Dogs communicate with their body language, that’s why it’s important for us humans to understand what they mean to say. Learning how our pets communicate can prevent unwanted situations and even help reduce their anxiety.
If you’re suspicious of the way your pet is acting lately, we’ve provided a list of indicators to tell if they are anxious or stressed so you can provide immediate help.
Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs
People have their own coping mechanisms against stress. Some occupy themselves by playing games, doing routine chores like cleaning the house, hanging out with friends, or blowing off some steam with exercises. But when dogs become stressed, they don’t slam down the phone, voice out their feelings, or throw tantrums. The signs of dog anxiety are usually subtle to the point it even mimics normal behaviors.
Below are five warning signs of dog anxiety you should watch out for.
1. Excessive Shedding
Shedding is a natural process of a dog ridding itself of old hair that has reached its cycle. This happens to all dog breeds with no exceptions. However, dogs that shed exceedingly or in larger quantities often indicate stress. Dogs that compulsively lick themselves usually lose hair in the areas they lick often.
2. Gastrointestinal Issues
Although related to allergies or health conditions, gastrointestinal problems like constipation and diarrhea are sometimes connected to stress levels. If this symptom lasts more than a day, it’s best to take your pet to a pet pharmacy so treatment and diagnosis can begin immediately.
3. Barking or Whining
Barking, a typical dog behavior, generally happens for specific reasons. Pups that bark in a prolonged, random, and uncontrolled way may indicate stress, particularly separation anxiety. Excessive vocalizations like whining, whimpering, and growling are usually involuntary, which means your pet might be feeling scared, anxious, threatened, or in pain.
If you observe this behavior for days, take your dog to a veterinarian Bakersfield, CA, for a checkup. The vet can determine the cause behind your pet’s unusual behavior and offer tailored therapy or treatment to address their condition.
4. Loss of Appetite
Increased digestive issues or loss of appetite is a common sign of chronic stress in dogs. Even obese canines will still eat normally when healthy. So if your dog is suddenly rejecting food, it can indicate stress, anxiety, or an underlying health issue. Loss of appetite is linked to many dog health conditions in social settings, including distemper, parvo, and canine influenza.
These viral diseases can be prevented by completing your dog’s vaccines and ensuring they don’t miss booster shots. This preventive measure is vital, especially if your pet is socially active and you frequent dog parks often. If your pet still lacks the mentioned essential preventative treatments, buying a pet wellness plan can help you save money and make your budgeting easier. You can click here to learn more about vet wellness plans.
When a dog gets stiff or freezes, this may be due to something they see. While this is viewed as “submission” in a training context, modern dog training practices state this might mean a dog is shutting down. This is an obvious red flag and can sometimes be dangerous. When dogs show stress signs like this, they might bite if they feel cornered.
As pet parents, we all share the same concern of keeping our dogs relaxed and comfortable at all times. The best way to calm your pet is to know what causes their stress and anxiety. Paying attention to your pet’s body language helps you read their stress signals and relieve their anxiety. Professional dog trainers or veterinarians can also provide insights on reducing your pet’s response to their stress triggers and gradually eliminating them successfully.