Anxiety in Dogs, A vet explains causes, signs, and Treatment 2023

Anxious dog hiding under blanket

Last Updated on 2 months by Dr. Shannon Barrett

As a veterinarian, I have seen lots of dogs with anxiety.

As a result, I have seen many owners anxious about their dog’s anxiety. If this is you, do not worry, you are not alone.

This can range from shaking when they hear a loud noise to barking when you leave the house.

It is upsetting for everyone (us as veterinarians and you as owners).

Anxiety arises from various reasons—fear, change in routine, separation from owners—the list goes on. As caring pet parents, it’s crucial to recognize and understand these signs of distress to help alleviate your furry friend’s discomfort effectively.

Each detail is essential in maintaining your dog’s mental health, from recognizing anxious behaviors to exploring treatment options.

To ensure you’re fully equipped with this knowledge, I’ll share my insights throughout this guide on causes, signs, and treatments for anxiety in dogs.

Key Takeaways

  • Anxiety in dogs can be caused by various factors, such as
    • Illness
    • Sudden changes in routine or environment
    • Separation from owners
    • Lack of proper training
    • Aging and cognitive disorders
    • Fear-based experiences
  • Recognizing signs of anxiety in your dog is essential for early intervention. Physical indicators may include excessive panting, trembling or shaking, drooling, hiding behind furniture, or toys destruction.
  • Behavioral symptoms may include aggression towards other dogs or withdrawal from family interaction.
  • There are different types of anxiety in dogs, including:
    • Separation anxiety
    • Generalized anxiety
    • Aggressiveness
    • Fears and phobias
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Identifying the specific type of anxiety is crucial for developing effective treatment and management plans.
  • Treatment options for canine anxiety include behavioral training techniques like counter-conditioning and desensitization. Medication prescribed by a veterinarian might be necessary in severe cases. Natural remedies such as pheromone diffusers can also help manage anxiety levels in dogs.

This site only contains items I love and highly recommend. It is reader supported and contains affiliate links. Read more

Common Causes Of Anxiety In Dogs

Experiencing anxiety is not exclusive to humans; our furry friends can also have bouts of this distressing situation. Various factors can act as catalysts, triggering anxiety in dogs. Understanding these causes is paramount for pet owners hoping to provide a comfortable and stress-free environment for their pets.

  1. Illness or disease: As the Merck Veterinary Manual indicates, one common cause is health issues. Like humans, dogs may feel anxious when they are not feeling well or battling an illness.
  2. Sudden onset anxiety: Unexpected events or changes in a dog’s routine or environment could lead to sudden onset anxiety. This could be triggered by a move to a new home, the arrival of a new pet or baby in the house, or even loud noises such as thunderstorms. As a digital nomad, we constantly move homes with our Shepherd, so I monitor him for signs of anxiety each time we arrive at a new VRBO.
  3. Separation Anxiety: Long periods away from their favorite human can cause quite a lot of stress for dogs. This type of anxiety – separation anxiety– is one of the most common forms seen in dogs.
  4. Lack of proper training: Dogs with low training focus tend to display impulsive behaviors associated with anxiety. These behaviors often occur because the dog cannot control its emotional reactions and may feel overwhelmed.
  5. Aging and cognitive disorders: Senior dogs may develop Canine Cognitive Disorder, akin to Alzheimer’s disease in humans, leading to confusion and thus causing anxiety.
  6. Fear-based experiences: Strong reactions due to fear of specific objects like vacuum cleaners, car keys, or situations like vet visits can ignite acute anxiety episodes in dogs.

Recognizing Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

Identifying signs and symptoms of anxiety in your furry friend requires careful observation over time.

Common physical signs may include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Drooling
  • Specific distress responses like hiding behind furniture when there are loud noises around them.

Regarding behavior, dogs might express their stress through nervous habits such as destructive chewing on door frames or toys – a clear sign that your dog is struggling with anxiety.

Another common symptom is unusual aggression towards other dogs at the dog park.

It’s worth noting, however, that not all dogs manifest their stress similarly – one furry buddy could tear up cushions when left alone, experiencing severe separation anxiety. At the same time, another might withdraw into corners avoiding family interaction.

