Just like people, dogs can suffer from anxiety.  Some dogs don’t develop this pet health condition until later in life.  If you suspect your senior dog has anxiety, keep reading to learn more.

Anxiety Symptoms

Here are some general signs of anxiety:

  • Panting
  • Licking
  • Shaking
  • Pacing
  • Excessive urination
  • Aggression
  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite

The specific symptoms your dog exhibits depend on the type of anxiety your pooch has.  Here are a few different types:

  • Separation Anxiety – Pacing, shaking, panting, barking, destroying items in your home and having indoor accidents are all signs that your dog is anxious while you are away from home.
  • Stranger Anxiety – Acting nervous or even aggressive towards strangers indicates that your dog is fearful of unknown people.
  • Aging Anxiety – Senior pets may become anxious as they lose their senses (hearing, seeing, smelling) and their ability to control their bladders. Symptoms include trouble hearing, easily startled, and frequent indoor accidents.

Overcoming Anxiety

It’s terrible watching your dog suffer but don’t despair.  You can help your dog overcome this pet health problem! Here are a few tips:

  • Stick to a normal routine so that your dog knows what to expect.
  • Don’t move your dog’s bed, toys, and food bowls.
  • Keep your dog in familiar surroundings whenever possible.
  • Leave the radio or television on whenever you are out of the house.
  • Don’t make it obvious that you are getting ready to leave.
  • Go out of your way to avoid surprising your dog by making sure your pooch knows you are approaching. Failing senses (an unfortunate consequence of aging) make it harder for your dog to hear or see you coming.

If you try following the tips above and your dog is still struggling with anxiety, it might be time to speak with your veterinarian.  With a little bit of patience and care, you can help your dog beat anxiety.

Learn more about senior pet health by listening to the Senior Pet Podcast.