Every creature on this planet has feelings or emotions, and every one of them can get affected by them in some way or another. Animal emotion is a well-researched topic, and experiments have provided compelling evidence that many four-legged creatures experience much of the same emotions as we do i.e. despair, love, fear, grief, and joy to name a few. Click here to read about one fascinating study about it.
Having a happy pooch is the best feeling in the world, and their positive emotions rub off on us, making us happy too. But when things are not as positive it can be worrying, and we as pet owners need to be observant when this happens.
Unfortunately, even though our pets can be strong and can handle themselves in most crazy situations, their survival instincts don’t always kick in when they need it to, and they can get negatively affected by more than one thing.
When things don’t go well it can lead them to become anxious, irritable, and stressed out. This dog anxiety can affect all breeds regardless of shape or size, and there can be several reasons why this happens, and some of them are mentioned below. We will also look at ways to help them and to help alleviate stress and anxiety naturally.
Reasons for Dog Anxiety
There can be a few different causes. The three main triggers are:
This is also known as cognitive dysfunction disorder or CDS. When dogs who have this get older, their awareness, perception, learning, and memory start to decline. It is similar to when humans get Alzheimer’s. Symptoms of which can be found here: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet#, when all these things start to happen, they naturally get easily stressed and anxious.
Sometimes, and especially for smaller dogs, there can be many instances such as loud noises or other animals, sudden movements, visual stimuli such as an umbrella or stick, strange or new environments and outlandish people around them, that can activate these feeling in them, and they can get scared.
Also known as separation anxiety, our canines, just like some of us, don’t like being away from their family for a long period. Almost 14% of them get affected by this and in today’s world with such fact lifestyles, not many people have the time or patience to spend with their pets.
When they are left alone they can feel stressed and anxious which leads to a bunch of side effects such as urinating and defecating uncontrollably. This is something many people should think about if they have never done it before. Leaving them at a dog-sitters or hiring someone to look after them in the confines of their own home can be a better idea.
Some Common Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety in Dogs
This is something to be very aware of, and paying heed to some common symptoms can enable us to be able to do something while it’s still in its early stages. Things to look out for are:
- Drooling profusely
- Excessive and involuntarily urinating and defecating
- Panting and pacing from one end to the other
- Depression and sleeping all-day
- Destructive behaviors
- Unable to sleep
- Compulsive behavior patterns
- Making whimpering or whining noises constantly
- Excessively licking themselves
- Avoiding you or not wanting to interact with anyone
- Excessive hair falling and bald spots
- Shaking themselves like if they were wet when they aren’t
The list above includes just a few unusual behaviors you should look out for.
What Can Pet Owner’s Do to Help?
The obvious thing to do in such instances is to speak to your veterinary doctor. They will have some solutions and can also look into the triggers that make your dog get anxious. It could be a situational problem. Sometimes it could also be a medical issue. The vet should be able to work together with you to come up with a treatment plan for the dogs or cats.
While this is still in place, you too can help by giving them something more natural to help them calm their nerves, and one such recommendation is that of CBD oil or treats. Many health stores and online reputable sources sell dog stress and anxiety treats which can be given to them daily either before or after their meals, and also when they are feeling a bit down or scared.
These treats contain CBD (cannabidiol), which is the extract of the Hemp Plant and has been known for a calming and relaxing effect on them and also work holistically to help alleviate an array of other conditions, which may also help your canine.
This compound has been seen to have positive results on many research avenues such as in treating dog seizures, pain, insomnia, Alzheimer’s, skin conditions, joints, and muscle conditions in many breeds of dogs and it can do the same for yours too.
When taken as part of a treatment plan it can also aid the medicine to work better and can act as a catalyst in making sure the medication is used up wholly by the body’s ECS or Endocannabinoid System, which is responsible for the biology and functionality of the circulatory and respiratory system.
A point to note is that if you have brought home an adopted go from a shelter or a homeless one, they could be suffering from former shelter anxiety. These can be due to memories of them being abandoned and left there by their former owners.
Sometimes they could have even suffered a traumatic event that has left them very wary of people and other animals. Starting them on something as natural and harmless as CBD drops or tinctures from the word go, could help them significantly and put them in a much better mood.
Make sure whatever brand you buy is a pure one, which has less than 0.3% THC in it, comes from an ethical manufacturer with no artificial additives, colorants, or flavors in it. And if they don’t like the taste add it to their drinking water.
Interesting related article: “What is Cannabidiol?“