Dog anxiety symptoms and how to spot them

Dog anxiety symptoms and how to spot them

Dog anxiety is a significant issue for many pets.

Like humans, dogs can also feel anxious. Recognising these signs early on is critical. We can then support them and create a peaceful setting that helps them feel better.

Dog anxiety symptoms and how to spot them

Anxiety in dogs can show in many ways, both in how they act and feel. They might bark a lot, move around too much, chew up things, or act aggressively. But dogs can also physically show anxiety by shaking, breathing quickly, drooling a lot, and not wanting to eat.

Being in tune with your dog and knowing what might worry them is important. Things like being apart from you, loud noises, changes in routine, or isolation can cause anxiety attacks.

If your dog seems very anxious, reaching out for professional help is important. Vets and animal behaviour specialists can guide you and create a plan specifically for your pet.

Creating a calm and secure space is crucial for anxious dogs. Offering them a quiet corner, using calming aids such as pheromone diffusers, and keeping their day-to-day routine the same can help ease their anxiety.

Teaching them through positive rewards and training can also help. Encouraging good behaviour and doing calming exercises can boost their self-esteem and make them feel safer.

Helping your dog stay active and mentally engaged is key. Regular playtime and using toys or games that challenge them can shift their mind from stress, lowering their anxiety.

Trying natural remedies like herbal supplements and aromatherapy can also be beneficial. Yet, talking to a vet before starting anything new is vital to make sure it's safe and works.

Finally, sticking to a caring routine is crucial in managing dog anxiety. Consistency in eating, exercise, and spending time together helps reduce their stress and keeps them feeling secure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Dog anxiety can show in many ways, from how they act to how they feel physically.
  • Understanding what makes your dog anxious is crucial for their health.
  • Getting professional help for severe anxiety symptoms is important.
  • A cosy and steady environment can work wonders to lessen anxiety in dogs.
  • Using positive training, physical activity, and mental challenges can help manage anxiety.

Understanding Dog Anxiety

Dog anxiety is a big challenge for many pet parents. It shows up in many different ways. Separation anxiety is one common type.

Dogs dealing with anxiety might bark a lot, chew on things they shouldn't, or even act aggressively. These actions often come from fear and stress. This happens when they're away from their people or in new places.

"Separation anxiety in dogs can be quite distressing for both the dog and the owner. It occurs when a dog becomes anxious and exhibits disruptive behaviors when left alone," says Dr. Emily Mitchell, veterinarian.

When dogs get separation anxiety, they find it hard to be by themselves. This can happen if there are changes in their daily routines. For example, this might be going back to work after being home a lot.

It's important to know that anxiety shows up differently in every dog. Some might seem sad and pull back. Others might seem to have more energy and not be able to stay still. How bad the symptoms are can also differ.

Figuring out what makes your dog anxious is the first step in helping them feel better. By looking for signs and understanding why they act that way, you can do a lot to make your dog feel safe and happy.

Behavioral Signs of Dog Anxiety

It's crucial to spot dog anxiety signs to look after your furry friend's feelings. Dogs can get anxious just like us. Being aware of their actions helps us give the right care. Signs of dog anxiety often include:

  • Excessive Barking: Anxious dogs might bark a lot, especially when they feel uneasy or stressed.
  • Pacing: Seeing your dog walk in circles or back and forth could mean they're anxious. They might also seem restless or not at ease.
  • Destructive Chewing: Some dogs chew things when anxious. They might chew on furniture, shoes, or other items at home.
  • Aggression: Anxiety can make some dogs act aggressive. They might react more, growl, snap, or even try to bite if they feel scared or too much pressure.

Remember, these signs could point to anxiety but might have other causes too. It's key to consider the bigger picture and any recurring themes to figure out the real issue.

Understanding Your Dog's Individual Indicators

Every dog is different. Anxiety symptoms vary too. Your dog might show typical signs or have their unique ways of showing anxiety. Watching them closely and seeking expert advice when needed is essential.

