Dogs feel anxiety, and they can have pretty intense feelings of anxiety that can be as overwhelming as it is for us.
Here are 8 signs of anxiety you should watch out for that will tell you if your dog is in distress:
Lip licking is usually a sign that your dog is uncomfortable or anxious about the situation. It is also an indication of uncertainty or hesitation.
Yawning more than usual
Yawning is associated with being tired, but if your dog is yawning more than usual and it isn’t bedtime and he/she has already napped, this is a sign of mild anxiety.
More active or less active than usual
The way your dog handles a situation can tell you how he/she feels. If your dog is inactive and reclusive or is more active or hyper than usual, this is a sign that he/she is unsure about how to act in that situation and is trying to work out his/her feelings.
Tail tucking is a tell-tale sign of anxiety. In this case, it may be moderate.
If your dog begins to pin back his/her ears, it may mean that his/her anxiety is increasing. Additional signs of moderate anxiety include increased rate of respiration, dilated pupils, and increased heart rate.
Trying to escape
If your dog is trying to get away from a situation, it is likely that he/she feels that something is wrong and he/she must get out of there. This is severe anxiety.
Dogs hide from situations they deem as scary because of anxiety.
Your dog being aggressive doesn’t mean he/she is bad. It might mean he/she feels threatened, fearful or stressed.
What you can do
The best way to help your dog is to try to remove him/her from the situation or trigger. If the anxiety persists, perhaps it is behavioral and there may be a need for specialized training or medication.