Dog Stress & Anxiety

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Dog Stress & Anxiety

Stress. It’s part of all of our lives - and that’s no different for our pets. Believe it or not, dog anxiety can be more prevalent than human anxiety. There are many causes and many symptoms of it, as well as many solutions. First, let’s explore some common causes of stress and anxiety in our lovable pups. If you’re a pet parent, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of dog separation anxiety. That’s because so many dogs suffer from it. When their human companions leave the home, many dogs’ anxiety levels spike. Another common cause of doggy stress is travel. Whether in the car or through the air, traveling around can take a toll on some dogs. Vet trips also top the list as a major cause of dog anxiety. Some dogs see stress levels rise when others visit the house -dogs, strangers, and even friends and family. And when thunderstorms blow through or fireworks season is in full swing, it’s not uncommon for dogs to be stressed out and even downright scared. So if these are some of the top causes for dog anxiety, what symptoms could you expect to observe to determine if your pup might have it? You might suspect your pup has dog anxiety if, during any of the previously mentioned activities, she displays the following tendencies. When your dog becomes anxious she may pant, even when she is not over heated. During situations of severe anxiety, she might hide in an unusual spot she wouldn’t otherwise frequent -the corner of a bathroom is a common hiding place. Your dog may even display undesirable actions like inappropriate barking, uncontrollable urination or marking, and even chewing or scratching at furniture. It’s important to recognize these behaviors as a symptom of anxiety, and not of a disobedient dog, as reprimanding your dog could make the situation worse. Instead, try some of these solutions. Calming dog chews, treats and foods include active calming ingredients like thiamine, L-Tryptophan, chamomile and lavender. Many calming collars and diffusers work by releasing the same pheromones a mother dog emits to keep her pups at ease -undetectable by humans but highly effective for dogs. And the ThunderShirt is a unique solution that applies gentle, constant pressure on your dog's torso, calming your pup by making her feel secure -similar to how parents swaddle infants. Try each of these solutions to find out which works best for your anxious dog. A combination of solutions may be necessary for extreme cases and you can consult your veterinarian for their recommendations too.