By watching and responding to your dog's behavior early, you can help them better handle their anxiety. This way, you can boost their happiness and quality of life.

Physical Symptoms of Dog Anxiety

Dogs show they're anxious in ways we can see. This often shows in physical signs. Knowing these signs helps pet owners take better care of their worried dogs. It's important to look out for these signs to keep our dogs happy and healthy. Both how they act and what we see are key.

Common Physical Symptoms of Dog Anxiety

  • Shaking or trembling: Dogs may shake when they're anxious. This is a big sign that they need our help.
  • Panting: If a dog pants a lot, it might be due to stress. This helps them cool down when they feel anxious.
  • Excessive drooling: Sometimes, a dog might drool a lot because they're worried. They might also lick their lips more than usual.
  • Loss of appetite: Anxiety makes some dogs not want to eat. They might skip meals. If it lasts too long, they could lose weight.

If your dog shows these signs, they could be anxious. It's a good idea to see a vet if their symptoms keep up or get worse. A vet can help figure out what's wrong and suggest how to help based on your dog's needs.

Spotting Anxiety Triggers

Anxiety in dogs happens for many reasons. It's vital to know these triggers to help the dog better. Owners can make their pet feel less anxious by avoiding or dealing with these triggers.

Noise Sensitivity: Dogs can get scared by loud noises. Just like us, fireworks, thunderstorms, and loud machines can be frightening. For dogs, these sounds can be even louder and scarier.

Changes in Routine: Dogs love their routines. Change, like in when they eat or go for walks, can make them anxious. This also includes new faces or pets at home.

Separation Anxiety: Many dogs get anxious when left alone. They might cry a lot or destroy things. They just don't like being away from their humans.

Previous Traumatic Experience: If a dog has been through bad things before, they might stay anxious. Things that remind them of their past can really upset them.

Medical Conditions: Sometimes, medical problems can make dogs anxious. Pain, hormone issues, or brain problems could be the cause. It's critical to check for these first.

Watching their dog closely and making notes can help. This way, owners can figure out what's making their dog anxious. They can then come up with ways to help their furry friend feel more at ease.

Anxiety Triggers Description
Noise Sensitivity Loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks
Changes in Routine Disruptions to daily schedules or new additions to the household
Separation Anxiety Anxiety triggered by being left alone for extended periods
Previous Traumatic Experience Triggers associated with past traumas
Medical Conditions Underlying health issues leading to anxiety symptoms

Seeking Professional Help

If your dog is very anxious, getting professional help is key. Veterinarians and animal behaviorists are experts who can really help. They offer great advice and support to tackle your dog's anxiety.

Vets are crucial in diagnosing and treating anxiety in dogs. They check for any health issues causing the anxiety. Vets can also suggest meds or therapies. First, your dog may need a full checkup.

Animal behaviorists are also important. They focus on changing animal behaviour, like anxiety. They can team up with you and your dog. Together, you'll make a plan to reduce stress and make your dog feel better.

Choosing the right experts is vital when helping your anxious dog. Pick those who really know about dog anxiety. Look for certifications from trusted groups like the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

This is not a road you need to walk alone. Getting help from pros is a big step. They can give you great advice and methods. With their help, your dog can find peace and happiness.

"Working with a vet or animal behaviorist can change life for an anxious dog. They know how to meet your dog's special needs. They will create a plan just for your dog."

Creating a Safe and Calming Environment

To ease dogs' anxiety, make a safe and calm space for them. This can lessen their stress and make them feel secure. Use these tips to do that:

1. Provide a Quiet Space

Dogs with anxiety like quiet, safe spots. Create an area in your home just for them. This place should be away from noise and lots of people walking around. It should be a stress-free zone.

2. Use Calming Aids

Consider using pheromone diffusers to calm your dog. These diffusers emit scents that mimic a mother dog’s calming smell. You can also try playing calming music or use a weighted blanket to apply light pressure, which helps dogs feel more secure.

3. Implement a Consistent Routine

A regular routine is great for dogs with anxiety. It gives them structure, making them feel more certain and secure. Keep feeding them and taking them out for walks at the same times each day.

