It is often said that dogs are a man’s best friend, and while this is usually true, one of the hard things about our relationships with them is that they cannot easily communicate their feelings to us.
This means that when they struggle with stress and anxiety, we have to be careful to pick up on the signs they exhibit if we are to help them cope.
There are several warning signs to look for that may suggest your dog is stressed. Some of them are contained in this article.
- Body Language
Dogs primarily communicate through body language so, studying your dog’s body language can help you identify when they are anxious. Subtle anxiety signs may include lip-licking, drooling, lifting of paws, whale eye (showing white of eyes), tucked ears or tails, and eye contact avoidance.
Growling means your dog is experiencing some form of discomfort. It shows that they may have been hurt, or they feel threatened. Either ways, something is stressing them out, and anxiety might be the culprit.
- Whining or Barking
These are automatic responses that dogs may not always be able to control. When a dog whines or barks persistently, chances are that they are trying to communicate about something in the environment that’s causing them anxiety.
If you observe that your furry friend keeps pacing back and forth in a straight line or going around in cycles, refusing to settle down, this is a strong sign that they are feeling anxious.
Dogs suddenly freezing or becoming stiff is usually a warning sign that they cannot handle a stressful situation. This is similar to the shock reaction seen in humans where they shut down completely on exposure to dangerous situations.
When dogs feel anxious, they may seem unusually withdrawn and can be found shivering or hiding at corners of the house. This is especially seen in dogs triggered by loud noises, e.g., from thunderstorms or fireworks. Cowering and other causes can trigger other withdrawal behavior. To be sure, visit ceebeedoo.com for the detailed guide.
- Not Eating
Refusing food could be due to an upset stomach, but it could also be a warning sign of dogs’ anxiety, especially in dogs who previously had a great appetite.
- Self- Harm
Anxious dogs may become extremely restless and attempt to escape even through locked doors and windows. This could lead to injuries such as damaged nails and wounded paws from breaking through glass or wood. Excessive licking and biting themselves is also common.
- Frequent Urination
Anxious dogs often work themselves up to the extent that they can’t help but urinate over and over again, sometimes even in the house, even though they have already been housebroken.
When dogs display hostile or destructive behaviors towards humans and other animals, it could be a warning sign of anxiety. Dogs may transition from being reactive in a situation that stresses them out to be aggressive, as a form of self-defense if they are pushed too far.
If you determine that your dog has anxiety issues, the next step would be to isolate the trigger. That way, it would be possible to eliminate or manage it. In severe cases, you should also consider getting professional help.