What Gives Dogs Anxiety?

What Gives Dogs Anxiety

Anxiety in dogs can be triggered by incidents like thunderstorms and fireworks. Dogs fear these occurrences of course because they are noisy and terrifying, so dogs usually relate wind or rain noise with these occurrences.

Dog fear may also have a number of causes according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Four of the most frequent causes of anxiety in dogs are:

  • Separation anxiety
  • Fear
  • Age-related anxiety
  • Health issues

Separation anxiety is estimated to affect around 14 percent of dogs. (akc.org)

Common causes that trigger anxiety in dogs

They are a few causes that give dogs anxiety

  1. Painful or physical conditions increases anxiety in dogs
  2. Health issues
  3. Genetics – Some breeds are more prone to anxiety attacks than others
  4. Separation anxiety
  5. Past or recent trauma
  6. Deprivation of social and environmental experience
  7. Age-related
  8. Fear
  9. Temperature: Seasonal changes may leave your dog too cold and unable to get warm.

Painful or physical conditions increases anxiety in dogs

Pain can make animals anxious, and not just because they’re protecting themselves. You might see increased anxiety around activities like jumping into the car. Painful conditions can also wax and wane, so what is tolerable one day may be intolerable the next. understanding the connection between a pet’s anxiety and possible pain can help owners address both. It can lead to a higher quality of life and a calmer state of mind for dog owners.

Health issues and how it gives dog anxiety

A symptom of other psychiatric conditions may be anxiety. Anxiety can occur in dogs with diseases such as hypothyroidism, encephalitis, thyrotoxicosis, hearing loss, and pre-diabetes. Aging dogs can also experience fear as changes in their bodies are associated with the nervous system. And environmental factors such as lead poisoning in dogs may also cause behavioural changes.

Underlying medical disorders can cause sudden anxiety in dogs, ranging from pulled muscles to thyroid conditions. It is necessary to seek medical attention from a veterinarian, no matter what the medical problem is. Otherwise, both illness and stress could escalate.

Genetic disposition – Dog breeds prone to anxiety

Dog breeds most vulnerable to canine fear include Bernese Mountain Dogs, Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, German Shepherds, Dalmatians, Great Pyrenees, Beijing, Siberian Huskies, Regular Poudles, and some Terrier breeds.

Separation anxiety

Do you know separation anxiety is estimated to impact about 14 percent of dogs according to a study made by Akc.org?  Dogs with separation anxiety cannot be relaxed when left alone or removed from family members. This anxiety is reflected in unhealthful behaviours, such as urinating and defecating at home.
If your pet is very anxious about separation, it may need medication to help it stay calm during an absence or to work on management techniques that desensitize it to the stressors that cause anxiety.
If your dog suffers from severe separation anxiety, an individual assessment by a behavioral specialist is recommended. This specialist will help you understand how best to help your pet with the causes of anxiety in your dog. If your dog’s “separation anxiety is caused by losing a dog, it can help to get them out,” says Dr Mornement.

Age-related

Our dogs also experience a loss in function as they age. Memory, cognitive ability, perception, and sense of sight and hearing could all deteriorate. Age-related anxiety affects elderly dogs and can be linked with emotional dysfunction syndrome. Understanding the transitions that your dog is experiencing will help you cope compassionately and successfully with the behavioural issues that might occur in your dog’s senior years.

Fear and phobias

The inability to escape or get away from the trigger causing the phobia and panic, such as being locked in a crate, can result in phobias and panic.

Loud sounds, strange persons or animals, visual stimulation such as hats or umbrellas, new or strange settings, unique circumstances such as the vet’s office or car trips, or textures such as grass or wood floors may induce fear-related anxiety. While certain dogs might have only minimal effects on certain kinds of triggers, more consequentially, they may influence anxiety in dogs.

Temperature

Seasonal changes may leave your dog too cold and unable to get warm.

How Anxiety Affects Your Dog’s Health

Anxiety can affect pets in several various ways, as you can see, and many of those ways can affect the welfare of your dog, both in the short term and in the long term. Any signs such as diarrhea, hair-pulling that leads to shallow spots, and lick granulomas are pure problems.

Other signs, such as pica and destructiveness, can contribute indirectly to health issues such as swallowing or poisoning an item that is stuck in the digestive tract of your dog. In addition to all of these immediate concerns, fear will impact the immune system of your dog, contributing to a whole variety of problems. When discomfort arises, the immune system becomes overtaxed and the risk for greater health issues continues to climb, according to Your Old Dog.

The adrenal glands are the natural stress organs of the body and constant stress puts immense pressure on how well they perform. The glands tyre down, reducing the potential of the dog to cope with any extra or new tension. “In addition, damaged adrenal glands will also weaken the immune system of the dog.”

As you can expect, an impaired immune system can leave your dog vulnerable to several various infections that can long-term affect the health of the dog. And what are you going to do to help? You need to consider what’s behind it in order to better help alleviate your dog’s distress.

Loud sounds, such as fireworks or thunderstorms? Traumatic memories from the past? Lack of adequate exercise or nutrition? Too much tension that other family members (human, furry, or otherwise) create within the home? You will attempt to continue minimizing it until you understand the cause of your dog’s fear.

Knowing the form of anxiety that your dog suffers from is the first step to providing your furbaby with relief. If your puppy is anxious caused by other factors such as stress, depression, or other mental health problems, your veterinarian may prescribe something to the dog that has been given to him in previous circumstances, such as benzodiazepines, which will help him relax. In dogs with more severe anxiety, the problem may need to be treated, and the veterinarian may prescribe anxiety medication.

If a dog owner wants to deal with this type of behaviour problem, it is important that he understands how to prevent anxiety and what treatments are available for it. Your veterinarian will help you to recognize the types of anxiety that your dog has, and to diagnose the type of anxiety from which he or she suffers. They can help to identify his or her triggers and see if they can also help alleviate the dog’s fears and worries.

Finding the right treatment for anxiety in your dog boils down to recognizing what is causing the reaction in the first place. Most anxiety disorders in dogs can be managed by pet owners if they have a good understanding of how anxiety, phobias, and anxiety affect dogs, what they need to look out for, and how to teach them that everything will be fine.

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