Nevertheless, consistently noticing these traits should prompt you to contact your vet. The earlier you intervene, the easier it is to get under control.

This site only contains items I love and highly recommend.  It is reader supported and contains affiliate links.  Read more

Common Causes Of Anxiety In Dogs

Experiencing anxiety is not exclusive to humans; our furry friends can also have bouts of this distressing situation. Various factors can act as catalysts, triggering anxiety in dogs. Understanding these causes is paramount for pet owners hoping to provide a comfortable and stress-free environment for their pets.

  1. Illness or disease: As the Merck Veterinary Manual indicates, one common cause is health issues. Like humans, dogs may feel anxious when they are not feeling well or battling an illness.
  2. Sudden onset anxiety: Unexpected events or changes in a dog’s routine or environment could lead to sudden onset anxiety. This could be triggered by a move to a new home, the arrival of a new pet or baby in the house, or even loud noises such as thunderstorms. As a digital nomad, we constantly move homes with our Shepherd, so I monitor him for signs of anxiety each time we arrive at a new VRBO.
  3. Separation Anxiety: Long periods away from their favorite human can cause quite a lot of stress for dogs. This type of anxiety – separation anxiety– is one of the most common forms seen in dogs.
  4. Lack of proper training: Dogs with low training focus tend to display impulsive behaviors associated with anxiety. These behaviors often occur because the dog cannot control its emotional reactions and may feel overwhelmed.
  5. Aging and cognitive disorders: Senior dogs may develop Canine Cognitive Disorder, akin to Alzheimer’s disease in humans, leading to confusion and thus causing anxiety.
  6. Fear-based experiences: Strong reactions due to fear of specific objects like vacuum cleaners, car keys, or situations like vet visits can ignite acute anxiety episodes in dogs.

Sign up for free weekly pet tips!

* indicates required

Intuit Mailchimp

Recognizing Signs And Symptoms Of Anxiety

Identifying signs and symptoms of anxiety in your furry friend requires careful observation over time.

Common physical signs may include:

  • Excessive panting
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Drooling
  • Specific distress responses like hiding behind furniture when there are loud noises around them.

Regarding behavior, dogs might express their stress through nervous habits such as destructive chewing on door frames or toys – a clear sign that your dog is struggling with anxiety.

Another common symptom is unusual aggression towards other dogs at the dog park.

It’s worth noting, however, that not all dogs manifest their stress similarly – one furry buddy could tear up cushions when left alone, experiencing severe separation anxiety. At the same time, another might withdraw into corners avoiding family interaction.

Nevertheless, consistently noticing these traits should prompt you to contact your vet. The earlier you intervene, the easier it is to get under control.

Different Types Of Anxiety In Dogs

Anxiety in dogs can manifest in various ways, presenting itself in different types. These anxieties are typically distinct, each with its triggers and symptoms.

Identifying the type of anxiety your dog suffers from is crucial to tailor an effective treatment plan. If you notice these signs in your pet, contact your vet or a dog behaviorist.

Type of AnxietyDescriptionCommon Symptoms
Separation AnxietyThis occurs when dogs become upset because of their owner’s absence. It’s one of the most common types of anxiety in dogs.Typical signs include barking or howling when the owner isn’t home, destructiveness, and housebreaking accidents.
Generalized AnxietyThis refers to dogs who are always anxious. They may be genetically predisposed to anxiety or they may have had traumatic experiences.Anxious dogs may exhibit behaviors such as panting, pacing, whining or whimpering, avoidance of eye contact, and fidgeting.
AggressivenessSometimes, anxiety can manifest as aggressiveness. This is often due to fear or territoriality.Common signs include growling, baring teeth, snapping, and biting.
Fears and PhobiasThese are intense fears of specific stimuli. Dogs can develop phobias to anything from thunderstorms to vacuum cleaners.Symptoms include hiding, trembling, and refusal to move or eat.
Obsessive-Compulsive DisordersThis type of anxiety is characterized by repetitive, compulsive behaviors that interfere with normal life.Indications may be excessive licking or grooming, tail chasing, or compulsive barking.

