Dog Anxiety Signs & Symptoms:
Do you recognize the signs
when your dog is stressed?
Does your Coton de Tulear have dog anxiety? While the breed is in general very easy going and calm, just like any
dog, they can experience canine anxiety and various fear phobias. Just
like with people, stress not only causes behavioral and emotional
issues, it can also cause all kinds of health problems. It’s important
to be able to recognize the signs as soon as possible.
And if you are dealing with your dog's anxiety or fear issues, you're not alone. Just walk into any pet store and you will find hundreds of products designed to help your pet cope with anxiety.
According to a Medical News Today article, more than 70% of dogs today show signs of anxiety. Yikes! This would definitely help explain the aisles of pet stress-relief products at the pet store.
How can you tell if your dog is exhibiting signs of stress? Some of the symptoms may include:
- Tense posture with a partially lowered tail (or tail between legs)
- Eyes narrowed slightly with ears partially back
- Slightly open mouth (appears to be grinning)
- Head held low
- Hair raised on the back
- Licking their lips and nose
- Exposes belly by laying on back
- Involuntary urinating
- Nervous yawning
- Howling or growling
- Incessant barking
- Chasing tail
- Short high pitched yelping
- Destructive behavior
- Uninterested in eating or sleeping
- Hides behind you or behind objects
It's important to catch your dog's clues early so you can prevent your pup from crossing the threshold into stress. Once
dogs get to that point it is extremely difficult to control their
You can gauge from this chart above (provided by Doggy Dan) where your dog falls on the
anxiety scale and take action at the appropriate time BEFORE it becomes
What are possible causes of your dog's stress?
- Genetics - some breeds are just naturally more prone to be anxious such as Dalmatians or Boston Terriers
- Noise!! - This is the most common cause of anxiety for dogs. Thunder, fireworks, lawnmowers, vacuum cleaners, etc.
- Lack of sleep - this is especially true for puppies. A tired puppy is a puppy who won't have the bandwidth to handle all the mental and physical stimulus in their ever expanding world.
- Separation from mother or litter mates too early
- Sudden change in environment (new home, death of family member, another pet in home, new baby)
- Pet Store (puppy mill) dogs often come from atmospheres ripe for creating stress and anxiety.
- Rescue dogs are often not socialized at an early age which can also cause stress. And unfortunately, some rescues have come from abusive or negligent situations.
- Lack of training. Dogs need us to be in charge; to lead and guide them so they can feel safe and secure. Just a few minutes of training every day can make a huge impact in your dog's mental, emotional, and physical health.
- Your anxiety - Cotons are especially sensitive to their owners moods and emotions. Your nerves and anxiety can easily be passed down to your pets.
So, now that you can recognize the symptoms of dog anxiety and understand the causes, you need to learn how to have a calm dog.
Other dog anxiety links you may find helpful
How to treat puppy separation anxiety
Dealing with dog storm phobias and other fear issues
Why you MUST socialize your dog
Grooming an anxious dog
Natural solutions for anxiety
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