Dog Anxiety: Main Causes and How to Treat it


Dog Anxiety: Main Causes and How to Treat it

By Peter Schoeman

Anxiety is a dog’s reaction to stress. It’s normal for a dog to experience stress and anxiety at times. But when you notice your dog acting anxious much more often than normal it can break your heart. No owner wants to see their dog suffer in any way. To help your dog, we have provided all the information you need on dog anxiety.

Dog Anxiety Causes

There are many reasons that a dog may experience anxiety. When you know the cause, it can be easier to resolve the issue since you know the reason behind it. Here are just some of the reasons a dog can get anxiety:


The world can be a scary place, especially to an animal. Dogs can become anxious due to thunder or a perceived predator. Different dogs will be afraid of different things. If you do notice that certain things tend to cause fear in your dog, avoid those triggers at all cost.


Many dogs become very close to their owners. The owner is the one who feeds them and shows them affection. When the owner leaves a dog may experience separation anxiety. This anxiety will stop the minute the owner returns. This could be due to boredom or a previous experience while left alone. Plus, a dog may just miss the owner. You may notice the dog staring out the window or even pacing around the home when gone.


Aging is a scary process for humans. You may not be able to care for yourself as independently as before. Things may also start to get rather confusing. It’s scary for dogs, too. A dog may not be as comfortable as it once was, giving them the feelings of nervousness.

Former Shelter Anxiety

Some dogs live in a shelter for some time. Despite the best efforts, life in a shelter isn’t always that great. The animals are typically kept in small cages and not given as much love as if they had a home and an owner. Living in a shelter can create anxiety for a dog. Rescue dogs who have suffered abuse at the hands of former owners are especially prone to problems.

Illness-Induced Anxiety

Getting sick is frustrating. When a dog is sick, they may be anxious about their condition. They may not know what is going on, but they know that something is wrong with their body. This can make them overwhelmed. The first thing to do is go to the vet to help find a solution to their health problems. Hopefully, this will solve the problem.

Other Dogs

Some dogs are social creatures. Other dogs are absolutely terrified of other dogs. This could be because they are small themselves. Otherwise, it could be because of a bad experience. It’s not just dogs, either. Some dogs are afraid of all animals, including cats.

Generalized Anxiety

Not every case of anxiety has a cause. Some dogs are just naturally born anxious. There are even certain breeds that tend to be more anxious than others. Some of the dog breeds particularly prone to anxiety include

  • Chihuahua
  • Border Collies
  • German Shepherds
  • Bichon Frise
  • Labrador Retriever


How do you know if your dog has anxiety? Well, there are quite a number of easy signs. Here are the things to look for if you suspect dog anxiety.

Read on . . .


Peter Schoeman is the creator of the where he writes on all topics related to dog training, nutrition and the best dog equipment. He lives with his wife, 2 kids and one very cute labradoodle.