Diagnosing And Treating Anxiety In Dogs

As veterinarians, we use various methods to diagnose and treat anxiety in dogs, including behavioral training, desensitization techniques, medications, and natural remedies.

How Veterinarians Diagnose And Assess Anxiety

One of the most crucial aspects of diagnosis is getting an accurate history of your pet’s anxiety issues. This includes when it started, what signs you see at home, how long they last, and if there have been any changes to your life.

In addition to gathering information, we also conduct a thorough physical examination to rule out any underlying medical conditions contributing to the anxiety.

For example, if your dog becomes extremely anxious when left alone for short periods, this could indicate separation anxiety.

Some veterinarians will use standardized questionnaires like the Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS) scale to measure dogs’ acute stress levels during their veterinary visits.

Through careful observation and assessment techniques, your vet can help determine whether your pet suffers from one or more types of anxiety disorders.

Behavioral Training And Desensitization Techniques

Behavioral training and desensitization techniques are critical components in helping dogs overcome anxiety.

One approach commonly used is counter-conditioning, which involves pairing the presence of a trigger that causes anxiety with something pleasant or rewarding.

For example, if your dog becomes anxious when hearing loud noises such as thunderstorms or fireworks, you can start by playing soft recordings of those sounds at a low volume while providing treats or engaging them in play.

Over time, gradually increase the volume of the sounds while continuing to provide positive reinforcement.

Desensitization is another powerful technique that involves exposing your dog to increasingly challenging situations in a controlled manner. If your furry friend exhibits separation anxiety when left alone, begin by practicing short periods of separation and reward them for calm behavior upon reuniting.

These behavioral training techniques take time and patience but can significantly reduce anxiety levels in dogs over time. It’s important to remember that consistency and repetition are key factors in successfully modifying anxious behaviors. Patience, grasshopper!

Medications And Supplements For Anxiety

Medications and supplements can play a crucial role in managing anxiety in dogs.

Unfortunately, nothing will “definitely” work for every dog.

We do know that, usually, medications alone are not enough.

We also have to use other soothing techniques, such as pheromones and thundershirts, which help them feel secure. We add soft music, which distracts them.

The issue is psychological, not physical, making it more complicated to treat.

When humans have a severe phobia, they go to a therapist and learn soothing/calming techniques to make it more manageable.

With dogs, we cannot teach them deep breathing exercises or talk them through stressors such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or being home alone.

Instead, we must try to make them feel comfortable during these events, and most sedatives are not enough.

Sedatives can also cause them to feel tired but still anxious. Also, sedatives will start to become less effective over time.

We have many patients with thunderstorms and firework anxiety, and not one cocktail works every time.

Unfortunately, it’s trial and error for each dog.

We know that using different soothing/calming techniques gives us the best success rate.

We may not cure the anxiety, but we can improve it. Here are some techniques and products that have helped patients in the past.

  1. Prescription medications: Fluoxetine (Prozac) and clomipramine (Clomicalm) are commonly prescribed SSRIs and antidepressants for dogs with anxiety. These medications increase serotonin levels in the brain, helping regulate mood and reduce anxious behaviors. However, it would be best if you had a long discussion with your vet about the pros/cons of these medications. Many dogs will have a decreased appetite on these medications. They will likely need to check their bloodwork before starting and during treatment. Also, these medications work best when combined with other therapies listed below.
  2. Nutritional supplements: Supplements like Vetriscience Composure calming treats have been specifically formulated to address anxiety in dogs. These contain natural ingredients like L-theanine, colostrum calming complex, and thiamine (vitamin B1), which have calming effects. More information on these is below.
  3. Cannabidiol (CBD): This is controversial on both the human and veterinary sides. Some clients swear that this has made a massive difference in their pets with thunderstorm anxiety but are very dog dependent. You also have to be very careful because dogs have no “appropriate” dosage, so it is easy to overdose on them. I also caution owners to be careful using CBD oils since these often contain high-fat carrier oils, which can lead to GI upset.
  4. Consultation with a veterinarian: Determining the proper medication or supplement for your dog’s anxiety should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian. They will consider factors such as your dog’s needs, medical history, and any potential drug interactions.

