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Causes and Signs Your Dog is Anxious: How to Help

Posted by John O'Keefe on

Causes and Signs Your Dog is Anxious: How to Help

Are you wondering if your dog is anxious? It can sometimes be hard to tell when our pets are distressed, but there are ways you can identify certain anxiety symptoms in your dog's behavior. 

If you're wondering if your dog is stressed, what the cause of the stress is, as well as tips for treating anxiety in dogs, keep reading. Figure out what the source of your dog's anxiety is so that you can figure out how to help calm them. 

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Signs of Anxiety in Dogs 

While every dog may have different ways of reacting to stress and anxiety, there are certain common behaviors that you can look out for to identify that your dog is anxious. Some dogs may seem like they never settle, or often have their tail tucked between their legs when they are feeling anxious. Some dogs may retreat to other rooms or find a hiding place, while others may seem to avoid eye contact with you. 

Some dogs may use the bathroom more often than usual, seeming to not be able to control their bowels or urination. Many times, panting or pacing can be identified as symptoms of stress, as can any whining or whimpering. While some dogs may avoid interactions and hide away, others may engage in destructive behaviors. 

There are also some displacement behaviors that many dogs may engage in when stresses, such as excessive licking, yawning, air sniffing, or lip licking. Some dogs may also "shake it off", as a wet dog would, as a means to relieve stress. You may notice that your dog engages in one of these behaviors, or a few of them intermittently. 

While it's normal for dogs to show stress in situations that are uncomfortable, it can be a problem when your dog exhibits a handful of these behaviors in situations that should not be causing them stress. Special notice should be taken if your dog has an extreme symptom or if they seem to be in a general state of exhibiting these behaviors. 

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Causes of Anxiety in Dogs 

There are many different causes of anxiety in dogs, but identifying the cause of their stress can help you find a remedy for them. Sometimes it can be clear what is causing your dog's anxiety, and other times it can be difficult to identify the source. If you can't figure out what is causing your dog anxiety, it's best to start taking keen attention to them to discover what is causing them anxiety by looking out for the behaviors noted above and what seems to spark them. 

Keep reading for some of the key causes of anxiety in dogs. 

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Anxiety in Rescue Dogs 

While not all rescue dogs will have anxiety, there are cases in which dogs will have anxiety from past trauma by a previous owner, or anxiety from their time in a shelter or as a foster dog. If dogs have spent a significant period of time in a shelter, they may have memories of being abandoned there for long hours. They could have also experienced a traumatic event before they were in foster care or in a shelter. 

Often, these dogs can just be generally anxious due to an unpredictable environment or routine that they were in before coming home with you. Often this anxiety can become separation anxiety, as they may feel anxious when left alone, thinking that they may be abandoned again. If you notice general anxiety in your rescue dog or notice that they are experiencing stress when left alone, creating a predictable environment and routine for them is a good way to get them adjusted to their new life and to give them a sense of safety. 

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Separation Anxiety 

If you notice that your dog is not always anxious, but becomes stressed when left alone, they have likely developed a form of separation anxiety. This can occur whether you leave them alone for a few hours or for a few minutes. Seperation anxiety in dogs is pretty common, and many dogs take out their stress with destructive behaviors, such as ruining furniture, making loud noises, or using the restroom indoors. 

Dogs are social animals, and many of them do not like to be left alone. This could be because they feel lonely, bored, or have had traumatic experiences of being left alone in the past. Sometimes this can develop in elderly dogs, as they may have issues with their memory and cognitive ability leading them to confusion and stress in your absence. 

If your dog has separation anxiety, it's best to not make a big deal about coming or going from home. Give them a toy, such as those stuffed with treats, to keep them busy while you're gone. Do an activity such as taking them for a walk before leaving to get their energy out. 

If you don't think your dog is suffering from these causes of anxiety, you may want to check with your vet as they may have generalized anxiety or illness-induced anxiety. 

CBD: A Great Solution When Your Dog Is Anxious 

If you're looking for a solution when your dog is anxious, CBD may be a great choice. This is a great way to give your dog some relief with an organic and all-natural product. If your dog has anxiety, head to our site to take a quiz that will help you find the best CBD products for your dog so that you can purchase them today. 

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