Dogs are anxious creatures by nature. They will explore and dig their way out to anything they are aiming for. They have different emotions just like humans. It is not naïve to say that dogs are stress relievers. If you are stressed or anxious, dogs can snap you out of that feeling before you know it. The only problem is that your furry friend might be a happy animal as it portrays to be but the truth is they go through different types of feelings and emotions. They seek attention and demand time. We often tend to neglect such emotions unknowingly due to the daily hustle bustle and busy working/study schedules.
Anxiety is a feeling or sensation which provokes that something is about to happen. You start feeling nervous or even start fearing that something bad is going to happen. You may like to state it as constant worrying. Do dogs worry too? Of course, they do. Their greatest worry at all times is the fear of losing you. Although there are various other reasons too which make a dog worrisome and causes anxiety.
Sometimes it is nearly impossible to tell if a dog has anxiety. However, some of the signs might indicate that a dog has anxiety. While it is normal for your dog to feel nervous, at the same time if the feeling persists over a longer period of time it might end up in an ailment. There are instances where you notice excessive barking, shivering, panting, licking or hiding. You might notice a sudden change in behavior in your dog such as destructive behavior, violence or any other sort of unpleasant behavior. Some of the reasons are as follows;
Change in environment
You might have shifted to a place where you might be better off but your dog will need time to adjust. It will feel uneasy despite the comfort you will try to provide. Even new additions in a particular place can be quite perturbing for a dog. A new pet or a new furniture item, any new thing you can possibly imagine can disturb a dog. For example, a dog might be attached to its dog bed. You might have been getting it new dog beds out of sheer love but it will want the same old bed it is attached to. If you have more than one pet and decide to give one away, this can lead to anxiety. So you never know what might be disturbing your dog, you will have to observe and determine the cause on your own.
Loneliness is a disease itself. Nobody will want to be alone, even if some people do they will want to have a companion to keep them busy, either it can be a book, music or a dog. Have you ever pondered over what it would be like if your dog feels lonely? You might have various ways to keep yourself engaged but what about a dog? When you step out of your house for work or if it is a short trip to the grocers, your dog’s only concern will be if you will return. They feel alone and this might trigger symptoms of separation anxiety.
Dogs are always up to something unless they are too lazy or moody. They always need something to keep them going whether it is a new area to explore or a new toy to play with. If they have no activity to keep themselves busy they will get bored. If they get bored quite often it will lead to anxiety. If you return home and find your things destroyed the reason can be quite simple as boredom.
Memories are encapsulated in your minds forever. It is no different when it comes to a dog. If you have kept a dog and due to any reason you decide to give it away there are chances that it can develop anxiety. Dogs that are left abandoned in shelters are also prone to anxiety. If you happen to adopt such dogs there are chances that they have the same memories with them. They will have a constant fear of being abandoned again. If someone has mistreated a dog, this can also cause anxiety
Loss of a member
If a dog loses its owner or another member of the family it is attached to, there are chances that the dog might develop anxiety. Dogs are loving creatures that get attached very easily. If they lose someone, the situation can affect them negatively. Their behavior might change all together. They might end up staying aloof.
It is quite normal to fret over a situation for a dog. As mentioned above the dog might fear losing someone or being abandoned. They even fear when they are left alone at home. They fear as if you might not return. While this kind of fear is linked to attachment, there are other types of fear that a dog might experience. For example, loud noises like fireworks and gunshots cause anxiety in dogs. If dogs are exposed to unwanted stimuli such as other pets or strangers, they dread it. For some dogs, a visit to the vet causes anxiety too.
How can you circumvent anxiety in dogs?
You can try out different methods to rectify behavioral changes in dogs. Anxiety in dogs is a mental ailment which needs to be dealt with appropriately. Anxiety can result in destructive behavior and can often lead to dangerous scenarios. Make sure that you provide a comfortable place with some treats and toys to keep your dog engaged while you are away. This can work if your dog has separation anxiety. Train your dog to follow a routine so that it knows that you have to leave and return home every day. You can leave a friend or a trustworthy person to watch out for your dog when you are away. You can also avail the option of leaving your dog at a dog care center. Last but not the least you can seek medical help if you think things are out of your control. The doctor will recommend some medicines to suppress anxiety in your dog.
If you do not pay heed to your dog and the kind of emotion it is dealing with, the chances are that it might fall ill and get into a serious ailment in the future; you will never want to lose your dog if you love it enough.