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Signs Your Dog Has Anxiety & How to Help Them Overcome It | CeeBeeDoo

Signs Your Dog Has Anxiety & How to Help Them Overcome It | CeeBeeDoo

If you are worried that your dog may be suffering with anxiety, then you are far from alone. Dog anxiety is actually a lot more common than you may think, yet it often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed as dog anxiety symptoms can be both subtle and mimic other behavioral traits that are typical in dogs.

That being said, if you are concerned that your dog may be experiencing anxiety or you simply want to be able to recognize the signs that your dog may be stressed, then you have come to the right place.

Within the below article, you will find the answers to all of the below questions regarding how to help a dog with anxiety.

  • What are the main types of anxiety in dogs?
  • What causes anxiety in dogs?
  • What are the main signs of anxiety in dogs?
  • How to treat anxiety in dogs?

Ready to get started and help your four-legged friend lead a happier and more stress-free life?

What are the types of anxiety in dogs?

There are three main types of canine anxiety: noise anxiety, social anxiety, and arguably the most common, separation anxiety.

Let’s start with separation anxiety as this is a problem that many dog owners face, especially those who are away from home for long periods of time.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety in dogs is recognizable by your dog being calm for the majority of the time but becoming agitated when they are either left alone or left with someone else. If this sounds like your dog, you can find dog anxiety medication that might help calm them, or you can look to more natural treatments such as hemp oil for dogs with separation anxiety.

Noise anxiety

As the name suggests, noise anxiety is when your dog becomes anxious or agitated when they hear loud noises such as thunder or fireworks. Again, this is very common in dogs, and there are several treatments that you may want to consider, including the introduction of CBD dog treats or anxiety dog training.

Social anxiety

In the same way that you may feel anxious in certain social situations, your dog can also be affected by this type of anxiety. Social anxiety in dogs often manifests itself as a fear of being around other dogs or people that are not a part of their immediate social circle.

What causes anxiety in dogs?

When looking at how to help a dog with separation anxiety, or any other type of anxiety, it can first be a good idea to identify what has caused their anxiety. Perhaps they feel lonely, bored, or even scared.

It is also worth knowing that some breeds are more prone to dog anxiety than others. Dog breeds that are more likely to suffer with anxiety include:

  • German & Australian Shepherd
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Vizsla
  • Border Collie
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Shorthair Pointer
  • Bichon Frise
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Greyhounds
  • Havanese
  • Many toy breeds such as chihuahuas

If you have a rescue dog or former shelter dog, they are much more likely to need dog anxiety treatment as they may still carry feelings of abandonment with them and/or may be struggling to cope with a past traumatic event. You may even find that they suffer with panic attacks or anxiety attacks on a regular basis.

If you have an older dog, it is worth noting that they will be more prone to anxiety than their younger counterparts. This is because as their memory, perception, and awareness abilities start to decline, they can become both confused and anxious.

Of course, sometimes there is no one reason why your dog is showing signs of anxiety. Just like people, some dogs just have a predisposition towards being anxious, and they will always need a little more help when it comes to their overall wellbeing.

What are the most common signs of anxiety in dogs?

When trying to answer the question “how to keep a dog healthy,” it is important that you, as a pet owner, are vigilant when it comes your both your dog’s physical and mental health.

In terms of dog anxiety, the signs of separation anxiety in dogs are very similar to the signs of all other types of anxiety and may include the following:

  • Excessive panting
  • Hanging their tail between their legs
  • Frequent lip licking
  • Pinning back their ears
  • Yawning
  • Pacing
  • Barking or howling when alone
  • Panting even when it’s not hot
  • Shivering
  • Running away or hiding
  • Cowering
  • Excessive digging
  • Trying to escape the backyard
  • Destructive behavior in the home
  • Self-harm such as chewing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Urinating more frequently
  • A general inability to settle

Some of the above signs of anxious dogs are more apparent than others, and you may not even realize that your dog is trying to tell you that they are stressed or anxious. Don’t feel bad if you are only just addressing one or more of the above problems. Mental illness, even in dogs, is a very complex issue, and stress and anxiety can manifest itself in so many different ways.

