How to Spot Anxiety Symptoms in Dogs

Photo by Andrew Spencer on Unsplash

Understanding the Causes of Anxiety in Dogs

For people, anxiety is often influenced by the circumstances of their life, fear of the unknown, and stressors relating to work and money. For dogs, some of the most common causes of anxiety are fear of the unknown, separation anxiety, changes in routine, and anxiety related to aging.

  • Restlessness or clingy behaviour
  • Inability to settle or relax
  • Shaking, trembling, or acting “jumpy”
  • Pacing, or running away and hiding
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviours
  • Timid body posture such as cowering or shifting weight
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Excessive whining, barking or howling (especially when the owner is away)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Pinned back ears and wide eyes
  • Self-harm in the form of excessive licking, chewing or biting
  • Destructive or “bad behaviours” such as destroying furniture or accidents in the house

How to Treat your Dog’s Anxiety

If your veterinarian diagnoses your dog with anxiety, you’ll need to know your treatment options. Your veterinarian will make professional recommendations based on factors like the intensity of your dog’s anxiety, age, and overall health, but it is up to you to make the right choices for your dog.

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Dr. Ailsa Rutherford

Dr. Ailsa Rutherford

Senior practicing veterinarian. Member of the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Surgeons in Emergency. Head of Animal Health at Buddy Pet P/L.