Why is my Pet Anxious?

Why is my Pet Anxious?

Like humans, many pets can develop anxiety. And like humans, it can stem from a number of different causes. Anxiety is manifested with similar physiological signs of fear, but they occur with the anticipation of a fear inducing event. Anxiety may manifest in pets through excessive vocalization, destructive or escape behavior, inappropriate elimination (urination, defection, or urine marking), compulsive, stereotypic, or repetitive behaviors like excessive grooming, and panting, pacing, or drooling.

  • Most commonly, separation anxiety is seen in animals. It is triggered when a dog or cat becomes upset due to separation from their guardians or people they are attached to. Many times, pets try to escape when they are feeling this way which can result in self-injury or household destruction. 
  • Another cause of anxiety in pets stems from a fear response. Loud noises, strange animals or people, new environments, and visually scary stimuli like umbrellas or trash bags can cause these responses. In the case of fireworks, many dogs and cats have fear-related anxiety because of the loud noises created. 
  • The last cause of anxiety in pets comes from an age-related issue. This happens to many older pets and can be associated with cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS). In dogs with CDS, memory, learning, perception, and awareness start to decline, similar to the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This understandably leads to confusion and anxiety in senior dogs.

So, what should you look for if you suspect your kiddo has anxiety? There are several important symptoms to look out for:

  • Aggression
  • Urinating or defecating in the house
  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Destructive behavior
  • Depression
  • Excessive barking
  • Pacing
  • Restlessness
  • Repetitive or compulsive behaviors

Some of these symptoms may be the result of occasional anxiety-causing events, like loud noises or strangers, but any of these can become recurrent and therefore, result in more serious issues. That being said, by far the most dangerous symptom of pet anxiety is aggression. Even if a dog is prevented from harming others, aggressive behaviors such as growling or barking can lead to undesirable situations for humans and dogs, alike. 

But there’s good news! There are many ways to treat anxiety in pets. Your first step should be to speak with your veterinarian about the best course of action, whether that be training, medications, or schedule changes, they will be able to help you identify they type of anxiety our dog suffers from and the possible triggers that could be causing it. Your veterinarian will also be able to help you determine if the anxiety is simply situational, or if it is becoming an overwhelming issue for your dog. Additionally, veterinarians can also rule out any other medical conditions that could be causing your dog’s symptoms. Your veterinarian will help you come up with a treatment plan. Since excessive anxiety is often caused by a variety of factors, the best way to treat it is usually through a combination of training, preventive strategies, and in some cases, medications. 

Call us today to schedule an appointment!


Locations

Find us on a map

Office Hours

Tulsa Office

Monday

7:30 am - 7:00 pm

Tuesday

7:30 am - 7:00 pm

Wednesday

7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Thursday

7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Friday

7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Saturday

8:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Broken Arrow Office

Monday

7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Tuesday

7:30 am - 6:30 pm

Wednesday

7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Thursday

7:30 am - 6:30 pm

Friday

7:30 am - 6:00 pm

Saturday

8:00 am - 1:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Tulsa Office

Monday
7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Tuesday
7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Wednesday
7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday
7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Friday
7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday
Closed

Broken Arrow Office

Monday
7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Wednesday
7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday
7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Friday
7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Sunday
Closed