What Are Dogs Scared Of & Can A Dog Have Anxiety?

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You hear thunder in the distance… you knew a thunderstorm was coming because your dog is scared by thunder and before you even heard the first rumblings, she began pacing around nervously. She begins shaking and panting heavily as the thunderstorm moves in closer. You know she will try to find a place to hide soon – sound familiar?

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from anxiety. Generally, dog anxiety falls into three categories: noise anxiety, social or environmental anxiety and separation anxiety. The best way to help a scared or anxious dog is to determine the cause of their fear. Once you have pinpointed the cause you can begin working on a plan on how to ease dog anxiety.

How To Recognize A Dog With Anxiety Symptoms

It’s usually pretty easy to spot a dog with anxiety symptoms. The most common ones include:

  • Restlessness and pacing
  • Panting
  • Trembling and shaking
  • Hiding
  • Trying to escape 
  • Excessive licking or drooling
  • Destructive behaviors
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Barking and whining
  • Diarrhea
  • Accidents inside the house
  • Overreactions to otherwise normal situations

What Are Dogs Scared Of And What Causes Dog Anxiety?

As mentioned above anxiety in dogs falls into three categories. Let’s take a look at each of these:

Noise Anxiety

Is your dog scared of fireworks? Is she scared of thunderstorms or other loud noises such as sirens and alarms? Like most of us, dogs will usually react to any loud sounds. However, some dogs are particularly sensitive and become scared of loud noises, especially ones that are sudden and unexpected. They can begin to interpret these loud noises as signs of danger and will become anxious as soon as they hear them. 

Social or Environmental Anxiety

Dogs that are scared of other dogs or strange people could be experiencing social anxiety. This type of anxiety is often seen in rescue dogs due to neglect or a traumatic past. Sometimes their fear could simply be caused by not being in contact with new people and animals often enough. 

Sometimes your dog might be scared of going outside or to a particular area. They may be scared of new places or even riding in a car. You should be able to easily pinpoint these types of environmental stress triggers by your dog’s body language.

Separation Anxiety

What is dog separation anxiety? Dogs are pack animals and they see us as valuable members of their pack. Unfortunately, this also means that they can sometimes become scared of being left alone or being separated from their owners or their pack. They can become afraid that they have been abandoned especially if they are rescue dogs with stressful pasts. 

Help! My dog is scared of everything!

While it might sometimes feel like your anxious dog is scared of everything, there are ways to help her. In our next article, we will look at some of these so that your dog can get back to being their normal, happy selves!

Does your dog struggle with fear and anxiety? What is your dog scared of and how have you managed to help them?

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