The important thing to remember is that you are reading this article now, so you are ready to take the necessary steps to help your dog overcome any anxiety they may be experiencing.

How to treat anxiety in dogs

When looking into what to give dogs for anxiety, it is important to know that there is no one size fits all treatment. It really is a case of trial and error to see what works for your dog and your family.

That being said, there are many different dog anxiety remedies, therapies, and treatment plans that you can choose from when trying to help your dog overcome their issues.

Anxiety treats for dogs

Have you heard of CBD products that are specifically created for dogs? You probably have, as this natural remedy has soared in popularity in recent years, with the CBD market experiencing growth of 706% in 2019 alone.

A great alternative for those who do not want to go down the traditional anti-anxiety meds for dogs route, CBD for dogs anxietymight be extremely effective if used correctly.

Not sure exactly what is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound that is found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike marijuana, CBD oil will not have any psychoactive effects on your dog as it only contains traces of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

The CBD benefits that your dog might experience includes:

  • Act as a powerful painkiller
  • Reduce anxiety and stress
  • Act as an antiemetic
  • May slow tumor growth
  • Act as an anti-inflammatory
  • Control seizures, tremors, tics, and spasms

In terms of reducing anxiety in your dog, research suggests that CBD products for dogs such as the ever-popular hemp dog treatswork by temporarily increasing serotonin (the happy hormone) levels in the brain, resulting in a reduction in stress and anxiety.

Of course, as with any course of treatment, hemp for anxiety in dogs needs to be given correctly, and the effects need to be monitored.  

If you are considering this natural remedy for your dog’s anxiety, you should first know how to find the best hemp oil for dog anxiety.

Aim for CBD oil products that are:

  • Organic
  • Locally grown
  • Third-party lab tested
  • Clearly labeled

You also want to choose a CBD supplier that provides a simple way to get in touch and one that is happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

If you are unsure about how much CBD oil to give your dog, you should consult the directions given on the packaging and, if in doubt, always start with a small dose and increase if needed.

Still not convinced this is the right treatment for your dog?

Why not check out a hemp oil for dogs anxiety review or two online? They are most definitely not in short supply, and you may be surprised at just how many dog owners have experienced success with using hemp treats for dogs anxiety.

Dog separation anxiety toys  

If your dog suffers with separation anxiety, a wide range of dogs toys are available that might help calm your dog and relieve any anxiety they feel when you are not with them.

One of the most popular choices is a treat dispenser toy. This works by providing your dog with mental stimulation and a positive experience that they associate with you being gone. You can even find treat dispenser toys that are scented with chamomile for an even more soothing effect.

Alternatively, you may want to try purchasing a heated cuddle toy that will calm your dog’s nerves and offer them a comforting thing to snuggle up to when they are alone.

Other ways in which you may treat separation anxiety in canines include:

  • Taking them for a long walk before you leave to tire them out
  • Leaving one of your old t-shirts or shoes for them to smell and play with
  • Playing calming classical music
  • Looking into essential oils for dog anxiety
  • Creating a safe place within your home
  • Considering a doggy day-care facility

Anxiety medications for dogs

If your dog has been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, your veterinarian may recommend prescribed medications. Common drugs for dogs with severe anxiety include antidepressants and SSRIs such as fluoxetine and clomipramine. Although for more specific occasions where your dog is likely to become anxious such as on the 4th of July when fireworks are going off, they are more likely to prescribe benzodiazepine.

For a senior dog who has cognitive dysfunction syndrome, you may want to ask your vet about selegiline that is known for reducing some of the common symptoms of this disorder.   

Are prescribed anti-anxiety medications the right choice for your dog?

This is a hard question to answer. Yes, some dogs will benefit from prescribed anti-anxiety medication. However, it is worth knowing that medication is not a cure for dog anxiety; instead, it simply helps to decrease your dog’s physical response to stress. The root of their anxiety is still there.

