How to Help a Dog with Anxiety

You can help your dog deal with anxiety.

Fear is a normal feeling that helps dogs (and people) get out of dangerous situations. Some dogs, however, experience excessive fear of things that they perceive to be a threat but which really aren't. That's when fear turns into anxiety for those dogs, and they can develop coping behaviors that negatively affect their daily life and relationships with their human family members.

How to Recognize Anxiety in Dogs

The first step in helping a dog deal with anxiety more appropriately is being able to recognize the signs in a dog suffering from it. Some common signs of anxiety in dogs include:

You can learn more about this here: "Signs of Anxiety in Dogs."

Causes of Excessive Anxiety in Dogs

Some dogs naturally have a high-strung personality that lends itself to developing anxiety issues. Other dogs can experience conditions that trigger it, including:

Canine Separation Anxiety

One type of anxiety that is quite prevalent in dogs is related to separation. These dogs become fearful and upset when their human(s) leave them alone. This can range from mild to severe, and the signs often include frantic or destructive behavior when the person is gone.

To learn more about this specific type of anxiety, check here: "Separation Anxiety in Dogs."

How to Help a Dog with Anxiety

If you suspect your dog has anxiety, the first thing to do is make an appointment with your veterinarian. Some medical conditions can have the same signs as anxiety, or they can produce anxiety and its associated signs.

Once your veterinarian has determined that your dog doesn't have a medical problem, you may be able to help your anxious dog with some or all of the following techniques:

If your dog has severe separation anxiety, you might need to arrange for a pet sitter or doggie daycare situation while you are implementing behavior modification. Dogs with separation anxiety can easily destroy property and injure themselves when left alone.

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