May 2-8 is Dog Anxiety Awareness Week, and the team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital wants to help you recognize signs of anxiety in canines so you can help to ease it when it occurs. Keep reading to find out if your dog is suffering from anxiety and how you can help them feel calmer and happier on a daily basis.
Dogs and Anxiety
Just like humans, dogs are emotional creatures who move through a variety of feelings based on their daily experiences. It is normal for all dogs to have a certain amount of anxiety. Loud noises, visitors, and other animals can all get their hearts pumping, but these reactions are usually over as soon as the stressor is removed. Anxiety becomes an issue for dogs and their health when it is chronic.
Does My Dog Suffer from Anxiety Chronically?
If a dog is experiencing prolonged anxiety, he or she will often demonstrate some physical behaviors that can clue you into their emotional state. Without proper treatment, prolonged anxiety can cause health issues. Look for the following symptoms of anxiety:
- Aggressive behavior
- Frequent accidents in the house
- Major changes to mood (like depression)
- Repeated barking
- Inability to sleep or rest
- Destructive behavior
Your veterinarian can always help you determine if your pet’s behavior is indicative of a bigger issue like anxiety. If you are wondering why your pet is suddenly behaving differently, your team at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital is happy to dig deeper with you to determine the cause.
What Can I Do for My Anxious Dog?
Once an anxiety diagnosis is confirmed, there are a few different treatment options that can help your dog feel calm on a daily basis. The veterinarian will determine if the anxiety is fear-based, separation-based, or age-based. Knowing the cause of the anxiety is an important step to finding the right treatment option. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine a treatment plan that might involve counter training or medication depending on the cause.
At Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital, we want to give you the tools to ensure your pets are happy and healthy. Whether you suspect your dog is suffering from anxiety, or if it’s time for their next wellness check, call (210) 681‑1391 or visit us online to schedule an appointment.