8 Signs Your Dog Has Anxiety
Anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous, and unwanted situations. Thinking about what will happen next or anticipating subsequent events is normal. But excessive anxiousness is considered a disorder.
Dogs are not exempt from this. All dog breeds can have anxiety, although the effect may vary per dog. Some of the more common reasons for a canine’s anxiety are:
- Sudden move or change of location
- Change of handler
Reacting to any or all the above is healthy and normal. However, if your pet is feeling anxious without any cause, it is best to have them checked, as it can signify behavioral or health issues.
What Causes Anxiety in Dogs?
- Injury or Sickness - Your dog may be feeling unwell, making him feel stressed out and anxious.
- Ageing - Changes in the nervous system can lead to anxiety.
- Unfamiliarity - A dog that is not used to playing or socializing with other people and animals may feel apprehension or distress.
- Trauma – Having experienced something terrible and seeing the same or similar surroundings or people will trigger anxiety.
- Separation – This is the most common cause of anxiety in pets.
Your dog’s mental health should be a top priority. Dogs cannot voice their feelings the way a person would. Instead, they communicate through actions. As a responsible pet owner, it is your job to watch out for these behaviors.
Does my Dog Have Anxiety?
Is your dog suffering from anxiety? Symptoms can be different in each dog. The severity may also vary depending on how anxious your dog may be.
Here are some signs to watch out for.
- Trembling - This is when your dog is shaking or quivering. Trembling can result from excitement and happiness but can also be from anxiety.
- Tucked Tail - This happens when your dog is afraid, sick, or submissive.
- Reduced Activity - When your dog is not being playful and wants to be alone most of the time.
- Excessive Licking or Biting of Self - While excessive licking and biting may be caused by allergies, it is also a common sign of anxiety.
- Overprotective Behaviors - Your dog may feel that you are not safe and that they need to oversee your safety all the time.
- Stubbornness - Your dog is not cooperating or following your commands.
- Easily Scared or Jumpy - An anxious dog can easily be threatened or scared.
- Crying and Whining – Doing so more than usual may signal your dog has anxiety.
How to Cure Anxiety in Dogs
If you suspect your dog has anxiety, it is still best to seek help from a professional or a veterinarian. They can help in determining the reason why your dog developed issues. They can check if anxiety is because of health reasons and the steps you can take to cure it.
While medication and supplements are effective, you can also do a few other things to help minimize and even prevent anxiety.
- Make sure that your dog has proper exercise. Playing and other physical activities are helpful to a dog’s mental health.
- Check what your dog eats. A proper diet helps keep anxiety at bay.
- Give your dog a massage. Just like in humans, a good massage can help with relaxation.
- Let your dog listen to calming music or sounds. This will help them not feel alone.
- Engage your dogs in behavioral training. Training helps divert your dog’s attention and helps stimulate both their bodies and minds.
There are many tools and gadgets you can use in combination with traditional training methods for behavioral training. One of the more effective tools available today is the e-collar.
Using E-Collar for Anxious and Shy Dogs
E-collars are also known as shock collars, remote training collars, remote trainers, or electronic collars. E collars are used to either correct undesirable behavior or mark good ones. An e-collar uses static to get the dog’s attention. However, most modern e-collars also have vibration, tone, or both, letting dog owners and trainers choose what is the best option for their dog’s size and temperament.
But is an e-collar safe for anxious and shy dogs?
It may not seem so, but e-collar training can have a calming effect on a dog that suffers from anxiety. The e-collar can create a sense of security, letting your dog know they can rely on you for direction when faced with something uncertain.
How do you use an e-collar for effective and safe dog training?
- Start with a long leash. A longer leash allows you to keep control if your dog retreats or bolts.
- Put your dog in a situation that usually triggers anxiety. Once they react, use a verbal command and a continuous low-level correction from the remote trainer. The goal is to have your pet focus on you and be calm again.
Remember, when training a dog suffering from anxiety using an e-collar, they must realize it is not a punitive tool. So, reward your dog when they can execute your command. You want to get your pet to the point where they react to your command without using e-collar stimulation.
Do not lose patience. With dog training, consistency and persistence go a long way. E-collars are just tools. They are never a substitute for proper training and time spent. Spending time with your pet also tells them that you are there if they are distracted, confused, or worried.
PetsTEK’s Picks for the Best Shock Collars for Dogs with Anxiety
Get dog training help from our picks for the best shock collars for anxious dogs.
- Mini Educator ET-300 Remote Training Collar by E-Collar Technologies
- Micro Educator ME-300 Remote Training Collar by E-Collar Technologies
- Dogtra 1900S Remote Training Collar
- Dogtra 200C Remote Training Collar
- SportDog SD-425X Field Trainer
- Pager Only PG-300 Remote Training Collar by E-Collar Technologies
- The Educator ET-400 Remote Training Collar by E-Collar Technologies
- Dogtra 280C Remote Training Collar
- DogWatch BigLeash S-15 Remote Trainer
- Dogtra 200NCPT Remote Training Collar