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Anxiety in Dogs

Is your canine buddy nervous by nature? Just like people, dogs all have their own personalities. Some are calm and friendly, and others are very timid and anxious. Here, a Marietta, GA vet discusses anxiety in dogs.

Causes

Anxiety in dogs can be caused by many different things. Separation anxiety is one common form of anxiety in our canine friends. Many of our furry friends get anxious and lonely when left by themselves. This is rooted in the fact that dogs live in packs in the wild. Fear is another common cause of anxiety. Sometimes dogs get nervous when something reminds them of a bad experience. Fido may also be frightened by loud noises; strangers; or specific items, like a hat or vacuum cleaner. Aging can also cause anxiety in our canine pals. Just like people, dogs can suffer a decline in vision or hearing as they grow older. Fido can also develop dementia. Your pet won’t really understand what is happening, and could be quite unnerved as a result.

Symptoms

Many of the signs of doggy anxiety are often mistaken for bad petiquette. Fido may dig, chew, or eat things that aren’t food. He may also soil inappropriately. Panting; excessive barking, howling, or whining; pacing; restlessness; and depression can also be signs of anxiety. Sometimes, anxiety can cause dogs to become aggressive. This can be a dangerous situation, so if your pup is acting aggressive, consult your vet or a professional dog behaviorist.

Helping Fido Cope

There are some things you can do to take the edge off your pet’s anxiety. First, make sure that your four-legged friend has plenty of toys and is getting lots of exercise. If you wear Fido out with a long walk and then a fun round of Fetch, he’ll be naturally a bit calmer, just because he’s tired. For senior dogs, you may need to adjust your furry pal’s care regimen a bit, so he feels safe and comfortable. Also, never punish your pet for misbehaving because of anxiety. Dogs don’t really understand the concept of punishment, so you may just confuse your pet, or make him feel scared or uneasy. Needless to say, this can make matters worse. Ask your vet or a professional dog behaviorist for advice.

Please reach out to us, your Marietta, GA pet hospital, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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