You know what anxiety feels like. You might feel restless. You might feel nervous. You can be cranky and irritable. You might worry excessively or have trouble sleeping.
And when you feel this way, you use stress management techniques, relaxation exercises, or you reach out to friends or family to help.
But did you know that your pets can feel anxious, too? Your pets can exhibit signs of anxiety – and it’s not uncommon at all.
The reasons they experience anxiety can be varied – ranging from previous abuse or neglect to fear of separation from you (which is the most common). And it’s important that you’re able to recognize the signs – so you can help your pet if needed.
What To Look For
Barking or yelping when you’re not home
If you’re not sure if this is happening, ask a neighbor or set up a camera.
Pacing and Panting
Panting is a natural reaction when the weather is warm, but not when the temperatures are cooler.
Running away from you
Hiding from you
Your pet may try and hide under beds or in corners of your home
Destroying things in your home
Destroying furniture or woodwork can be a sign of anxiety
Not eating or drinking
While it’s not always a sign of anxiety, it can be and should be discussed with your veterinarian as soon as possible
Urinating/defecating where they shouldn’t
If a pet that’s potty-trained starts to urinate or defecate indoors or where it shouldn’t, this can be a sign
Especially if they repetitively lick one spot and there is no sign of trauma or injury
Sometimes, your pet may do these things occasionally, and they’re not a cause for concern. But if you see these things more often, keep an eye on your pet as you may need to find some specific ways to help your pet deal with anxiety to prevent injury.