dog anxiety
Image: Connor Baker

Dog Panic Attacks Are A Thing: Here's What We Can Do To Help Them

The 101 on canine anxiety: causes, symptoms, and the treatment path you should take.

Believe it or not, our anxieties about life not only pertain to the human species. Just like humans, our canine companions are prone to experiencing anxiety, they just show it in a different way. And just like us, this is a common emotion for them to have. Dogs of all shapes and sizes fall prey to becoming anxious beings. Also, not unlike us, if not treated, this can lead to disorders amongst our pets. We did some heavy research on the matter and discovered everything you need to know about dog anxiety. What the signs and symptoms are, the causes, and the common treatments used. Keep reading for more on dog anxiety 101.

dog anxiety
Image: Stephen Andrews via Unsplash

The Causes of Dog Anxiety

According to ACK.org, typical dog anxiety can stem from a variety of causes. Here are some of the ones they list:

  • Fear: Fear-related anxiety can be caused by loud noises, strange people or animals, visual stimuli like hats or umbrellas, new or strange environments, specific situations. It can be the vet’s office or car rides or surfaces like grass or wood floors. Although some dogs may only have brief reactions to these kinds of stimuli, they may affect anxious dogs more consequentially.
  • Separation: Separation anxiety is estimated to affect around 14 percent of dogs. Dogs with separation anxiety are unable to find comfort when they are left alone or separated from their family members. This anxiety often manifests itself in undesirable behaviors, such as urinating and defecating in the house, destroying furniture and furnishings, and barking.
  • Aging: Age-related anxiety affects older dogs and can cause cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). In dogs with CDS, memory, learning, perception, and awareness start to decline, similar to the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This understandably leads to confusion and anxiety in senior dogs.
  • Location/setting changes: Simply even changing a dog’s nest, it’s home can cause anxiety as well. Bringing home a baby, moving in with a partner, can change the outlook a dog has on their environment.

What Are the Symptoms of Dog Anxiety?

There may be several ways that you can tell if your dog has become anxious about something. Here are some of the ones that AKC.org lists. Look out for the following:

  • Aggression
  • Urinating or defecating in the house
  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Destructive behavior
  • Depression
  • Excessive barking
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviors

What Are Your Treatment Options?

Like humans, the best route to treatment for your pup is to visit the veterinarian, either in-person or virtually. Your vet is an expert in the field and can help diagnose what is going on with your dog. Like we said before, the dog might only have anxiety from something situational, so it may not have anxiety at all. They will be able to help come up with a treatment plan, including medication, training, and other methods.

dog anxiety
Image: Tuomas Härkönen via Unsplash

CBD Oil As An Option

In some circumstances, CBD Oil for dogs shows evidence it can calm a canine down. Dogs! They’re just like us. According to the Huffington Post, “CBD is a compound found in cannabis and hemp that dog owners, as well as humans, have found useful for treating a variety of different health conditions. Anecdotal reports from dog owners claim that CBD oil can be effective in treating dog anxiety.” The use of CBD on dogs is not yet proven and not FDA-approved so we recommend that you consult your veterinarian and also only use dog-specific CBD.
If you’re looking for a great CBD treat, we love the Premium CBD Dog Chews by Rodney Wallace. Our little @Sportethefrenchie Sporteluxe mascot suffered a bout of terrible panic attacks when a new tiny family member was introduced to his home. For weeks he was drooling, panicking, pacing, and shaking, not sure what was going on. It wasn’t until he was taken to a vet and accurately diagnosed with anxiety. The vet approved the use of CBD treats and also advised on some further tender loving care with group activities. Sporte is now a happy and healthy puppy.
While you’re here, learn more about how our NYC-based editor adopted a puppy in the middle of a pandemic. 

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