How do you cope when you’re anxious? You scream, slam the door, bang the table, or even cry. Imagine your dog undergoing the same experience. No one to tell what it’s feeling.
It’s a pity, right?
Many people suffer from stress. Dogs too experience the same thing. The only difference is that dogs can’t voice their feelings. Thus, study and understand your dog’s behavior. If anything changes, take proper measures.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the signs that show your dog’s anxiety.
1. Non-stop barking
If you can’t control your dog from barking, then it means something is amiss. You should never ignore it. It might be a sign of distress. Most often, dogs bark when they want food or to express dissatisfaction. Sometimes, it might be because of unfamiliar places or strangers.
In case you can’t soothe your dog, then you need to find out the cause. Loud noise and speedy activities can make the dog restless. To distract it, play music in low volume. A serene environment can help relax the dog.
Shaking is common in dogs, but it’s not always normal. Dogs may shake because of fear, while others may be a medical problem. Dogs are fierce, but when confronted with an unfamiliar circumstance, they become fearful. The alarm may trigger the body to shake.
For instance, a dog may shake when you take it to the vet for the first time. In other cases, the dog may be sick and need medical attention.
3. Changes in eyes and ears
When your dog’s eyes are bloodshot, it means your dog is stressed. The dogs’ adrenaline reflex shows in red eyes. This reflex action results from a flight reaction. A dog may blink fast to express mild stress.
If your dog pins back its ears on the back, it might be because of stress. Dogs don’t react the same to stress. So be keen to note any changes.
4. Excessive shedding
Most breeds shed their fur at one time. For instance, a young dog sheds its puppy fur, as it grows into adulthood. Shedding a body coat is natural. But sometimes dogs shed their fleece from stress.
This stress results from things causing tension around them. So make sure your home has minimal distractors to avoid unhealthy shedding in your dog.
5. Loss of appetite
Like humans, dogs experience loss of appetite when stressed. During stress, dogs go through hormonal changes that interfere with their taste. As the dog owner, make sure you note any changes in your dog’s eating habits.
Track any event that could have caused stress in your dog. For instance, puppies can cause anxiety because the dog is new to the experience. If the condition persists, seek medical help.
6. Genital licking
A stressed dog licks it’s genital excessively. When nervous, a dog tends to remove the stress through less harmful objects. These objects turn out to be their genitals.
Dogs lick their genitals to keep them clean. But this behavior is a defensive mechanism of dealing with stress.
When dogs feel threatened, they growl to show their sentiments. For the terrifying experience, many dog owners discourage their dogs from growling. Yet not all growls are evil.
Dogs growl if they need their space. For example, a feeding dog might growl to keep away other animals.
A dog might growl to warn you. If you punish a dog for growling, next time, it will skip the warning and bite.
To reduce stress, dogs hide behind objects such as furniture to avoid what scare them. The dog can hide behind you or prod you to walk along together. So keep away things that scare your dog.
Please wait until the dog relaxes, then you can introduce them one by one. This way, the dog feels safe and less threatened.
You don’t have to trouble yourself, wondering what’s wrong with your dog. An anxious dog will always change its behaviours to communicate something is wrong. So never ignore these signs, they will help you handle your dog with care.