If you have a dog in your life, you know that sometimes there are behavioral issues that just drive you up the wall. Chewing, barking, accidents on your favorite rug. However, there are some situations when these bad behaviors are more than just a rare occasion. Some dogs truly suffer from distress, which can cause them to dig, chew, bark, howl, urinate, defecate and destroy. Other common symptoms include excessive drooling, anxiety and destructive scratching at doors and windows in an attempt to get out. Unfortunately, this doesn’t just damage your home, it can hurt your furry friend in a number of ways. Injuries, due to the destructive behaviors, as well as increased anxiety down the line if these issues aren’t treated, just to name a few.
If you are seeing anxiety issues in dogs or have a dog scared of loud noises, such as thunderstorms, a neighbor’s car alarm or firecrackers, you should bring them in to your South Coast veterinarian for a check-up. There are a lot of things that your local Dartmouth animal hospital can do to help you and your dog work through this situation. In addition to medications, there are therapies and training exercises, that will help your dog to feel more at ease. It pays to bring your dog to licensed, certified and highly trained veterinarians for treatment than to try and treat it yourself at home without support. Make sure to describe your dog’s symptoms careful when you visit the vet. Below is a list of common symptoms that you can consider to see if they match with your dog.
Barking or Howling
Does your dog bark or howl when you are at home – or just when you leave? Barking and howling that occurs only when the pet owner leaves can be an indication of separation anxiety, which can lead to destructive behaviors. Try listening for a few minutes where your dog can’t see you to find out if your dog barks or howls when you leave.
Urinating or Defecating
Two of the most common symptoms of anxiety issues in dogs are urinating or defecating. If your dog has any accidents when you are home or in front of you, chances are it is something else entirely. However, any type of accidents with an adult dog who didn’t previously have accidents, should be taken up with your local South Coast veterinarian. If your dog only urinates and defecates after you leave – even if gone on a short errand – it could be a symptom of anxiety.
Does your dog chew on the furniture, dig at the carpet or destroy anything else in your home when you are gone? Destruction of household objects can be a sign of anxiety or frustration. If the damage is directed at windows and doors, that can be an even more extreme symptom of separation anxiety, especially if your dog doesn’t exhibit this type of behavior when you are home. This can be a very dangerous symptom, especially if your dog hurts his paws, nails or teeth when causing this damage.
Pacing or Escaping
Dogs will often repeatedly walk along a certain path or pattern when left alone. Some make circles, while others go in straight lines. Again, this behavior won’t usually be displayed when the owner is home, only when the dog is left alone. Escaping is another highly dangerous symptom. Dogs left confined to a room when left alone can try to escape. Even if they don’t get out of the house or yard, it can still be dangerous. Crate training might be recommended by your veterinarian at Dartmouth animal hospital, depending on your situation and the level of your dog’s anxiety.
Causes of Anxiety Issues in Dogs
There are a lot of reasons why your dog might be experiencing anxiety. Sometimes it’s just a dog scare of loud noises, while other times it is due to something less obvious. This issue is more common in dogs who were adopted from shelters than in dogs who have lived in the same home since they were puppies. Here is a list of common causes of anxiety issues in dogs:
- schedule changes – being left alone for longer periods of time
- boarding at a kennel or primary owner going on vacation
- family dynamic changes – new baby, new relationship, death, moving away, etc.
- new house and new surroundings
- new pet – another dog, cat or any other type of animal
It is important to visit your South Coast veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues before moving forward with treatment of anxiety issues in dogs. As dogs get older, there can sometimes be urinary issues, kidney disease, diabetes, and even prescription medication side effects. Contact your local Dartmouth animal hospital to set up an appointment for an exam and make sure to list all of your concerns and the symptoms that you have seen. Call Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth by calling 508-996-3731 and schedule a veterinary check-up for your dog today.