Everything You Want to Know About Dog Anxiety + How to Remedy It

on June 21, 2022

Dog Anxiety

When our fur babies get distressed, it’s easy for us to feel it too. Do you wonder if your dog might have anxiety?

In this article we will take a quick look at everything you need to know about dog anxiety, including how to treat it (safely!) at home. 

How Can You Tell If Your Dog Has Anxiety?

Anxiety looks different for different dogs. Sometimes anxiety is generalized, and your pet gets distressed regularly, maybe even constantly. Sometimes anxiety is more specific. Your pet might react to new people, thunderstorms, car rides, separation or any other number of anxiety triggers.

Anxiety symptoms in dogs might include:

  • Whining
  • Cowering or hiding
  • Avoiding certain people or situations
  • Tail between legs and other submissive positions
  • Submissive urination
  • Nausea and/or vomiting (car sickness is a manifestation of anxiety)
  • Changes in appetite, such as refusing to eat
  • Barking, growling or aggressive behavior

Some dogs will lash out in a state of anxiousness, which can be dangerous for their humans. If your dog growls or bites you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re mad! An anxious dog might even be surprised at themselves for lashing out at their beloved family member! It’s just a reaction when feeling anxious.

What Causes Dog Anxiety?

Just as anxiety has many manifestations, it also has several potential sources. Dog anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean the dog has a history of abuse, but it can sometimes stem from prior mistreatment. Dog anxiety doesn’t always mean illness, but there are some medical conditions which can cause anxiety. 

Here are the 3 main causes of dog anxiety, as veterinary science currently states:

  1. Fear: these are reactions to new environments, visual stimuli or certain noises. 
  2. Separation: dogs who cannot stay calm when left alone or separated from their “pack.” They might bark, whine, destroy furniture, urinate in the house, or manifest anxiety with other undesirable behaviors.
  3. Age-related anxiety: Aging dogs sometimes get anxiety as a result of disease similar to human Alzheimer’s disease. Known as cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS), cognitive decline leads to trouble in memory, perception and awareness. With this decline sometimes comes confusion. If you suspect your aging dog is experiencing CDS, a vet should do an examination.

Since these causes are so different, how you treat different causes of anxiety also varies. Treating your dog’s form of anxiety correctly can help treatment be more effective.

What Can I Do for an Anxious Dog?

There are training and behavioral techniques which can be used to treat those first 2 causes of anxiety: fear or separation. However, for age-related anxiety, these training techniques would likely be ineffective. Cognitive decline makes training more difficult, but a behavioral specialist might still be able to help.

In all cases of anxiety, you can help by controlling external stimuli. Anxious dogs benefit from stability and routine: food and water bowls always in the same place, at the same time; going on walks at the same time; dealing with the same people; a calm and orderly environment help create calm for an anxious animal. 

When training is possible, consider dog counterconditioning. Counterconditioning involves changing negative behavior into a positive one. For example, when your anxious dog starts to whine or get scared, you get them to sit and stay and give them a reward. With practice, your dog starts to manifest only the desirable behavior, to get the reward. 

Another training method is known as desensitization. Desensitization involves intentional exposure, on a gradient, with rewards offered for positive behavior. For example, a dog who vomits on car rides can go on a very short ride, then get a reward for the ride. Gradually, you increase the exposure to the stimuli (such as longer car rides). 

A combination of these training techniques sometimes works best. For example, separation anxiety in dogs responds well to desensitization plus counterconditioning. 

A dog training professional can help with a training program.

Will CBD Help Dog Anxiety?

What about CBD for dog anxiety?

CBD is a safe, effective solution to help dog anxiety. How does CBD for dog anxiety work? While the science is evolving, it is presumed that CBD for dogs works very similarly to CBD for humans. 

CBD works with the body’s own endocannabinoid system. It helps restore homeostasis, which is a biology term for “all of the parts working together for the whole.” Therefore, instead of a medication which forces a chemical change, CBD works with the body to create natural harmony and calm.

CBD will not get a dog “high.” It is derived from hemp, not containing the psychoactive ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). 

For many pet owners, using cbd dog treats for anxiety helps create a calmer, happier fur baby.

What is the Best CBD for Dog Anxiety?

Not all CBD products are created equal!

When looking for a CBD product for your pup, quality matters.

At Bad Dog CBD we source only the best CBD products for dogs. Our CBD treats can help your training routine work more effectively. Not only do they provide a tasty reward, but they also come infused with calming CBD and other proven ingredients to help your anxious pup enjoy peace of mind. 

Check out our online store to find the best CBD for your pup! 

Hip & Joint with CBD Tincture


Hip & Joint for Dogs Tincture