Therefore, even if you do decide to give your dog prescribed or over the counter medication, they will still need long-term help with dealing with their anxiety.

Dog training

Whether you feel confident in trying out some dog training techniques yourself or you would prefer to enlist the services of a professional trainer, a wide range of training strategies exist that might help to treat dog anxiety.

One of these techniques is counterconditioning, which works by changing your dog’s response to the stimuli responsible for anxiety. This usually involves replacing aggressive or destructive behavior with more positive actions such as sitting or paying attention to you as their owner.

Another common strategy is desensitization, which involves introducing your dog to the source of their anxiety in short and small doses and then gradually increasing their exposure. Repeated exposure alongside positive rewards may significantly help your dog to manage their anxiety.

In terms of specific types of dog anxieties, there are more specified techniques that you can try. For example, if your dog struggles with separation anxiety, you may want to try gradually leaving them for longer periods of time combined with professional obedience training.

For dogs that suffer with noise anxiety, there are a number of behavioral therapies that you can try, such as the desensitization method mentioned above, where you play recorded versions of noises that they find scary in gradually louder and longer doses. Alternatively, you can teach them to seek a place of calm, such as a den when a loud noise occurs.

Lastly, if your dog suffers with social anxiety, a great place to start is a doggy training class where they can interact with other dogs while under the observation of a trained professional.

Calming clothes

A lesser-known solution, you can find calming coats, t-shirts, and even a dog anxiety vest that are all known for creating a sense of calm in your dog.

How exactly do they work?

In the same way that you might swaddle a new-born baby to soothe them, calming clothes for dogs work by applying mild yet constant pressure to your dog, resulting in an instant feeling of relaxation and calm.

This is best for dogs that suffer with anxiety when traveling, social anxiety, separation anxiety,  and stress caused by loud noises.

Plus, there are so many different designs and styles available, so if you love dressing your dog up in matching attire to yourself or you simply like to treat them to the latest fashions, you will be able to find the perfect calming clothing for your pooch.

Physical activity

When you are stressed out, do you find that a quick burst of intense physical activity immediately makes you feel better?

This is because exercise is known for releasing endorphins, which can reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.

Therefore, if your dog is suffering with anxiety, the simplest way to help them overcome this problem is to take them out for lots of exercise in the fresh air.

Furthermore, if your dog struggles with separation anxiety, going for a walk will help strengthen the bonds between dog and owner, meaning they are less likely to get upset when you leave. Plus, it will tire them out so that they are more concerned with resting than causing mischief when alone.

If your dog suffers with social anxiety, you may avoid taking them out to the park for fear of them acting aggressively or trying to run off. However, this is the worst thing that you can do for a socially anxious dog. They need to be gradually exposed to other dogs and other people, albeit in a way that they feel safe and secure.

Other alternative therapies

If you have tried all of the above and still no joy, you might want to try a combination of other alternative therapies such as:

  • Massage therapy: Massage works for dogs in the exact same way that it works for humans. Providing a great way to relieve tension and alleviate stress. You do not need to visit a professional masseuse for this. Simply start at your dog’s neck and slowly work your way down their body and legs in long and calming strokes.
  • Music therapy: Music is the ideal therapy for dogs that suffer with noise anxiety as you can combat scary noises with gentle, soothing ones instead. Classical music always works effectively, as well as harp music that is known for being a natural sedative.
  • Touch therapy: This is very similar to massage therapy but slightly simpler. All you need to do is focus on being as tactile with your dog as possible. Stroke them, let them sit on your lap, give them a cuddle before you leave for work - anything that involves gentle touching will help.

Are you interested in trying CBD products to help combat your dog’s anxiety? Our selection of tasty and nutritious hemp treats for dogs offers a natural way to calm and soothe your agitated dog.

Why not give them a try today!

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If you would like more information on our cannabidiol CBD products or about the effects of CBD in dogs, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing support@ceebeedoo.com; our dedicated customer service team are ready and waiting to help you and your dog today.

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