Remember that medications and supplements should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that should always include behavior modification and environmental changes. The goal is to create a calmer environment for your anxious dog. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions when administering any medication or supplement to ensure your canine companion’s safety and well-being.

Natural Remedies And Calming Aids

When it comes to helping your anxious dog find relief, there are several natural remedies and calming aids that can be effective.

  1. Pheromone Diffusers: Pheromone diffusers, such as Adaptil, release synthetic hormones that mimic natural calming chemicals found in mother dogs. Release synthetic pheromones that mimic the natural ones a mother dog produces to comfort her puppies. They can help create a sense of security and calmness in dogs. Adaptil diffusers can be plugged into an electrical outlet and spread a comforting scent throughout the room or designated area. You cannot smell it, but it can help your dog’s anxiety.

Pro Tip

It comes in both diffusers and collars. I recommend using both the diffusers and collars. They last for 30 days but then need to be changed.
  1. L-Tryptophan: This amino acid is known for its calming effects on the brain. It helps increase serotonin levels, improving mood and reducing anxiety in dogs. L-tryptophan supplements can be found in various forms, including treats and capsules.
  2. Calming Music: Playing soft, calming music specifically designed for dogs can positively impact their emotional state. Calming music has also been shown to be soothing to anxious dogs. Research has found that certain types of classical music, composed explicitly for relaxation purposes, can significantly decrease stress levels in humans and animals. The soothing sounds can help drown out external noises and create a peaceful environment. Many owners leave the TV on for their dogs while they are away. YouTube has a thunderstorm music channel that is specific to dogs. It has worked for some of my clients. It does have an odd high-pitched tone at the beginning that is supposed to get your dog’s attention. I tell owners to fast-forward through this sound. It happens around second 00:17, so fast forward about 5 seconds as it can be bracing for some dogs. I recommend reading the comments-this. Music can be helpful.

ThunderShirt: This snug-fitting garment provides gentle pressure around the dog’s body, similar to swaddling an infant, which can help relieve anxiety during stressful situations such as thunderstorms or fireworks.

Thundershirts can make a big difference for dogs with anxiety. For some dogs, it can eliminate the need for any anxiety medications.

These tightly fitting vests make dogs feel swaddled and more secure.

The same concept is used for children with autism to help them feel safe. Measure your dog to make sure you purchase the correct size. 

Remember, not every remedy will work for every dog, so finding the most effective solution for your furry friend may require some trial and error. It’s always best to consult with a veterinarian before starting new supplements or therapies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your dog’s needs.

Using these natural remedies and calming aids, along with behavioral training and creating a calm environment, can greatly help reduce dogs’ anxiety and improve their overall well-being.

Creating A Calm Environment For Anxious Dogs

To create a calm environment for anxious dogs, provide them with a safe and secure space, engage in regular exercise and mental stimulation, use pheromone diffusers and calming music, and establish a routine.

Implementing these strategies can help alleviate your dog’s anxiety and improve their overall well-being.

Providing A Safe And Secure Space

Creating a safe and secure space is crucial for calming anxious dogs. Just like humans, dogs need a place to feel protected and at ease, especially during stressful situations such as storms or separation anxiety.

One way to create this haven is by using a crate or a cozy den-like area where your dog can retreat when anxious. Ensure the crate or den is appropriately sized for your dog’s comfort and filled with soft bedding or blankets for extra coziness.

My Shepherd made his own “safe space” at our various VRBOs. Many of these have bunk beds to accommodate more travelers. Each time he sees one, he claims it as his own. The bottom bunk makes for a perfect doggie cave.

Consider creating white noise in the background with soothing music designed for dogs or even noise-canceling machines to drown out loud noises that may trigger anxiety.

We always leave the TV tuned to a cooking show when we go. We usually watch it at home with our dog, so the sounds are familiar. And it’s never too early for him to learn to make delicious pancakes.

Remember to reinforce the idea of a secure environment by rewarding calm behavior while in their safe space.

