depression, loneliness, and grief. These things can have a significant impact on your pet, and can affect him on both an emotional and physical level. Read on to gain some valuable insights on doggy anxiety from a local Pipe Creek, TX vet in this informative article.

How Can I Recognize Anxiety In Dogs?

It’s impossible for Fido to express his emotions verbally, so it’s important to remain vigilant for any indications of potential issues. These can vary slightly, depending on Fido’s stress levels and the cause of his distress.

For example, if your pet is scared of something, like a loud noise, they might tremble, tuck their tail, seek shelter, or attempt to escape the situation. One reason why lost pet reports tend to increase during the Fourth of July is because many dogs become extremely frightened by the loud noises and chaos caused by fireworks, causing them to attempt to run away. When left alone, dogs with separation anxiety may exhibit destructive behaviors like digging and chewing.

These are some other symptoms to note:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fear Urination
  • Hot Spots/Lesions From Licking Or Biting
  • Tail-Chasing
  • Trembling
  • Yowling/Barking when left alone
  • Destructive Behaviors (getting into the trash, digging, destroying furniture)
  • Restlessness
  • Licking the lips
  • Showing the whites of the eyes (whale eye)
  • Cowering
  • Tail-Tucking
  • Hiding
  • Reduced Activity
  • Escape Attempts
  • Panting
  • Not eating
  • Urinating more frequently
  • Soiling inappropriatelyPacing
  • Licking
  • Tail Chasing
  • Digging


There are instances where anxiety can lead to aggressive behavior in dogs.

If you believe that your furry companion may be experiencing anxiety and/or have observed any of these signs, contact your local animal clinic as soon as possible.

Do Some Breeds Have A Higher Tendency To Be Anxious Than Others?

Although anxiety can affect dogs of any breed, it tends to be more common in certain breeds for various reasons. The roster includes the following adorable dogs:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Toy Poodle
  • The Labrador Retriever
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Vizsla
  • Chihuahua
  • German Shepherd
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Border Collie
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Basset Hound
  • The German Shorthaired Pointer
  • Dachshund
  • Greyhound Miniature Schnauzer
  • The Shetland Sheepdog
  • Yorkshire Terrier

As stated previously, dogs that have experienced abuse, neglect, or have been rehomed are particularly vulnerable, as are those with specific medical conditions like dementia. Consult your Pipe Creek, TX veterinarian for further details.

How Can I Help My Dog Manage His Anxiety?

Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help your beloved pet manage their emotions more efficiently. 

First, contact your veterinarian. If there is a potential undiagnosed medical issue, you’ll want to find out what’s going on as soon as possible. The quicker an issue is diagnosed and treated, the better! 

Medication may be the most suitable course of action for some pups. (Note: Never give your canine pal any medications unless your vet recommends it.)  Some puppies may need behavioral training.

Making sure that your furry friend receives ample stimulation and exercise is crucial. Taking Fido for a walk and taking time to play with him can both go a long way. A fun stroll or a vigorous game of Fetch will help him release his pent-up energy in a positive and beneficial manner. (This is also great for building strong connections with your furry bestie.) Maintaining a consistent routine for your pet’s walks and playtime can contribute to a sense of stability and comfort.

If your furry companion experiences separation anxiety, you could consider getting them a companion. Of course, whether this is right for your pet would depend on his personality. This is a decision that requires careful consideration, so it’s important to take your time and think it through. You’ll need to consider your household, schedule, budget, and, of course, any other pets you have. Making sure you find a good match is also very important. If Fido is unhappy with his new roommate, it could further distress him.

You could also look into calming products. These options include calming shirts, suitable chews, comfort beds, and toys. Consult your veterinarian for suggestions.

There are also a few things to avoid. Never punish your dog for acting up because he is feeling uneasy or anxious. We understand it’s no fun to come home and realize that your pup ate your shoes, but yelling at him only makes him more anxious. Fido doesn’t really understand what punishment means. He’s just trying to keep himself safe or express his doggy angst. Scolding him might only exacerbate the situation and could possibly make him afraid of you. Focus on positive reinforcement instead. Consult with your Pipe Creek, TX veterinarian for personalized guidance.

What Are Some Of The Main Things That Make Dogs Anxious?

Our canine companions can feel anxiety in many various situations or circumstances. Several factors, such as Fido’s temperament, history, living situation, and breed, can all play a role.

These are some of the important ones:

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a common type of anxiety in dogs. Fido is instinctively wired to function in a pack. In the wild, our canine pals typically stay close to their companions. Leaving your pet alone can cause him to feel unsettled, lonely, sad, and depressed. If you return to discover that your dog has created a mess while you were away, it is likely due to separation anxiety. This type of anxiety is very common in rescue dogs, possibly due to their previous experiences of being abandoned by owners. This is also a common issue with dogs that have been rehomed.

New Things 

Being placed in a new environment or situation can certainly be intimidating and unsettling for Fido. Meeting new people and other pets can be quite stressful for our furry friends!

Lack of Proper Socialization

Socialization—or lack of socialization–can also be a huge factor. It is crucial for young Fido to experience various environments and interact with different individuals during his early stages of life. These activities should be entertaining for him and not intimidating. This will help him to develop a mindset that is receptive and optimistic towards the world. Dogs who were not properly socialized are substantially more likely to exhibit anxious or aggressive behavior in their older years.

Significant Alterations 

Significant changes can cause a great deal of stress for our furry friends. That could involve things like moving, finding a new roommate (human or furry), dealing with the loss or absence of an owner, or even schedule changes.


Our four-legged pals are susceptible to phobias, just as we are. A lot of dogs get scared by loud sounds, like fireworks, and many experience anxiety during thunderstorms. Another instance of this would be a dog that has been confined to a kennel for extended periods developing a deep fear of crates. (Regrettably, this is a common occurrence in dogs that have experienced abuse or neglect.)

Health Concerns 

Dogs can experience health conditions and injuries similar to those of humans. Unfortunately, their comprehension of the situation is lacking. Anything that impacts Fido’s senses, mobility, or nervous system may trigger feelings of unease. Canine dementia, for example, can occasionally cause anxiety in older dogs.

Here are some other possible triggers:

  • Trauma
  • Inconsistent/Negative Training
  • Conflicts with other pets
  • Discomfort
  • Loneliness
  • Genetics
  • Age-related Cognitive Decline

Come And Visit Our Pipe Creek, TX Pet Clinic!

Do you need any assistance regarding your dog’s health or care? Feel free to reach out to us, your Pipe Creek, TX pet hospital, at any time! We are delighted to assist you as your neighborhood pet hospital!

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