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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Supporting an Anxious Dog

 Contributed/Collaborated Post:

Much like humans, dogs can also suffer from mental illness issues such as depression and anxiety. It’s unpleasant for them to experience and it can make us worried about our canine friends. However, anxiety affects dogs in many different ways and it can be difficult to pinpoint if the issue is related to anxiety at all. While all dogs are prone to experiencing anxiety, it can actually develop life-long disorders if it’s not dealt with quickly. Dog anxiety can actually cause behavioral issues if left unchecked and should be managed carefully.

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Understanding the causes of anxiety

Humans and dogs often experience anxiety in similar ways. It’s all about understanding the causes of anxiety so that you can avoid them in the first place. In most cases, there are three factors that should be taken into consideration; fear, separation, and aging.

Anxiety from fear relates to unfamiliar noises, people they’ve never met before and new items that you’ve purchased. Your dog might find it really uncomfortable to see a change in their environment. Sometimes this anxiety can pass within a few days or even hours. But sometimes, the new stimulus may negatively affect them for a long time.

Separation can also cause anxiety in your dog. It’s estimated that around 14% of all dogs face some kind of separation anxiety in their life. They often find it difficult to be away from their family members and it can turn into difficult behaviors such as excessive barking, chewing on furniture, or even urinating in the house.

Lastly, aging can actually cause anxiety in older dogs. This is known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS. Dogs with CDS tend to have poor memory, they have difficulty learning, and they also have poor awareness. This can lead to confusion in older dogs which makes them a lot more anxious in everyday life.

Treating an anxious dog

Once you understand the causes of anxiety in your dog, you can start taking steps to actively prevent them from feeling anxious. However, the best course of action is usually to speak to your veterinarian, especially if the cause is something you can’t change or workaround. They’ll help you diagnose the type of anxiety your dog is suffering from, the most common triggers, and also offer solutions.

In some cases, you may be suggested some kind of medication or alternative treatment such as hemp for pets. These treatments have varying degrees of success and your veterinarian will usually suggest these if they deem it suitable for your dog’s condition. However, if there is a way to help them cure their anxiety without using any medication, that’s often the preferred method.

For instance, they may suggest some form of training or counter-conditioning in response to the causes of your dog’s anxiety. This helps to get rid of the aggressive or undesirable behavior that your dog engages in as a response to their anxiety stimuli. A professional dog trainer may also be able to help solve your dog’s anxiety problems.


2 comments:

  1. Oh, we are so sad for anxious doggies. There are drops and also something made by BEAPHAR that is great for kitties who travel and might work for separation anxiety. I hate it when my mama and papa are gone, I know what it's like.

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