Regular Exercise And Mental Stimulation

I have seen regular exercise and mental stimulation make considerable differences in my anxious patients. It’s great for the overall well-being of our furry friends but especially when it comes to managing anxiety.

Dogs thrive on physical activity, and providing them with daily opportunities to burn off excess energy can significantly reduce their anxiety levels.

If one of my clients has issues with their dog being destructive, my first recommendation is to provide them with more exercise. This means active exercise. Taking them for a walk, playing ball with them, and getting their energy out. Just do so safely when it is not too hot outside.

Playing games that challenge their problem-solving skills, like hiding treats around the house or using food puzzle toys, can keep their minds occupied while giving them something productive to focus on.

I love West Paw toys for this. West Paw makes some of my favorite puzzle toys.

They make several toys with holes, allowing you to fill them with low-fat peanut butter or a smashed banana.

Once filled, you put these toys in the freezer.

They freeze in a few hours, and then your dog licks the holes in the toy to reach the banana or peanut butter.

Pick your dog’s favorite puzzle toy and only bring these out when your pet is anxious.

This way, you reserve them as a “special treat.”

For dogs with storm or firework anxiety, give them during the thunderstorm to distract them.

For dogs with separation anxiety, give these just before you leave so they can concentrate on them while you are gone.

The goal is to turn a negative (thunderstorm) into a positive (yummy treat).

Our Pick

West Paw Toppl Treat Toy

The Toppl treat toy is one of our favorites. You can purchase the large and small versions and then fit them together for an extra challenge.

They work great with:

  • Peanut butter
  • Veggies
  • Your dogs kibble

Furthermore, exercise before leaving your anxious dog alone can create a calm environment for them. By expending some of their energy beforehand through activities like jogging or fetch, you’re helping to alleviate any restlessness they may experience during separation.

We always prioritize taking our Shepherd for a walk before we go out for the day. We know he will be much calmer and less stressed while we are gone. We have proof because we spy on him with cameras to ensure he is napping and not getting upset or barking while we are away. As a veterinarian who travels with her dog constantly, I always try to create a calm environment even if “home” is not a fixed place. These tactics do work.

That being said, remember that every dog is unique, so finding an exercise routine that suits your pet’s age, breed, and health condition is essential.

By prioritizing regular exercise and mental stimulation for our dogs, we provide outlets for their natural behaviors and promote a healthier lifestyle that significantly reduces stress and anxiety levels in our beloved pets. It helps keep us in shape too!

Establishing A Routine

Establishing a routine is essential for helping your anxious dog feel secure and reduce their anxiety levels. Following a consistent daily schedule can provide structure and predictability, which can be comforting for your pet. Here are some tips on how to establish a routine for your anxious dog:

  1. Set regular meal times: Feed your dog at the same times daily to create stability. This will also help prevent digestive issues and maintain a healthy appetite.
  2. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule: Dogs thrive on having a designated sleeping area and routine bedtime. Establish a comfortable sleeping space for your dog and ensure they get enough rest each night.
  3. Maintain exercise routines: Regular physical activity is crucial for reducing anxiety in dogs. Schedule daily walks or play sessions to help your dog burn off energy and stay mentally stimulated. If you are traveling or do not have a yard for exercise sessions, there are alternatives to dog parks.
  4. Implement training sessions: Consistency in training can also help alleviate anxiety in dogs by giving them clear guidelines and expectations. Daily, engage in short training sessions to reinforce good behavior and build their confidence. Even 2-3 five-minute sessions can make a big difference.
  5. Provide mental stimulation: Alongside physical exercise, mental stimulation is vital for combating anxiety in dogs. Incorporate puzzle toys, interactive games, or nose work activities into their routine to keep their minds occupied and engaged.
  6. Create calm rituals: Establish calming rituals that signal relaxation time for your anxious dog. This could include gentle grooming, massage, or quiet downtime together. Our Shepherd loves a good ear rub at night and will put his head in my husband’s lap when ready for his nightly ear massage.
  7. Social interaction: While some anxious dogs may struggle with excessive socialization, it’s important to include positive interactions with other dogs or humans they trust and feel comfortable with.

