Anxiety in Dogs

As you may have noticed, our canine friends can be very emotional. Just like people, dogs can feel happy, sad, frightened, or stressed. Man’s Best Friend can also suffer from anxiety. Here, a Cameron Park, CA vet discusses anxiety in dogs.


Doggy anxiety can show up in a myriad of different symptoms, such as trembling, withdrawal, and reduced activity. Fido may also hide or tuck his tail if he feels nervous. Anxiety can also cause dogs to try to escape, or act aggressive. Your canine buddy may also lick himself, and could display unwanted behaviors, such as digging, chewing, barking, or improper soiling.


Dogs can develop anxiety for a variety of reasons. Fido may be nervous because of past experiences, and/or could be frightened of a specific thing, such as his crate. Separation anxiety is quite common in dogs, particularly in pets that have been abandoned or rehomed in the past. Your canine pal could also be upset about age-related physical changes, such as a decline in his vision or hearing, or about the arrival—or departure—of a human or furry roommate.

Keeping Fido Calm

In order to help your pup overcome his anxiety, you’ll need to teach him to respond differently to certain stimuli. The exact steps you will need to take to do this will depend on the type and severity of your pet’s anxiety, so ask your vet or a specific dog behaviorist for advice. That said, there are some general rules of thumb to follow. Don’t coddle your furry friend too much if he gets frightened: this is just rewarding him for his behavior. If Fido has separation anxiety, you also want to avoid paying him too much attention when you are coming or going. Also, never punish your pup for acting up due to his anxiety. This may only make matters worse.


If you know or suspect that your dog has anxiety, contact your vet immediately. First, you’ll want to rule out the option that his behavior is stemming from a medical issue. If your four-legged pal gets the all-clear, your vet may suggest medication. It’s also important to make sure Fido has plenty of toys, and is getting the right type and amount of exercise.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Please contact us, your local Cameron Park, CA animal hospital, today!

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