Pets Act Out When They Suffer From Anxiety

There are many people who have come home from a long day of work to find their home has been damaged in some way by a pet.

Dogs are the most common culprits. Many a dog has torn up pillows and furniture through anxiety. That torn up trash can with garbage spread all over isn’t an attempt to eat it. It’s far more likely to be anxious behavior.

The fact is that pets have their own emotions. They may not have the range and scope that humans have, but they are just as real. One of the most common moetion your pets can feel is anxiety. There are many different scenarios and situations that can easily cause your pets to feel anxious and force them to act up. It’s important to remember that while some of the causes of anxiety for pets seem odd to humans, that isn’t important. Rationality is different for animals. Their perception of events creates their realities!

What Causes Anxiety in Pets? 

There are several methods that can drive your pets to feel anxious. Anxiety is certainly more common when their owner isn’t around, but it can still be felt when they are there as well. What causes anxiety can be different for different pets. Keep in mind that medical issues can also cause anxiety in pets. They are just as frustrated when they are not feeling well. 

Dogs feel anxiety for a variety of different reasons. Many dogs can feel separation anxiety when their owner leaves the home to go to work. In some cases, they can handle it for a specific amount of time. When there’s an extended break beyond routine, they can act up. Weather and loud noises causes a lot of anxiety for some dogs. They do not enjoy the thunder from thunderstorms and will act strangely due to them. 

When it comes to cats, anxiety is often caused by other pets and animals. Cats have a built in desire to feel safe. That’s part of why they love sitting in boxes with natural barriers so other creatures can’t see them. Outdoor animals by windows will often cause stress. They can also feel anxiety when their food is near their litter box. These clean animals can’t handle eating where they defecate. 

How Do Pets React to Anxiety? 

As mentioned, dogs tend to be “destructive” when they are feeling anxious. They can chew or tear up things with their paws if they are feeling anxious. However, there are several other things that they may do as well. Many dogs will become excessively vocal and can bark continuously. Many dogs may forget their training and end up defecating or urinating in the home. Some dogs can get very aggressive when they feel anxious. This can lead to growling and aggressive posture. Some dogs can let anxiety cause them to start chewing of their fur obsessively when there’s nothing actually itching them. 

Cats handle anxiety in a different way. Typically when cats feel anxious, they react by not using their litter box in a normal way. They can choose to urinate in odd places or create bowel movements elsewhere. Many people get angry at their cats, but it’s forced by just anxiety. 

What Can Be Done to Improve Anxiety in Pets? 

The good news is that there are things that can be done to help pets with their anxiety. The first thing is to speak with and visit the vet. Vets have seen it all and they can help determine if there may be a medical issue that’s contributing to the anxiety. They are great at determining sources of anxiety while working with the pets. 

The most important thing is to try to handle moments of anxiety without reacting either way. Punishing a pet for anxiety is only going to encourage more anxiety. Conversely, don’t overly console your pets. That can be taken as a positive reward. This can cause the pet to feel this behavior is acceptable and to be repeated. 

Anxiety causing behavior problems won’t just go away on their own. Try to help avoid the situations in the first place. Never try to repeatedly expose a pet to something that scares them. This tends to increase anxiety further. Simply try to stay away from those situations. Situations like thunderstorms can’t be avoided. Vets and pet trainers can help with methods to carefully and slowly acclimate some pets to certain fearful situations. 

The most important thing to do is to learn how your pet displays their anxiety. They can be small things like hiding their tail between their legs for no reason, to outright aggressive behavior. Many dogs pant excessively when they are anxious. From there, steps can be taken to help check the causes of pet anxiety!

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