Much like humans, dogs can suffer from fear and anxiety. Dog Anxiety Awareness Week occurs annually during the first week of May. This year it begins May 2nd and runs through May 8th.
The purpose of the week is to bring much-needed attention to the emotional well-being of your furry friend. In support of this initiative, we are providing information to help you recognize anxiety in your dog and give you some tips on how to deal with it.
How to Recognize Anxiety
Since dogs can’t just tell you what they are feeling, it is important for you to be aware of any changes in their behavior, and knowing the signs of uneasiness can help.
- Behavioral: If your dog visibly tenses up, shows his teeth, growls, or arches his back, then he can be experiencing anxiety. Sometimes your dog will show anxiety in a different manner. He might hide, sleep a lot, and become generally lethargic.
- Eating: Any change in your dog’s appetite could be a sign that something is wrong. Some dogs even begin to eat non-edible objects like shoes.
- Bathroom: If there is a change in your dog’s bathroom habits, it can be a sign that something is bothering him.
Triggers for Anxiety
There are endless factors that may evoke anxiety in your pup, but it is helpful to be aware of the most common issues.
- Location: If you live in a loud or noisy area, it may provoke anxiety for your dog.
- Special Occasions: The most anxiety-provoking holidays include New Year’s Eve and July 4th. Fireworks, gunshots, or a knock on your front door can all be super scary.
- Weather: Storms can really be devastating to your dog’s mental health. Some research claims that animals can sense storms before they arrive. Loud claps of thunder are especially unsettling.
- Life changes: If you have recently welcomed a new baby, furry or otherwise, into your family, this could trigger anxiety in your pet. With people going back to work for the first time in over a year, separation anxiety could also be triggered.
For more, practical tips, click here.
Not all dogs suffer from anxiety, but for those who do, it needs to be addressed quickly. Remember that your pets are sensitive to change and can develop anxiety easily. If your dog is experiencing anxiety you could ask one of our team members at Braxton’s about our selection of calming aids.