We love our dogs and we know you do too! They’re so much more than just pets - they are members or our family (in some cases - our favorite family member!) That’s why we make it a point to always try and care for our pets as lovingly as possible. However, many of us often overlook one of the biggest invisible ailments that a dog can suffer from: anxiety.
It’s no surprise that many people suffer from anxiety, so it makes perfect sense that our furry best friends would have these feelings too. We understand it can be very difficult to tell if your precious pup has anxiety, so we’re breaking down the symptoms for you right here.
Pups and Anxiety
Dogs can have anxiety just like humans. It manifests in similar ways and causes similar problems. Dogs that are angsty are likely to be sad and not enjoy things as much other dogs would. Anxiety is more than just being nervous sometimes. It can be chronic and cause intense fear and the inability to enjoy life.
Why Dogs Have Anxiety
Separation anxiety is the most common type for dogs. Rescue dogs are more at risk, but any dog can develop this fear. It can be caused by a change in routine, moving to a new residence, gaining or losing a family member, or changing owners.
Pain and bad experiences can also cause anxiety for your pup. Having an illness or a bad trip to the vet can especially make them fearful. Unlike humans, animals are not able to fully understand why they are experiencing pain and discomfort. This can cause unnecessary fear long after the discomfort has passed.
Puppies that were not properly socialized can have anxiety throughout their adult life. Often these puppies were not exposed to loud noises, like traffic, sirens, vacuums, or children.
Signs Your Pooch Has Anxiety
There are many different signs that a dog has anxiety. Some, however, may be caused by other issues and should be thoroughly evaluated. Always remember that if you suspect a significant problem to see your vet. Dogs are just like people in that they need to see their doctor regularly to ensure they stay healthy and happy.
Many people think that a dog that is aggressive is mean, but that could not be further from the truth. Dogs that show aggressive behavior are much more likely to be fearful causing a flight or fight response. If they have no way to escape, they will become aggressive as a natural instinct to save themselves.
Pottying in the House
Nobody likes coming home after a long day at work to the smell of their adorable dog’s excrement. After ruling out inadequate potty training, being left inside too long, and medical problems, dogs that are regularly using the house as their toilet may be feeling anxiety. This could be caused by an inability to control themselves due to fear, or they may be insecure and feel the need to mark their territory constantly.
Excessive Drooling or Panting
We all love our pups, but nobody enjoys their hot new pants being ruined from drool. Don’t worry, your dog isn’t trying to ruin your style, it is just their way of telling you they are anxious. Many times this behavior is paired with pacing relentlessly and appearing as if they have too much energy even when they are being exercised all the time.
It’s not fun to come home to a destroyed house, but this could be Fido’s way of telling you that he has separation anxiety. Dogs often destroy things when they are anxious, similar to how humans may work endless hours to cope with their anxiety. This is one way that dogs know how to cope. It gives them something to do and calms their mind.
Excessive barking is another way your dog may be telling you they are anxious. These dogs may jump and go on a barking rampage at every little noise. They are doing their best to alert those around them that something may be wrong. The excessive part comes in when they are doing this in response to every slight sound. Dogs with anxiety do this because everything around them is scary and overwhelming.
There is nothing worse than a sad pup. Depressed dogs often show little to no interest in food, treats, or play time. They may sleep a lot and appear lethargic. If you suspect your dog is depressed you should definitely take him or her to the vet to rule out other problems. If no medical problems are found, the cause could be anxiety. As mentioned before, anxiety in both humans and animals prevents them from living their best life.
If your dog suddenly has bald or hot spots, excessive licking could be to blame. Much like destroying things, licking is a way to cope with feelings that they are not able to fully understand. All they know is licking makes them feel better and helps calm them down.
If a pet feels scared, their natural instinct is to get away from whatever it is that is making them anxious. Hiding is the obvious way to do this. Dogs that constantly hide may be suffering from intense fear and anxiety. Rescue dogs may do this when they first come into a home.
Constantly Seeking Comfort
Although some pups are just naturally more affectionate, this personality trait takes it to another level. If you often describe your pooch as a velcro-dog, then you know how this can be. These dogs have to constantly be by their owners’ side and may even jump into their lap or lay on top of them, no matter how big they are.
Using CBD to Combat Anxiety
Although there are many different ways to ease your pet’s anxiety, one of the best (and totally natural) ways is to use a CBD supplement.
Forget about wrapping a pill in some crazy concoction to trick your pup into taking it. Our bacon flavored, broad-spectrum Happy ZenPup Calming Spray is one of the fastest (and tastiest) ways to incorporate CBD into your pup’s routine - helping them live their best life. Every. Single. Day.