Creating a Safe and Calming Environment
Provide a Quiet Space
Use Calming Aids
Implement a Consistent Routine

Positive Reinforcement and Training Techniques

Helping dogs with anxiety is best done using positive techniques. These methods reward good behaviours. They lower anxiety and boost a dog's self-esteem. Creating a caring, supportive space is key for these methods to work.

One big plus is it makes the bond between dog and owner stronger. Giving out rewards like treats or playtime trains dogs well. This way, they learn good habits and push anxiety aside.

Calming exercises are great for anxious dogs. They bring a peaceful feeling and safety. Teaching dogs to breathe deeply calms their nerves. Another trick is helping them relax their muscles. This leads to a more peaceful state of mind.

"Positive reinforcement training techniques strengthen the bond between dogs and their owners while helping to alleviate anxiety."

Training dogs with anxiety needs patience and steady work. They might take more time to catch onto new habits. Always be patient and supportive. This makes training easier and boosts your dog's confidence.

Each dog is different. What works for one may not for another. Always watch how your dog responds. Then, adjust your training as needed. Getting help from a specialist in dog anxiety is smart. They can offer tips that fit your dog's unique needs.

Positive methods and training are key in dealing with dog anxiety. By rewarding good actions and doing calming exercises, plus getting expert tips, your dog can feel more secure. This approach builds their confidence and lessens anxiety.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Keeping your dog active and challenged is key in handling dog anxiety. It's more than just tiring them out. It's giving them ways to calm their minds and bodies. Mix up play and brain teasers in their day to help lessen their anxiety.

Regular physical activity and brain games can be good for dogs with anxiety. They come with these great pluses:

  • Reduces stress levels: Physical activity makes dogs happier and more relaxed thanks to endorphins.
  • Promotes better sleep: It helps dogs snooze better, leading to a happier, well-rested pet.
  • Increases socialization opportunities: Going out provides chances for dogs to make friends and feel more secure in the world.

It's important to make sure dogs with anxiety get enough exercise and mental challenges. Try these to keep them happy and mentally sharp:

  • Walking: Daily walks are a must. They burn energy and let dogs check out the outside world.
  • Interactive toys: Puzzle or treat toys can entertain your pet and help with their worries. They keep your dog's brain on its toes. P.S our freeze dried dog food is GREAT for adding into enrichment and puzzle toys
  • Hide and seek: A classic game with treats or toys hidden around the house can be fun and engaging for dogs.
  • Agility training: Set up simple obstacle courses at first. Then, slowly make them harder. It's a great combo of exercise and brain work for your dog.

Remember, each dog is different. So, it's crucial to customize their life to fit their needs. Always talk to a vet or a dog trainer for the best advice. They can suggest what's perfect for your dog’s age, breed, and health.

Natural Remedies for Dog Anxiety

Many dog owners want to find natural ways to help with anxiety. It's always wise to check with a vet first. But, there are herbal supplements and aromatherapy that could calm an anxious dog.

Herbal Supplements

Plenty of herbal supplements are made to lower anxiety in dogs. They use calming ingredients from nature. Some of the top herbs are:

  • Chamomile for a soothing effect.
  • Valerian root as a natural sedative.
  • Lavender for its calming scent.

These herbs come in treats, capsules, or liquids. But, you should talk to your vet before trying them. They'll make sure about safety and any interactions with other medications.


Using scents to calm dogs can work too. Essential oils are great for this. Oils like:

  • Lavender, known for making dogs relax.
  • Chamomile, which has a calming effect.
  • Bergamot, good for lifting moods.

But, never apply essential oils directly on your dog. Mix them with water or use in a diffuser. And, remember, some oils can hurt dogs. Always ask your vet first.

"Herbal supplements and aromatherapy support and relax dogs with anxiety. Yet, talking to a vet first is key for their safe use and effectiveness."

