How to Deal With an Anxious Dog
What to Do if Your Dog Has Anxiety
Has your dog been doing weird things lately like pacing back and forth, chewing at things, or hiding away from people? He must be suffering from anxiety. Our dogs can sometimes develop anxiety over real or perceived threats. Knowing the cause of anxiety can help us decide which treatment method to use and prevent it from getting worse (e.g. panic attacks, phobic reactions, or aggression).
Is it anxiety or just normal fear?
Your dog reacts instinctively to certain situations. This is known as the “fight or flight” response which is a natural reaction and is necessary for your dog’s survival. However, things can get a little too exaggerated, and your dog becomes overly concerned for no apparent reason.
Some of the common signs of anxiety in dogs include:
- excessive panting
- tucked tail
- elimination (pooping or peeing in the wrong places)
- escape behavior (e.g. cowering, hiding)
- compulsive behavior (pacing, barking, biting)
Most dogs react similarly to dangerous, life-threatening situations. However, dogs with anxiety do these things out of irrational, imagined, or disproportionate fear. These include seemingly innocuous situations like being exposed to a new environment, going to public places, being left at home (separation anxiety), neighborhood or household noise and everyday objects.
Dogs breeds susceptible to anxiety
Certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to having anxiety, particularly those found in the British canine population, and dog breeds that are hyperactive and highly intelligent. Like us, dogs too have their own characteristic personality traits. Dog breeds that are likely to develop anxiety include:
- Border Collie
- Bichon Frise
- German Shepherd
- Cocker Spaniels
- Basset Hounds
- Labrador Retriever
- Standard Poodle
If your dog belonged to one of these breeds and showed some of the dog behaviors listed earlier, your pet has probably developed anxiety. Proper attention and care should be given to avoid aggravating your dog’s anxiety.
What to do if your dog has anxiety
Anxiety in dogs is practically the same as it is in humans. You should seek professional help, preferably a licensed veterinarian or dog trainer who specialize in animal behavior (Did someone say, Caesar Milan, the ‘dog whisperer’?). Don’t try to solve your dog’s anxiety on your own if you didn’t have the proper training to do so, or you might end up hurting your dog or yourself.
Your vet will most likely test your dog for pathogens (certain diseases will also cause irrational fear in dogs), physical injury, and toxins to rule out the cause of anxiety. If it’s purely psychological in nature, your vet will recommend desensitization and counterconditioning. He will also recommend medications, mainly if your dog’s anxiety results in destructive behaviors like biting people and other animals, chewing up things inside the house, etc.
Other methods of treating anxious dogs include
regular exercise (play catch, walk or jog around the park or neighborhood)
distractions from anxiety-causing events or objects
weighted dog blanket
Effects of CBD in dogs with anxiety
Clinical tests have shown remarkable effects of CBD in animal testing, particularly in pain management and anxiety. This lies from the fact that animals also have endocannabinoid system pretty much like ours. CBD also works on a range of other neurological symptoms like stress, seizure, and phobia. Required dosage for different breeds and sizes of dogs will vary greatly, but it’s generally safe to use since CBD is present in nature and has no known side-effects.
However, be aware that some CBD on the market has a certain amount of THC which may cause harm in dogs.
When looking for the purest, 100% organic CBD for your dog, you can always count on Petness.com. Your buddy deserves nothing less than the best. Check out our range of CBD products made, especially for your pet dog.