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Doggy Anxiety 101

Did you know that, just like people, dogs can suffer from anxiety? Fido can also have issues with specific fears and phobias. Your furry friend can’t tell you if he’s upset or anxious, so it’s important to watch for symptoms. A Matthews, NC vet discusses doggy anxiety in this article.

Causes

The most common type of anxiety in dogs is probably separation anxiety, which is basically Fido’s fear and unease over being left alone and/or being separated from his humans. This is especially common in shelter dogs, possibly because they have been abandoned or rehomed before. Companion dogs are also prone to separation anxiety. Illnesses and injuries can also lead to anxiety. Our canine pals can also have a sort of doggy PTSD after neglect, trauma, or bad experiences.

Symptoms

Any pooch can develop anxiety. However, it does seem to be more common in certain breeds, such as Huskies, Greyhounds, and Border Collies, to name a few. Dogs that were not properly socialized as puppies are also often anxious. Anxiety can present itself in many ways. Fido may tuck his tail, hide, tremble, or try to escape. He may also get an upset tummy, which could result in vomiting and/or diarrhea. Your canine friend may lick or bite himself, pace, bark, or whine. He could also dig or chew inappropriately, or soil inside the house. It’s worth noting that many of these symptoms can be indicative of medical issues, while some are simply considered bad doggy behavior. If you notice any of these symptoms in your furry best friend, have your vet examine him to rule out health issues. If your pup gets the green light, you can move on to treating his anxiety.

Treatment

Anxiety can be treated, though there is no one-size-fits-all course of action to take. The exact treatment needed will depend on the type and severity of your canine buddy’s anxiety. There are some general rules of thumb to follow, however. Great TLC will go a long way in helping Fido feel better. Make sure your cute pet always has suitable toys and entertainment, is comfortable, and is getting enough attention, activity, and playtime. Behavioral counseling can also help dogs learn to cope with anxiety. In severe cases, medication may be recommended. Ask your vet for more information.

Please contact us, your local Matthews, NC vet clinic, anytime. We are happy to help!

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