When it is normal, anxiety is actually good for both you and your dog as well. This also establishes the fact that dogs and other pets also suffer from anxiety and other mental health issues. All breeds experience such issues from time-to-time. However, it must not go unchecked when it becomes severe. Untreated anxiety disorder can cause behavioral issues. You can use CBD oil for pets to help your pet with anxiety.
Causes of Dog Anxiety
Your dog may be suffering from anxiety because of the following reasons:
Fear Induced Anxiety
The following are common causes of fear-induced anxiety:
- Strange animals or people
- Strange environment
- Umbrella, hats or other visual stimuli
- Loud noises
- Car rides, vet’s office or other situations
Fear-induced anxiety can be temporary. However, an anxious dog is more prone to fear-induced anxiety.
14% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety. This happens when you leave your pet alone or it is separated from the family. This is where the pet needs comfort. Separation anxiety can lead to behavioral issues such as:
- Destroying furniture
- Defecating and urinating in the house
As the name says, older dogs are likely to suffer from age-related anxiety. The following starts declining in older dogs:
Symptoms of Dog Anxiety
You should look for the following important symptoms:
- Destructive behavior
- Compulsive or repetitive behavior
- Excessive barking
- Defecating or urinating in the house
The dog may show these symptoms due to events that cause anxiety. However, this is occasional anxiety. It becomes a serious issue when it becomes recurrent. Aggression is a dangerous symptom. Aggression can be direct or indirect. Barking and growling are common signs of aggression. If the dog causes damage to the windows, doorways or other entry and exit points, this is a sign of destructive behavior. Destructive behavior can also cause serious injuries.
Treatment for Dog Anxiety
First of all, take your dog to a veterinarian. The vet diagnoses the type of anxiety to offer the right treatment. It is important to identify the causes and triggers of the condition. It can be situational anxiety or it can be overwhelming as well. Some other medical conditions also have similar symptoms. The vet needs to rule out such medical conditions first. The next step is a treatment plan.
A variety of factors together cause anxiety in dogs. Therefore, dog anxiety treatment includes a combination of the following to address these factors:
- Preventive measures
Some anxiety treatment plans don’t need medications.
Training includes strategies for anxiety treatment in dogs. Counterconditioning is one such technique. The vet tells you about stimuli causing anxiety and trains the dog to respond accordingly. For example, if your dog is exhibiting aggression, train the pet to focus on you. Desensitization is another technique in which the pet is slightly and repeatedly exposed to the source of anxiety. Your dog starts feeling comfortable.
Serious anxiety disorder requires natural therapies or medications. Fluoxetine, clomipramine and other antidepressants and SSRIs are prescribed for anxiety treatment. Events like car rides, fireworks and thunderstorms can cause stress and anxiety. These are predictable events. So, the vet prescribed benzodiazepine with antidepressants to prevent anxiety in such events. Studies suggest that CBD products for pets such as CBD oil for pets also help with anxiety in pets.
It is not easy to predict the source of anxiety. You may not be able to determine if your pet will develop a serious anxiety disorder. Observe your dog’s body language during positive and negative experiences. Avoid situations causing anxiety. Socialize your dog. Take your pet for obedience training. Pay special attention to nutrition and exercise.