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Is your dog suddenly aggressive towards you without any apparent reason? Or it is quiet and prefers to spend time alone, expressing fearful facial expressions? Then your dog may be stressed.

Certain behaviors by pet owners can cause anxiety dogs. For example, if you stay away from your dog for long periods, it will suffer from separation anxiety. If your dog has developed emotional bonds with you, then your dog will become upset out of separation.

This is a common phenomenon for women who were on maternity leave and have to return to their day job. Separation anxiety can be so extreme that your dog tries to break through doors or windows as you leave the house.

How to know if your dog is stressed

Like humans, dogs also get stressed from time to time because of various reasons. Understanding the signals your dog shows when it is stressed enables you to know the behaviors you should avoid. You’ll learn how to make your dog feel safe and happy. Here are the signs to notice in a depressed pooch:

Isolation

Even though it is normal for dogs to spend time alone, it becomes a sign of depression when your dog spends more time in solitude.

Aggression

Aggression is the most noticeable sign of anxiety in dogs. Dogs in distress are usually aggressive towards other animals and humans without any apparent reason. If you notice your dog becoming increasingly upset with a fearful body posture, then it could be stressed.

Excessive barking

Excessive barking can also be a sign of depression in dogs. They can’t control their whining and barking when stressed because it is an automatic response to protect themselves.

Loss of Appetite

Weight loss is a strong indicator of anxiety and depression in dogs. Happy dogs love to eat and so the loss of appetite will be a clear sign that something is not right your dog.

Gastrointestinal Issues

If your dog is having diarrhea, and constipation without any connection to an allergy, then chances are that it is stressed to high levels. 

What causes anxiety in dogs?

Your dog can be stressed because of many reasons. Some of the most common causes of anxiety in dogs include:

Fear of loud noises

Dogs have powerful hearing capabilities. So what appears to be a loud sound to you is 10X louder in their ears. Constant exposure to fireworks makes them stressed.

Leaving your dog at home alone

Staying away for long periods causes separation anxiety in your dogs. For example, going back to work after giving birth to your child or going on a long holiday can stress your dog.

Meeting new people

Dogs just like humans need time to get used to new people. They may be frightened because of experiences with their past owners. For example, if a dog was mistreated by its previous owner, it will hesitate to trust the new parent. It suspects getting mistreated again.  

Aging

Memory loss can cause anxiety in old dogs. 

Is your behavior causing  your dog's anxiety?
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How do you calm a stressed dog?

So, you have realized that your dog is anxious and you are wondering how to make it feel safe around you again. There are many ways to reduce your dog’s stress and make it excited about life again. Here they are:

Seek the help of a veterinarian

Consulting a veterinarian is the best shot at improving your dog’s mental health. The doctor will identify the possible cause of anxiety in your dog and recommend effective remedies.

Use calming aids  

If your dog is anxious despite providing a safe environment, then you can try calming aids. There are multiple natural products that can manage your dog’s anxiety. You can use products such as CBD, most essential oils out there may not be friendly to pets.

Hire a dog trainer

Professional dog trainers know how to earn the trust of dogs and make them feel safe. Hiring the services of a dog trainer can help you identify what is stressing your dog.

How can I prevent anxiety in my dog?

Use these tips to prevent your dog from getting stressed:

Avoid dog triggers

Since it is obvious that dogs don’t like loud noises, you should create a quiet environment. Such an environment makes your dog feel safe and secure.

Take your dog for physical exercises regularly

Exercises can improve the mental health of your dogs. Staying in the same environment for a long time can increase stress levels in your dog. But when you constantly take your dog for a walk, it gets excited as it notices the outside environment.

Make your dog social

Since most dogs are frightened in the presence of new people, you should normalize your dog interacting with strangers. You can take your dog to the malls and to parties so it gets used to meeting new people.

Observe your dog’s body language

By identifying signs of stress in your dog, you can provide a quick remedy before the situation worsens to depression. One way to address such an issue is removing the trigger that caused your dog to become stressed. 

Conclusion

There are many causes of anxiety in dogs. The main ones include fear of loud noises, separation from their owners, and memory loss due to aging. Some of the signs of anxiety in dogs include excessive barking, aggression, isolation, and loss of appetite. You calm a stressed dog by seeking the help of a veterinarian, using calming aids such as CBD products, and hiring a dog trainer to identify what triggers the stress in your dog.

Author: Vincent Otieno

Author Bio - Vincent Otieno