If we humans get stressed regularly, just imagine how anxiety can manifest in our beloved pets. All pets display signs of stress differently. Some breeds, such as Basset Hounds, German Shepherds, Cocker Spaniels, Dalmatians and some Terrier breeds, are even more prone to anxiety because of their high intelligence and high energy.
It is common to overlook some of these signs because they may initially appear normal and ordinary. It is important for all pet owners to know how to identify these signs of stress and anxiety because treating anxiety begins by first knowing the cause of stress. Here are the ten most common signs that your pet is stressed out:
- Shaking and panting – Dogs shake and pant on the regular, however, if you notice them shaking and panting more than usual, they might be going through some stress. Panting after a long walk is normal, but panting during a thunderstorm or during a fireworks display is not.
- Hiding – If your dog wants to be alone, he or she is experiencing anxiety. Seeking solitude may mean that your dog is afraid and does not want to interact with people and other pets.
- Excessive chewing, biting, and licking – When dogs repeatedly lick, bite, or chew at their own fur, they might be feeling anxious.
- Getting clingy – While some dogs will want to be alone when they’re stressed out, others exhibit the opposite reaction. They will want to seek comfort from you, and will demand that you give them more affection. One example is jumping onto your lap to get your attention.
- Excessive barking and crying – This is one of the most obvious signs that your pet might be going through some stress. Pets will be harder to appease once they’ve begun their outburst so it is important to be patient and firm about showing them everything’s going to be alright.
- Hyperactivity – When your dog shows excessive energy such as jumping or running back and forth the room even when it isn’t playtime, chances are your dog is stressed out.
- Aggression – Be careful when your dog is showing more aggression than usual because you could get hurt when animal instincts take over. Watch out for when your pet growls and snaps at you because these are some of the most obvious signs that they don’t like what they’re feeling in that moment.
- Trying to run away – Dogs that feel trapped will start digging aggressively or will run away from you when you least expect it. The urge to escape stems from an instinctive feeling of being unsafe.
- Ruining furniture and other objects – Biting at furniture and your shoes and other belongings is another clear sign that your pet is going through some stress. They could even shred or destroy something that they know you value, such as your favorite hat or scarf, to truly get your attention.
- Excretion inside the house – Even house-trained dogs can still pee or defecate inside the house when they’re under duress.
It is important to know and spot these signs of anxiety right away because extended periods of stress could lead to self-injury. Make sure to calm your pet right away because panic attacks can last for hours.
Of all the common causes of stress in pets such as loud fireworks, thunderstorms, a ride in the car, or meeting bigger pets, the most traumatic event is watching you leave. Nothing makes a dog more anxious than seeing you put on your walking shoes and pick up your keys, knowing that he or she will be left behind. Hiring a professional to help break up the day and ease the time you are away will make your animal’s time apart from you easier to handle. Separation anxiety is never easy, but in the hands of a professional, your pet will be just fine.
If you are planning a trip or need a daily pet visit get in touch with Pet Nanny today! Call 734-981-6108 to know more about how we can help you take care of your pet so they don’t go through another panic attack. We love them when you have to leave them.
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