Remember that every dog is different, so you may need to tailor the routine to your pet’s specific needs and preferences. By providing consistency and structure through an established routine, you can significantly help reduce anxiety in your beloved furry friend.

Preventing And Managing Anxiety In Dogs

Preventing and managing anxiety in dogs involves avoiding triggers and stressful situations, utilizing positive reinforcement and rewards for desired behaviors, seeking professional help when necessary, and acknowledging the emotional impact on dog owners.

Avoiding Triggers And Stressful Situations

To help prevent and manage anxiety in your dog, it’s important to avoid triggers and stressful situations. Here are some tips for creating a calm environment for your anxious pet:

  • Provide a safe and secure space: Create a designated area where your dog can retreat when they feel anxious. This could be a crate or a quiet room with their bed and toys.
  • Regular exercise and mental stimulation: Physical exercise and mental stimulation can help reduce anxiety in dogs. Take them for daily walks, engage in playtime, and provide puzzle toys to keep their mind occupied.
  • Use pheromone diffusers and calming music: Pheromone diffusers like Adaptil can help create a sense of calm for your dog. Additionally, playing soothing music designed specifically for dogs can have a calming effect on their nervous system.
    • For dogs with storm anxiety, it is also essential to intervene BEFORE the storm comes.
    • Dogs know about 1 hour before a storm is coming, and their anxiety starts then.
    • The more anxious they become, the harder it is to calm them down.
  • Establishing a routine: Dogs thrive on routines, providing them with predictability and stability. Establish a consistent daily routine for feeding, exercise, playtime, and rest. This doesn’t mean you can’t travel with your dog. Just keep certain parts of their daily routine, such as morning and evening exercise, feeding schedule, and favorite toys.For more tips on traveling with your pets, check out our blogs on pets and travel.
  • ​We highly recommend using all of the above together for maximum benefit. For instance, if you were worried about sunburn on a particularly sunny day, you would wear sunblock, sit under an umbrellaand likely wear a hat.

These all work best when used together! It’s the same concept when trying to help your dog cope with anxiety.

Positive Reinforcement And Rewards

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for managing and preventing anxiety in dogs. By rewarding your furry friend with treats, praise, and play for calm behavior or successfully facing their fears, you can help them develop positive associations and build confidence.

Reward-based training methods have been proven more effective than punishment-based approaches when treating anxiety in dogs. Punishment can increase fear and stress levels, exacerbating the underlying issue.

Remember that every dog’s behavior is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s essential to understand your dog’s individual needs and tailor your approach accordingly.

Using positive reinforcement techniques consistently throughout training sessions and daily interactions can create an environment where your anxious pup feels supported and encouraged to overcome their fears.

Seeking Professional Help

If you’ve noticed that your dog is showing signs of anxiety, it’s essential to seek professional help. While you can try various strategies and techniques independently, consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist will provide valuable guidance tailored to your pet’s needs.

Professional help is essential when dealing with severe separation anxiety or destructive behaviors. These experts have extensive experience managing behavioral problems and can offer behavior modification techniques to address your dog’s anxieties.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Seeking professional guidance ensures you receive personalized advice based on your dog’s needs.

Support For Dog Owners And The Emotional Impact

Dealing with an anxious dog can take a toll on pet owners emotionally. Watching our furry friends struggle with fear and distress is heart-wrenching, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in this journey.

Seeking support from fellow dog owners who have gone through similar experiences can provide valuable insights and comfort.

In addition to online communities, professional resources, and veterinary behaviorists are available to help you and your anxious pup. Veterinary behaviorists specialize in diagnosing and treating animal behavior problems, including anxiety disorders.

It’s crucial to take care of yourself as well during this process. The emotional impact of having an anxious dog can be overwhelming, so reaching out for support from friends, family, or even a therapist can make a world of difference.

By seeking support from professionals and others who understand what you’re going through, you’ll gain valuable knowledge on managing anxiety in dogs while finding solace, knowing that you’re not alone on this journey toward helping your beloved companion lead a happy and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the common causes of anxiety in dogs?