Maintaining a Supportive Routine

Anxiety in dogs can be handled by setting a supportive routine. Doing the same things each day, like eating, exercising, and being around others, can make them feel safer and less anxious.

Feeding: A steady eating schedule is key for anxious dogs. It makes them feel safe. Use unique feeders or bowls to keep their minds busy at meal times. See our freeze dried dog food and raw feeding recipes here 

Exercise: Getting regular exercise is vital for anxious dogs. It burns energy and lowers stress. Go on walks or play games to keep them physically and mentally sharp, reducing anxiety.

Socialisation: Positive social time can help anxious dogs. Introduce them to new things slowly, rewarding calm reactions. This builds their confidence and helps them cope with new places or situations.

Remember, every dog is different. What soothes one may not help another. Paying close attention to what your dog needs is the key.

Creating a Daily Routine:

Building a daily routine is great for managing dog anxiety. A simple routine might include consistent eating, play, and quiet time. Here's an example to get you started:

Activity Time
Morning Walk 7:00 AM
Breakfast 8:00 AM
Interactive Toy Playtime 9:00 AM
Quiet Time/Rest 10:00 AM
Midday Walk 12:00 PM
Lunch 1:00 PM
Training Session 2:00 PM
Socialisation Time 3:00 PM
Quiet Time/Rest 4:00 PM
Evening Walk 6:00 PM
Dinner 7:00 PM
Calming Activity/Downtime 8:00 PM

Following this routine can create a calm home for your dog. It helps lessen anxiety and increases their happiness. Be patient as your dog gets used to the new order of things.


It's really important to spot and deal with anxiety in dogs. This helps keep them happy and healthy. Owners need to recognise the signs of anxiety and what to do about it.

It's crucial to catch anxiety early so we can help our dogs better. Getting advice from experts like vets or animal behaviourists is wise. They can give us the tips we need.

It's vital to make our home a safe and happy place for our dogs. Using positive ways to teach them and giving them plenty of exercise is also key. If needed, natural remedies can help too, but always check with a vet first.

Each dog is special and may need different care. It's key for owners to be understanding, patient, and keep trying. With the right approach and expert help, we can improve our dog's life and lessen their anxiety.


What are the symptoms of dog anxiety?

Dog anxiety might show up as too much barking, walking around a lot, or eating furniture. They might also act aggressive, tremble, breathe heavily, drool more, or stop eating.

How can I spot if my dog has anxiety?

Watch your dog for signs of anxiety. Things like a lot of barking, tearing things up, trembling, heavy breathing, and not eating can be clues.

What causes dog anxiety?

Dog anxiety can come from being alone, loud sounds, changes in routines, bad past experiences, or health issues. Finding out what's making your dog anxious is the first step to helping them feel better.

When should I seek professional help for my dog's anxiety?

If your dog is very anxious and it's affecting their life, it's time to see a professional. Vets and animal behaviour experts can guide you and make a plan just for your dog.

How can I help my dog with anxiety?

To help your dog, make sure their home is safe and calm. Keep a routine that your dog can count on. Train them with love and patience, exercise their body and mind, and talk to the vet about what could soothe them.

Are there any natural remedies for dog anxiety?

There are things like herbs and calming smells that may help a dog relax. But, always check with a vet before starting any new treatments for your dog.

What can I do to reduce separation anxiety in my dog?

Help your dog get used to being alone by leaving for short times, then longer. Give them fun things to do when you're gone. Reward good behaviour and think about using a crate as a cozy place.

How important is maintaining a supportive routine for a dog with anxiety?

Keeping a steady routine is key for a dog's peace of mind. Regular meals, exercise, and spending time with others can stop anxiety and make them healthier and happier.

What professionals can assist with dog anxiety?

Veterinarians and animal behaviourists are experts at dealing with anxious dogs. They can check your dog, find out what's wrong, and create a treatment that fits your dog perfectly.

How can I identify anxiety triggers in my dog?

Look out for what sets off your dog's anxiety by watching how they react. Examples include loud noises, changes in routine, and being alone, as well as specific places or times that seem to upset them.

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