Is your dog fearful, skittish and clingy? It might mean that they're anxious.
Anxiety is a very common emotional disorder in dogs and may explain unusual behavior. If you don't consider your dog's anxiety and try to resolve it, it could get worse. Our first advice is to not dismiss the situation. If your dog is acting unusual (e.g. destroying everything, peeing inside the house, barking, or acting agressive), they may be anxious.
The different types of anxiety
- Panic attack : Your dog suddenly starts panting, shaking, moaning. You feel like they're trying to find a way to escape their own fear. You don't understand why and how the panic attack started.
- Occasional anxiety : Your dog becomes agressive, barks, destroys...
- Permanent anxiety : Your dog is completely prostrated. They might have a physical disorder such as constantly licking a part of their body. This behavior might lead to depression if you don't react.
Understanding your dog
An anxious dog will jump with fright for no reason. They might look paranoid, like they're always threatened. They will tend to hide under a chair to protect themselves. They're always defensive.
Anxiety starts when something in your dog's daily life suddenly changes you come back home later than usual, a stranger spends the night at your place...
The 3 most common explanation to anxiety :
- The dog did not grow up in an appropriate environment during the 3 first months of his life
- The place where they live now his not appropriate: it's too small, they're lonely...
- The owner is stressed and not spending enough time with the dog
How can I help?
Think about their education: is your dog at his proper place in the house hierarchy? Have you created rituals before you leave the house?
Make sure that they have their own place and that they enjoy it : your dog must have a quiet place where no one will disturb them.
What about the cuddles: petting and cuddling your dog is very important for their self-fulfillment. Make sure that they get enough of them!
King gestures : bring your dog some yummy treats, take them on long walks with you or offer them plenty of your time to play. Reminds them that they're your best friend!
Photo credit : Yummypets