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How to Help a Dog with Anxiety, Signs & Symptoms |

How to Help a Dog with Anxiety, Signs & Symptoms |

How to Help a Dog Suffering from Anxiety

Just as humans can suffer from anxiety, so too can dogs and cats and hundreds of other animal species. However, due to limited knowledge, many dog owners aren’t even aware that their lovable pet is suffering.

While dogs can express happiness and signal to you most of the time what they want, they can’t tell you precisely what is wrong. Instead, they have to rely on body language and actions, and without the knowledge of the signs of anxiety within dogs, this can get missed. Many people will just continue to view their dogs as the excitable and happy furry friends within their household, and believe that their dog is just having an “off-day.”

Therefore, this guide was put in place to help advise you if you believe a dog is suffering from anxiety. We will explore why dogs suffer from anxiety, the signs to look out for, and how you can help your beloved pet.

Why do dogs get anxiety?

There are many reasons why dogs can experience anxiety, and they are not too dissimilar to what a human will experience.

For dogs, it can stem from a situation in which their fear was triggered; for instance, some dogs might be scared by loud noises (e.g., thunderstorms or fireworks). While fear is normal to experience, sometimes it can reach extreme levels that ultimately lead to both unhealthy and dangerous behavior within dogs. 

However, your pet can experience separation anxiety when you leave them at home or you put them away in a kennel while you are away. It can also be triggered when you take them to the vets for the first time, or they meet other dogs or new humans (more commonly with children and men – due to the average height of men being that much taller, and children generally having high-pitched voices, which may scare the dog).

How to know if your dog has anxiety

Your dog will be expressing different signs that you will need to look out for, and so observation is the key here. You need to watch your dog’s body language after they experience something (such as a storm or when you leave the house). If you are noticing that they are hiding themselves away afterward, that they are shaking, or are leaving unwanted belongings on your floors, these are all signs that your dog is suffering from anxiety.

Other signs that you need to watch out include:

  • Aggression – is your dog starting to show signs of aggression toward you or another family member?
  • Destructive behavior – is your dog starting to chew the furniture, carpets or rugs, or digging holes in the yard?
  • Attempted escape – Has your dog tried to escape more than once from your home or backyard?
  • Panting and drooling – is this more than normal? Consider the current weather conditions in the summer; they are likely to be panting more due to the hot sun, so monitor this carefully; if they are panting more in winter, this could be a sign that they are suffering with anxiety.
  • Licking or biting – Licking themselves or objects excessively and biting is one of the biggest signs that your dog is suffering with anxiety.


How to help a dog with anxiety


Be sure to take your dog out for regular exercise to treat anxiety, whether this be in the form of a walk or run around the local park or your neighborhood block. It will help them to feel less stressed and boost their serotonin levels.

Calming environment

If your dog’s anxiety lies with noise, then there are some ways that you can help treat their anxiety. Start by creating a calming environment, where the noise levels can be reduced, or creating a safe space, such as a cage with a blanket covering it that your dog will find comforting.

However, when you are considering, “What can I give my dog for anxiety?”, fortunately, there are a number of things that might be able to help a dog with anxiety.


If the anxiety is severely affecting the health of your dog, then it might be worth taking a trip to your local vets. They might be able to prescribe medication that will help calm your dog and minimize the destructive behavior they are experiencing.

Does CBD for dogs' anxiety work?

Many people might have come across CBD oil. CBD oil is derived from a hemp plant and is considered to be a holistic alternative to traditional medicine. When you are traveling in a car to the vets or are taking your dog to the kennels, then CBD oil products might help calm your dog down.

It is important to note that the CBD oil products aren’t designed to treat or cure the condition, however. 

CBD oil for dogs comes in many different forms. The different CBD products available include:

  • Dog calming treats – give your dog CBD oil in the form of a treat that they will love (usually in every 2 treats, there will be 5mg of CBD oil).
  • Drops – you can mix this into their food or water bowl or apply it directly into their mouth. For it to be effective, you need to slide the dropper between the cheeks and gums and dispense toward the back of their mouth.
  • Tablets – Crush these up and mix it into their food bowl or again get them to swallow it after placing it in their mouth.


How to help a dog with separation anxiety

If your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, then you will need to put a plan into action that helps your dog cope while you are out of the house. Every time you leave the house, you need to start downplaying the goodbyes and hellos. By putting an emphasis on the goodbyes and hellos, you are reinforcing your dog’s fear of absence. You should then set about training your dog to cope when you are not there and leave items that your dog will find comforting.


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