Anxiety in dogs can be caused by various factors such as separation from their owners, loud noises, thunderstorms, new environments or experiences, past traumatic events, or certain medical conditions.

How can I recognize signs of anxiety in my dog?

Signs of anxiety in dogs may include excessive barking or howling, destructive behavior (such as chewing furniture), trembling or shaking, pacing and restlessness, panting excessively, drooling more than usual, showing aggression towards humans or other animals, loss of appetite or increased need for attention.

What treatment options are available for dogs with anxiety?

Treatment options for anxious dogs may include behavioral training techniques like desensitization and counter-conditioning to help them overcome fears and anxieties gradually. In some cases, medication prescribed by a veterinarian may also be used to manage severe anxiety symptoms temporarily.

Can I help prevent or reduce my dog’s anxiety at home?

Yes! You can do several things to help prevent or reduce your dog’s anxiety at home.

These include providing a safe space with comfortable bedding and hiding spots where they can retreat when feeling anxious; keeping a consistent routine and schedule; introducing positive reinforcement training methods; engaging them in mental stimulation activities like puzzle toys; and using calming aids like pheromone diffusers or pressure vests explicitly designed for reducing canine anxiety.

Dr. Shannon Barrett brings an exceptional blend of academic excellence and professional expertise to the world of veterinary medicine. With a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Western University of Health Sciences, where she graduated with honors, and dual Bachelor degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology, her depth of knowledge is extensive. A member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Barrett's insights and contributions to pet health have been featured in leading publications such as Rover, MarketWatch, and Newsweek.

Share This Article
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Email

Related Articles

french bulldog sleeping

Do Healthy Dogs Snore? A Vet Explains Snoring

Last Updated on 26 mins by Dr. Shannon Barrett Do healthy dogs snore? Yes, they do. However snoring can also be the sign of an underlying health issue. Snoring happens when air flows past the relaxed tissues in your dog’s nose, mouth, or throat, making them vibrate and create that familiar rumbling sound. It’s a common occurrence not just in humans but in our furry friends as well. This vibratory noise can stem from several

Read More »
shepherd dog, dog, domestic animal-4357790.jpg

German Shepherds, Everything Vets Want You to Know

Last Updated on 2 weeks by Dr. Shannon Barrett As a vet, I love German Shepherds and I myself am a proud Shepherd owner.   As a pet parent, it’s fascinating to know about their history and special characteristics unique to German Shepherds.   German Shepherds aren’t just ordinary dogs, they have a rich history that adds to their charm. Where were German Shepherds Originally Bred?  These intelligent dogs originated in Germany in 1899.  Initially, they helped

Read More »
dog, golden retriever, laptop-5866869.jpg

5 Best Dog Beds for Large Dogs: Vet’s Top Choices

Last Updated on 2 weeks by Dr. Shannon Barrett As a large dog owner and veterinarian, I have evaluated countless dog beds over the years. Here are my top choices: Top Picks for Large Dog Beds Choosing the right bed is essential for your large dog’s comfort and health. Large breeds require beds that provide ample space, support, and durability. Big Barker Orthopedic Bed The Big Barker Bed is our favorite. This company has reputation

Read More »
brown and white long coated dog

Dr. Fischer Baby Eye Wipes Review: Safe for Your Pets?

Last Updated on 3 weeks by Dr. Shannon Barrett Dr. Fischer Baby Eye Wipes are marketed for human babies. However their gentle ingredients rival those of pet-only eye wipes. Carefully formulated to be gentle on sensitive eyes, these wipes are free from preservatives and alcohol, ensuring a tear-free and non-irritating cleaning experience. They’re rinse-free for maximum convenience and have been endorsed by leading healthcare professionals. Whether you’re dealing with sticky residue from sleep, reactions to

Read More »
Dr. Barrett veterinary blogs

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Veterinarian with a Passion for Educating Pet Parents

Pets change our lives for the better and we are always trying to do the same for them. This site is a combination of tips and product recommendations to enhance the lives of our pets and the people owned by them.  Thanks for stopping by!

Dr. Shannon Barrett

Reader Favorites