If you’re worried that your dog may be suffering from anxiety, there are many ways you can identify it. Anxious dogs will show that they are feeling anxious with their body language, through behavioral problems such as destructive behaviors, and sometimes through excessive vocalization. Signs of anxiety can vary depending on the dog breed and each specific dog; however, as a pet parent, it’s important that you pay attention to your dog and notice when there are signs your dog has anxiety. Here are the most common signs to look for.
One of the signs your dog has anxiety is excessive licking. If you notice that your dog’s behavior has changed and they have started to lick themselves more than normal, it could be because they are feeling anxious. While excessive licking can also be a sign of a skin condition or some other issue, it’s important to consider that your dog may be suffering from anxiety. Does your dog only begin to lick themselves when you leave the house for long periods? If so, this could be separation anxiety. Know the signs and talk to a vet to be safe.
Another sign of anxious behavior in dogs is shaking. Body language is very telling when it comes to behavior problems in animals, and dogs do not shake for no reason. If your dog is shaking, they may fear something, or they may have anxiety due to the weather, separation, or another underlying cause. A dog’s behavior is hard to pinpoint, so take them to the vet and they can help you diagnose what is going on, and maybe even provide them with CBD dog treats if appropriate.
Like shaking, hiding can be a sign that your dog is afraid of something, or has serious anxiety. Anxious dogs hide because they don’t know how else to deal with their surroundings. Anxiety in dogs usually needs to be treated with medication so that the dog can go back to living a more carefree life. If you see that your dog is constantly hiding and in a state of terror, understand, as a pet parent, that this could be one of the symptoms of anxiety and treat them accordingly.
Excessive barking can be your dogs way of trying to tell you a wide array of things, but it is also one of the signs your dog has anxiety. If you notice a pattern of excessive barking, or if your neighbors let you know that your dog is barking when you leave the house, you may have a dog with separation anxiety. Maybe your dog develops anxiety by being left alone and their reaction is excessive vocalization. Anxious dogs don’t know what else to do sometimes but to vocalize their feelings of distress, especially younger dogs. This is something you’ll need to address and find ways to fix to make both your dog and your neighbors feel more at ease.
Aggression is one of those destructive behaviors that can be a sign your dog has anxiety. Anxiety may leave your dog feeling angry and aggressive, because they don’t understand why their emotions are out of whack. The same way humans get frustrated by symptoms of anxiety, dogs can feel the a similar way. If your dog gets aggressive, understand that the underlying cause may be neurological and try to get them help.
Going to the Bathroom Indoors
If your dog is potty trained and starts to change behavior by going to the bathroom indoors, this may be one of the signs your dog has anxiety. If it is a one time thing, it is possible that your dog just really needed to use the bathroom and couldn’t hold it; but if it starts to happen a lot, then your dog may be trying to tell you something. They could have an infection or a more serious psychological issue going on, so take them to a vet to get some tests done and find the cause.
Trying to Escape
Anxiety in dogs can be detected by destructive behaviors like trying to escape. Signs your dog has anxiety can include a dog that doesn’t want to be contained in small spaces, such as their crate. Most dogs love their crates because it makes them feel safe and every dog deserves a den; however, anxious dogs will freak out by enclosed spaces. If your dog used to stay calm and feel comfortable in their crate and suddenly, they can’t stand it, then you know something is wrong and you need to make a change.
Another one of the signs your dog has anxiety is excessive energy. This is harder to detect than some of the other symptoms of anxiety because it may just seem like your dog is happy. If your dog seems extremely energetic, they may not know how to handle the way their mind is working. They may be running around anxiously because sitting still would mean they are calm and at ease, and that’s not the case. Dogs cannot speak and tell you how they’re feeling, so if your dog is doing anything out of their ordinary behavior, you might need to question how they’re feeling mentally.
Destructive behavior is an obvious sign of anxiety in dogs. If your dog has started tearing up your house, furniture, their crate, or anything else, there’s probably a reason—especially if your dog is trained and was behaving well before. Anxious dogs behave in destructive ways for the same reason teenagers may act out when they have emotional issues. They don’t know how to handle themselves. Treat your dog for their mental issues and help them feel better so that they can behavior better as well.
Other Abnormal Behavior
As we’ve repeatedly mentioned, all these signs your dog has anxiety are going to be different depending on your dog. Any abnormal behavior could be a sign of anxiety, because anxious dogs tend to act out of character. So, if you see that your dog is acting weird, take a second to notice and consider the causes. If you can’t find the underlying cause of their abnormal behavior, go to the vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose whether anxiety is the ultimate cause.