From time to time, dogs can experience stress and anxiety which can be brought on by many things. It can be hard to know when dogs are feeling this way as they’re unable to tell us, but they have ways of showing us how they feel.
As a responsible dog owner, you should pay attention to your dog’s body language so you have a good understanding of when your pooch is feeling nervous. Knowing the warning signs will help you to help you to calm your dog down when they start getting stressed.
Some signs are easier to notice than others, such as your dog shaking, hiding or pacing; but others may not be as obvious. If you do notice a sudden change in your dog’s behaviour, you may be unsure what it is that’s causing your dog to feel distressed.
How to manage your dog’s anxiety
There are many ways you can help your dog overcome the stress and anxiety that they may be experiencing. Each dog is different and may require you to try a combination of various training and prevention techniques.
If you find that your dog is not their usual self, try to find the root of the problem by analysing the situation. You may notice that your four-legged friend is cautious around other dogs or people they don’t know, or they might get startled if they hear loud noises outside.
Dogs can sometimes feel stressed if their daily routine gets disrupted. For example, if you are working from home or homeschooling your children during the current pandemic, your dog has had to adjust to people being at home during the day. It’s important to find a good balance when working from home with your pet to ensure they have some structure to their day.
Once you work out what is causing your dog to feel anxious, you can then try to find a solution. This could be as simple as you finding new ways to keep your dog occupied through toys and exercise, or by creating a safe space for them to retreat to. In some extreme cases, you may need to turn to medication or a dog trainer to help your dog overcome their anxiety.
Looking after our pets and ensuring their health and safety is our main priority. We’ve put together an infographic that helps you identify common signs of anxiety in dogs and ways you can help your canine overcome them. If you have concerns about your dog’s wellbeing or behaviour, seek professional advice from a veterinarian.