Have you wake up in the morning and find he had created a mess in the living room that pissed you off?
It is common that we experience anxiety, but dogs can also suffer from anxiety. Most of the time it is caused by being abandoned by their owners which causes them distress. Yes, dogs have emotions too. They are like us. It is not difficult to know when Zappy is having anxiety. There are signs that can tell you something is not right.
Signs of anxiety in dogs
- Not eating
- Barking when you aren’t home
- Panting and pacing (when it’s not hot)
- Destroying furniture
- Excessive licking or chewing
- Urination and defecation
- Digging and scratching at door
These are the signs that Zappy is suffering from anxiety. Although we might consider these signs are normal, but try to pay attention to these behaviors because this is the only way that Zappy communicates with us. When Zappy is not eating, it might due to an upset stomach or anxiety.
Their behaviors are part of an emotional response, just like we do.
Zappy is not trying to destroy your furniture, perhaps he just wants you to come home.
Why are they anxious?
Separation anxiety is the most common one, when Zappy doesn’t like to be separated from you. Zappy associates everything he values in his life with when people are around, especially when you are the one who spends most of the time with him. When he is being left alone, it’s like everything that he values have gone.
It is common that dogs develop anxiety in the early stage of their life. Dogs that come from breeder mills might have anxiety due to the extreme conditions they were exposed to. Apart from breeder mills, dogs that come from shelter might also experience anxiety because they are locked in the crate with other dogs.
The dogs that you adopted from a shelter might experience anxiety when they have history of abandonment. They might have been forced into a frightening experience such as being treated bad by the humans. They might have a history of inability to get away from the stimulus that causing them panic, such as being locked in a crate.
We won’t get to know what had happened to Zappy before he comes into our lives. But, what we can do is pay attention to their behaviours. Those are the signs that telling us, they are not OK!
How to ease anxiety?
Once you are sure that Zappy is not OK, there are few things you can do to calm his nerves.
Go for a walk is always the best for your furry companion. It is the easiest way to calm their nerves. It also gives you an opportunity to spend time with him. That is what he needs the most. Dogs are like humans. Anxiety drains our energy. It does the same to our furry companion. Taking them out for a long walk can be helpful because exercise will produce endorphins which helps to relieve stress.
When we have anxiety, a simple touch is better than tonnes of medicines. It releases oxytocin which reduces stress hormones. There goes the same for our furry companion. There is nothing more soothing than your touch. When Zappy has anxiety, cuddle with him or give him a long petting session will calm his nerves. Anxiety causes tension in dogs’ muscles and that’s where massage comes in. You may start at his neck and work downward with long strokes. Identify the places that he holds his stress and work on that particular area to alleviate his tension.
Music helps to reduce stress, right? Yes, it works for dogs as well. Music can be calming and relaxing while you are away from Zappy. Dogs may develop anxiety when there is noise, such as traffic noise. Music can alleviate his noise sensitivity by blocking the traffic noise that bother him and cause anxiety. Nowadays, it is easy to get music for dogs through online.
Last but not least, you might want to contact a professional dog trainer or veterinary to help you with your furry companion. Dogs that have anxiety can get much worse if it is not treated properly.