Have you ever wondered if your dog suffers from anxiety? Dog anxiety symptoms are easy to identify when you know what you are looking for. Some people just think that their dog is just badly behaved and dog anxiety can manifest in dogs in many different ways. Anxiety in dogs is extremely common and is the second highest reason why people give up on their dogs and send them to the pound or dog shelter.
All dogs are different with individual reactions to situations; and so to they will show anxiety symptoms in different ways. There are some common themes of behavior and most dogs suffering from dog anxiety will show. The following are the top four dog anxiety symptoms.
- Making Noise – Barking, whining, yelping and howling.
- Physical activities – Destroying property or digging holes.
- Over excitement.
- Self Harm – Chewing on feet or tail.
Making Noise – Barking, Whining, Yelping and Howling.
Have you ever come home to distasteful glances from your neighbors and you are not sure why? Or even worse, a note under the door complaining about your dog’s noisy antics. You come to the instant conclusion that the neighbors are over reacting, after all, you have never heard your dog making unbearable noise. But; what if they are right and your dog is howling, barking, yelping or whining all day long – when you are not there?
Typically, your dog will be displaying certain behaviors before you leave. They will become anxious or seem to be over excited as they notice you getting ready to leave the house. Take note if your dog is verbal, whining or making short low level barking noises, chances are that this will escalate in frequency and volume when you leave and may last for many hours. (It’s no wonder the neighbors complain)
It is believed that dogs do not understand the concept of time and they do not like to be alone. It is likely that your dog knows you are leaving because you do things in a certain pattern before leaving the house and they really think that you are not coming back.
Dogs, by nature, are a pack animals and thrive in groups. Essentially, you are dog’s pack – not only his family – but also an essential part of his survival. When you are preparing to leave home, your dog begins to panic because they have an instinctual need to be with you and be protected by you.
Next Level of Dog Anxiety – Physical Activities.
One step up in dog anxiety is when it goes from vocal noise to physical activities. Physical activities sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? However, this type of physical activity is not the type you want. Dog anxiety, when demonstrated physically, means that your dog is doing physical things like chewing, scratching and digging. The reason why your dog will display this type of behavior is because it is an attempt to distract them from their anxiety and in some cases they are trying to break free of the confines of the home or yard and trying to find you.
This can be called “boundary anxiety” where your dog pushes way past the boundaries of normal, accepted dog behavior. In the worst cases some dogs have been known to tear down dry wall, rip up carpeted flooring and break windows in their attempt to follow you. This results in costly home repairs and in some cases huge veterinarian fees when your dog becomes physically injured through damaging yours and others property.
Look Out For Over Excitement:
I give you a scenario, when you get home your dog is really excited, they excessively jump on you, lick you and try to be as close as they can to you. It’s gets to the point of irritating and you find yourself chastising or growling at your dog to try and calm down their excessive greeting behavior.
What I just described is one of the most common symptoms of dog anxiety. If the greeting you receive from your dog is not calm and it is more frantic and uncontrolled it is likely that your dog suffers from separation anxiety. It is possible that your dog thought you would never come home. If their behavior is ‘over the top’ and they are not just saying ‘Hi’, but are completely thrilled to be reunited with you, this is one of the most common symptoms of a dog with anxiety issues.
Self Harm – Chewing on themselves.
In most extreme cases of dog anxiety some dogs will chew on their paws or tail. This type of anxiety may only be temporary and they may only chew on their own bodies in times of extreme stress but this can become almost habitual because as the wounds start to heal they can tingle and itch causing the dog to chew more and reopen the wounds. It can become a vicious cycle and just as healing begins they cause even more damage. In most extreme cases your vet may suggest amputation of the effected areas.
Minor skin conditions, like dog eczema, can also make a dog chew on their tails and toes. In those cases your vet can prescribe creams that can reduce itching. The problem can be that your dog may lick off the cream because they don’t like foreign substances on their fur.
You can apply a dog cone collar to reduce your dog chewing on the feet, toes or tail and stop them from licking off creams and minimize the likelihood of casing more damage. Dog cones are usually clear or white in color and attach at the collar and funnel out toward the dog’s face.
It is important to remember that not all dogs display these exact behaviors. Some show milder symptoms such as whining, while others will be to the other end of the spectrum and will destroy a whole room, including all of the furniture in the room, until you return. Dog separation anxiety is a serious condition. It effects at least 35% of all dogs and it robs both you and your dog of a healthy relationship.
What to do next?
If you can identify with any of the information above, there are easy solutions. Visit our FREE GIFT page to get your free Dog Anxiety Checklist to determine if you dog has dog separation anxiety. There is plenty of help available to assist you to diagnose and implement effective treatment for your dog. Also, check out for our new book titled “Stop Dog Anxiety“ which gives you everything you need to know to stop dog anxiety and enjoy a great relationship with your dog.
Thanks for reading our article all about Dog Anxiety Symptoms.