Dogs, much like humans, can suffer from all kinds of mental health issues. One of the most common problems that we see in dogs is anxiety. When you leave the room and they appear to be distraught or if you find them scratching walls and barking in an attempt to run away from you, then those are behavioural problems that might stem from their anxiety.
What causes anxiety in dogs?
One of the most common causes is a pre-existing illness or physical condition. These can often develop into anxiety and can turn into larger issues, such as fears or phobias. Fears can also be a major component in behavioural changes, often as a result of a nasty or scary experience when your dog is forced into a bad situation. Dogs can also be deprived of social interaction if left cooped up at home without anyone to interact with. There’s also separation anxiety, to the feeling that your dog has been abandoned by you. This usually triggers if the dog has multiple owners or is being neglected by the owner.
Diagnosing anxiety in dogs
Whether you’re getting a new pet or if you’ve decided to take your dog’s health issues seriously, it’s recommended that you take them to your local veterinarian. Usually, the first thing your veterinarian will do is rule out underlying problems such as diseases that could cause the behavioural changes. Blood tests will also be carried out to rule out the possibility of toxic substances affecting your dog. Once those possibilities are ruled out, your veterinarian will move on to the history of your dog. They’ll ask you about fears, anxiety problems or phobias, and your dog might require medication to solve their issues. In some cases, equipment or toys from a reputable company such as Smart Pet Love might be recommended instead of medication if your veterinarian thinks that it’s too early for your dog to take more drastic measures.
Calming your anxious dog
Drugs aren’t for every dog and it’s only recommended you give your dog medication if it’s prescribed by a veterinarian. However, if there are cases where your dog needs to take medication but can’t because they’re either in a panic or restless, then it might be best to hospitalise your dog and keep them cared for while you worry about work and family issues. However, there are methods that you can utilise from home that can help you ease your dog’s worries.
Cuddling can help to soothe an anxious dog. Touching and physical contact can actually help both humans and dogs relieve anxiety, fear and even stress. If you’re ever feeling down, then giving your dog a cuddle can improve both your moods. Regular exercise can also help. Make sure you take your dog out for walks and exercise on a regular basis and let them burn off some energy by running around and calming down. Dogs are also known to act in a similar way to the humans that care for them. If you act anxious, worried or stressed out, your dog will sense this and react in a similar way. Stay calm and collected, and your dog will pick up the same habit from you.