How can I identify anxiety in dogs?

Have you noticed any change in your pet’s behavior? Do you know the symptoms of anxiety? In order to know about anxiety in dogs , the first of all is to know the normal behavior of your pet.

Having an animal is a great responsibility. For these to have a good quality of life, you have to take care of both their physical and psychological health. If we want to diagnose an anxiety problem in dogs, we must know the normal behavior patterns. With this, we can detect abnormal behaviors and thus treat the problem as soon as possible. If left untreated, these problems usually become chronic.

Anxiety in dogs is much more common than you think. Even knowing the normal and healthy behavior of a dog, sometimes the symptoms go so unnoticed that the diagnosis is very difficult.

Concept of anxiety in dogs

The anxiety is an adaptive response to a harmful situation in which the animals trying to survive. This becomes counterproductive when this reaction goes from being temporary to long periods of time, so that it becomes excessive and exaggerated, resulting in changes in the behavior of the animal. Often, the neurobiochemical and neurophysiological mechanisms involved in animal behavior are altered, requiring pharmacological treatment.

  • When an animal suffers from anxiety, it is in a harmful emotional state. The dog will try to suppress or reduce it as much as possible.
  • Dogs feel the threat. This can be natural, in which the animal reacts innately (evolution) to situations, or it can be acquired, in this case due to situations in the animal’s previous life that are negative.
  • Faced with a situation that he does not know and could be negative, as well as in situations that he knows will not be favorable for him, the dog has the ability to anticipate.

Among the situations that cause anxiety to a dog are: separation from the owner or group, unfamiliar situations, unfamiliar individuals, loud sounds (thunder, firecrackers), pain or punishment.

How to identify anxiety in dogs?

As said previously, knowing the normal behavior of the dog we can more easily identify a state of anxiety. So, being aware of the risk factors that can cause this reaction is essential.

Many times, behavior problems in dogs have a genetic component . For this reason, it can be of great help to find out, whenever possible, if our pet’s parents suffer or have suffered from anxiety.

If our dog has had a late socialization , it may be more likely to have anxiety. After giving birth, the mother knows how to deal with the behaviors that her puppies have. Many times, the owners do not know how to act in these situations, causing situations of stress and imbalance in our animals that can lead to anxiety.

Although anxiety is more common in young dogs , it can occur at any age. Hence the importance of observing the behaviors of our animals. It is not uncommon for our animal to carry anxiety since it was very young, with very mild symptoms that went unnoticed.

When we adopt a dog, we may be concerned about how it will adapt to new conditions. It is very important to know your history, to know if you have experienced situations that could lead to anxiety. The animal will always have an adaptation period . On these occasions, we must speak with a veterinary professional to advise us and dictate the guidelines to follow so that this adaptation is as less traumatic as possible for the animal.

Symptoms of anxiety in dogs

It is very important to know the most typical symptoms that occur in an anxiety situation. The behavior problems in dogs become very diverse. Among them we can find:

  • The most common physical symptoms are tachycardia, tachypnea, dilated pupils, or hypersalivation. The latter, also known as ptyalism or hypersalivation, consists of an increase in the production of saliva. Anxiety can also cause gastrointestinal disturbances, such as diarrhea , vomiting, anorexia or lack of appetite. There is also hypervigilance, in which our animal will overreact to a threatening situation.
  • Urination and / or defecation in inappropriate places .
  • Changes in social relationships.
  • Aggressiveness.
  • They can exhibit destructive behavior . They do it with objects, furniture, their own bed or plants.
  • Overactivity . These animals will present an excess of activity and little desire to rest. They will be animals that will not be able to concentrate on one thing, compulsive and will not stop moving.
  • Another very common symptom is stereotypes . The dog will repeat actions without a specific end. One of the most common stereotypes in that of biting the tail while turning on itself. Animals that bark and meow  excessively and constantly, in normal situations. The to utolamido constant and compulsive is also considered a stereotype. This can have major repercussions, such as skin wounds. The acral dermatitis is typical of animals with anxiety. Self – mutilation will  cause wounds that can become infected and greatly aggravate the situation.


Anxiety is an increasingly diagnosed problem in our animals. You must be aware of this and act correctly. The main thing is that our pet has a healthy and happy life. For this, both your physical and psychological health are very important.

Avoid stressful situations, follow daily routines, take him for walks frequently and for long periods of time. Our pet will be happier and therefore, we will be able to enjoy their company much more.

Divyesh Patel