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What's Stressing Your Dog Out? Understanding Anxiety

Worried Looking Cocker Spaniel On A White Couch

Anxiety is a very intrusive problem in the lives of humans and in the lives of their canine family members. How can you help your furry counterparts handle their phobias? Here are some suggestions on how to bring security and reassurance to your anxious pet.

Separation Anxiety

Much like children and adults deal with separation anxiety so pets do when their owners leave for the day. Some dogs experience minor symptoms of anxiety while others experience more severe anxiety--and for a variety of reasons. If you notice that your dog is anxious, overly nervous or displaying disruptive behavioral tendencies when you leave or come back to your home, your pet may suffer from separation anxiety.

4 Why's Behind Separation Anxiety
  • It's your dog's first time being left alone.
  • Your pet has experienced trauma(s) in the past.
  • A change in the daily routine occurs unsettling your pet.
  • The loss of a relative or another pet can trigger pet anxiety.

Reassure Through Routine

Resist the urge to shower affection immediately before you leave or after you return from a trip. Wait a bit before giving that treasured pup a reassuring pat. Find an article of clothing that carries your scent and allow your dog to snuggle with it while you're gone. Utter a specific word that your worried canine can hear before you leave signaling you will be coming back.

Frightening Noises

Thunderstorms and fireworks can make your pet jumpy, terrified and prone to hiding. How can you reassure your pet in their time of need? Here are a few tips to help them adjust:

  • Create a safe haven with easy access that muffles loud noises and provides them with a cozy atmosphere to take shelter in.
  • Get your pet involved in a favorite activity to distract them from their fear, stop the activity if the anxious behavior continues or worsens.
  • Use calming treats or Thundershirts to help calm your pet.
  • Play tapes with startling noises quietly then over a period of time increase the volume. This allows your dog to grow accustomed to the sounds.

Despite your best efforts, severe anxiety can still remain. If you find all other attempts at reassuring your pet failing, consult an animal behaviorist or veterinary for alternatives.

Meet The Author 

Grant Withers

Canine Specialist & Writer

Grant is an award-winning writer for SitStay with a passion for pets and especially dogs! Grant loves writing about furry little goofballs and aims to educate pet parents about anything and everything regarding their dogs.

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