Anxiety & Your Pup

Mental Health is Vital for Our Four-Legged Friends, Too!

Dogs can feel the same emotions as their human, including anxiety and fear, (

Similar to humans, like us in moments of uncertainty, whether it be thinking about the future or minutes before presenting, anxiety and fear takes over, and it can occur in dogs too. Although not in the same ways that we do, it’s important to know how we can detect it and what to do to alleviate it.

As we know, anxiety is a mental condition and the body’s natural response to stress and persistent fear.

“Anxiety is a rather healthy expression of a dog’s emotions, but it can spiral into something disastrous at any minute” according to National Today.

Dog Anxiety Awareness Week takes place from May 3-9, 2023, annually, and is celebrated across the US in order to spread awareness of this condition and help recognize it within our furry friends. Yet, it is important to consider that not all dogs suffer from anxiety. In order to recognize anxiety through dogs, here are a few causes, signs, and ways to reduce the stress for them.

Triggers for Anxiety

Loud Noises: When it comes to fireworks, thunder, sirens, gunshots or any blaring sound, dogs may feel a sense of fear and alertness due to it not being a typical occurrence.

Past Trauma or Abuse: Even through daily tasks you may notice a bit of hesitance, especially when being near larger or loud objects or fast movements. This could all be caused due to previous trauma from their previous owner.

New People or Other Animals: When coming into contact with a new person or even dog, there may be some excessive barking or type of aggression towards them.

Signs to notice:

Urinating indoors
Excessive barking/aggression
Seeking shelter or comfort
Visibly tensing up (showing teeth, growling, arching their back)
Ears back

When noticing these signs our first reaction is to comfort our dogs, which in some cases may help while in others it might increase their anxiety.

How to Help

Distract: If you notice your dog getting increasingly upset or bothered, remove what is causing or from the area if possible. After, allow them to play with mentally stimulating toys or distract them by doing any activity inside or outside.

Create a Safe Space: While in some cases anxiety in dogs might appear through non stop barking, it can also through complete silence when they appear visibly scared. In these situations, your dog would appreciate a safe spot to go to whether it be a comfy bed or corner in a room where some treats may be available.