How Can I Tell if my Dog is Anxious and How Can I Help?

If only dogs could talk, we’d never have to guess whether they’re lonely, hungry, stressed or tired. The fact is, our furry best friends do communicate how they are feeling, we just often miss their subtle signs. Anxiety and stress can look like many things so it’s important that as their humans, we become aware of what signals distress.

Here’s 10 signs to watch out for…

Barking: No, not just any bark. You can’t assume that every time your dog barks at the mailman, he’s stressed. But dogs will often vocalize their anxiety by barking or whining to get your attention.

Panting: Dogs pant for many reasons, but the main three are exhaustion, heat and stress. If your dog pants, but has not exercised, it’s safe to assume he/she feels stressed.

Yawning: Dogs yawn frequently when they’re tired, but a stressful yawn is longer and more intense than a sleepy yawn. Get to know the differences.

Shivering or shaking: This signal is pretty clear, most dogs don’t shake regularly for any other reason than if they’re cold or stressed. If your dog shivers frequently, this might be a sign he/she is anxious.

Hiding: Hiding is a way of trying to escape the activity, place or person that makes them feel anxious.

Digging: A lot of dogs dig holes in the backyard… well because it’s fun. But if your dog digs at the carpet or couch, he/she may be trying to distract or escape.

Destruction of household items: This sign is more difficult to read. Destruction can be common, but if your dog excessively chews and tears at furniture when you leave the house, he/she may be experiencing separation anxiety.

Excessive bathroom use: Just like people, when dogs get nervous they may feel the need to use the bathroom.. a lot.

Not eating: A change in appetite is common when stressed, if your pup is not eating or eating very little, anxiety may be the reason.

Shedding: Although this sign may be hard to track, next time you go to the vet, notice how the shedding differs from at home where he/she feels safe. Shedding excessively could be an indicator that your pup is anxious.

Here’s 3 ways to help your PUP…

1.Find a quiet place. If the stress is caused by a change in environment or a break from their routine, helping them relieve tension in a familiar environment can be very effective.

2. Practicing familiar commands. Like sit or down. If your dog knows these activities well, the familiarity can be soothing and distract them from feeling anxious.

3. Treat them to a Hemp treat. Like YUP PUP’s broad spectrum hemp treats. Consult with your veterinarian to discuss what calming chew for dogs would work best for your #FBF.

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