5 common mistakes pet owners make when dealing with dog anxiety


Dealing with dog anxiety can be challenging, but addressing it as soon as possible is important. Many pet owners may unintentionally make mistakes when trying to manage their dog’s anxiety. Dogs are known for their loyalty, playfulness, and affectionate nature, but like humans, they too can suffer from anxiety. Dog anxiety can manifest in various ways and can lead to destructive behaviour, aggression, and other health issues. As a pet owner, it is important to understand and address your dog’s anxiety to ensure their well-being. However, some common mistakes can exacerbate the problem instead of solving it. (Also read: Dog Anxiety Awareness Week: Common triggers of anxiety in dogs, ways to ease it )

Dog anxiety can manifest in various ways and can lead to destructive behaviour, aggression, and other health issues.(Pexels )

Common mistakes pet owners make when dealing with dog anxiety:

On the occasion of Dog Anxiety Week, Dr Deepak Saraswat, Head Veterinarian, Zigly shared with HT Lifestyle, the five common mistakes pet owners make when dealing with dog anxiety.

1. Ignoring the symptoms

Not all dogs suffer from anxiety, but for those who do, it needs to be addressed quickly. Keep in mind that your pets are susceptible to anxiety and are sensitive to change. There are several important symptoms to look out for, including aggression, urinating or defecating in the house, drooling, panting, destructive behaviour, depression, excessive barking, pacing, restlessness, and repetitive or compulsive behaviours. Some of these symptoms may result from occasional anxiety-causing events, but any of these can become recurrent and result in more serious issues.

2. Punishing your dog

Punishing your dog for anxiety-related behaviour can actually make the situation worse. It’s important to remember that your dog is not misbehaving on purpose. Punishing your dog can lead to an increase in anxiety, making the situation worse. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods.

3. Not providing enough exercise and mental stimulation

Dogs need exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to boredom, frustration, and anxiety. Providing regular exercise and mental stimulation can help reduce anxiety and prevent it from developing in the first place.

4. Over-coddling your dog

While it’s important to comfort your dog when anxious, over-coddling can reinforce their anxiety. Dogs can sense your emotions, so if you’re anxious or nervous, your dog will pick up on that and become more anxious. Instead, try to stay calm and relaxed, and provide your dog with a safe and secure space.

5. Not seeking professional help

If your dog’s anxiety is severe or persistent, it’s important to seek professional help. A veterinarian or a certified dog behaviourist can help you determine the underlying cause of your dog’s anxiety and provide you with a personalized treatment plan. There are several effective treatment options available, including behaviour modification, medication, and natural remedies.

Dealing with dog anxiety can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. By avoiding these common mistakes and seeking professional help when needed, you can help your dog overcome their anxiety and live a happy, healthy life.



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