It’s Dog Anxiety Awareness Week

Dr. Courtney Nicholson
Lead Veterinarian CityVet Cedar Hill

At CityVet, we’re passionate about the well-being of our furry friends. That’s why we’re excited to shine a spotlight on Dog Anxiety Awareness Week, an important week dedicated to raising awareness about anxiety in dogs and providing support for both pets and their owners. 

Understanding Dog Anxiety

Dog Anxiety Awareness Week aims to educate pet owners about the prevalence of anxiety in dogs and the importance of recognizing and addressing it. According to recent studies, around 70% of dogs suffer from some form of anxiety, a rate that’s been steadily increasing throughout the past few years. This staggering statistic highlights the urgent need for awareness and action. 

Impact on Health

Beyond the emotional toll, anxiety can also have significant implications for a dog’s physical health. Chronic stress and anxiety can weaken the immune system, making dogs more susceptible to illness and disease. Additionally, persistent anxiety can lead to destructive behaviors, such as excessive chewing or licking, which can result in injuries or infections. Over time, untreated anxiety can contribute to a decline in overall health and quality of life for our canine companions. 

Recognizing the Signs

Anxiety in dogs can manifest in various ways, including: 

  • Excessive barking or whining 
  • Panting or pacing 
  • Trembling or shaking 
  • Destructive behavior, such as chewing or digging 
  • Aggression towards people or other animals 
  • Withdrawal or hiding 

Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors can contribute to the development of anxiety in dogs, including: 

  • Lack of socialization 
  • Traumatic experiences, such as abuse or neglect 
  • Changes in environment or routine 
  • Medical conditions, such as thyroid disorders or cognitive dysfunction 
  • Genetics 

Triggers and Aggravators

Certain situations or stimuli can exacerbate anxiety in dogs, including: 

  • Loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks 
  • Separation from their owner or other pets 
  • New people or animals 
  • Traveling in cars or unfamiliar environments  

Alleviating Dog Anxiety

  • Fortunately, there are several ways to help alleviate anxiety in dogs: 

    • Providing a safe and secure environment 
    • Establishing a consistent routine 
    • Offering plenty of exercise and mental stimulation 
    • Using calming aids, such as pheromone diffusers or calming supplements 
    • Implementing behavior modification techniques, such as desensitization and counterconditioning 

If you’re concerned that your dog may be suffering from anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at CityVet. Our team of experienced veterinarians is here to provide guidance, support, and personalized care for your furry family member. Whether you have questions about managing anxiety or need assistance in developing a treatment plan, we’re here to help. 

Join us in raising awareness about dog anxiety and advocating for the well-being of our canine companions. Together, let’s ensure that every dog receives the support and care they need to live happy, healthy, and anxiety-free lives. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit CityVet today. 

Remember, a little love and understanding can go a long way in helping our dogs overcome their anxiety and thrive!