Dogs are happy creatures by nature. In most cases, it is readily apparent when your dog is feeling sad or overwhelmed. What happens when your dog’s personality changes from joyous and carefree to somber and morose? When is anxiety in your pet a problem?
Just like people, dogs have their ups and downs. They display their anxiety with physical cues. You may see a direct, almost empty stare coming out of your pet’s eyes. The whites of the eyes may be more pronounced. Blinking may be limited. Your dog’s eyes may also turn away from you and others.
A limp tail or ears are primary signs of anxiety. Dogs that don’t feel physically or emotionally well may tuck their tails beneath their legs. A dog with ears that are normally alert may show drooping ears as well.
A vocal sign of anxiety is whining or even growling. Other signs of anxiety include lack of activity, lack of interest in food and even a change in toilet habits.
Should you begin to believe your dog is suffering from anxiety, there are a few steps you can take before you consult your vet. First, try to find the root of that anxiety. Have you moved? Are you suddenly away from home more than to what your dog is accustomed to? Did your dog lose a favorite plaything? Are there new noises or people that your dog might find upsetting?
Next, try to give your dog more attention. That may mean more playtime, more walks or more cuddles. If the issue is that you don’t have the time to devote to your dog, consider doggie daycare. Allowing your dog to stay in an environment that is fun and welcoming can help relieve anxiety. Another option is training. Some dogs become anxious due to boredom. Training a dog provides purpose. It is also an excellent bonding time for both of you.
Should none of these steps prove helpful, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your vet. Veterinarians sometimes prescribe anti-anxiety meds for dogs who simply can’t get over the blues. Your veterinarian may also suggest alternative methods, like doggie massage or even aromatherapy to lift the spirits.
Fon Jon Pet Care is a full-service doggie daycare and pet boarding facility located in San Diego. We offer training classes, in-lodge training, pet bathing and more. Call us today to learn more about Fon Jon.