Pets suffer from anxiety, but unlike their human companions, they cannot verbalize what is causing their discomfort. Instead, they communicate their distress through signs of nervousness and fear by their behavior. A pet is often labeled as having a behavior problem, when in fact the animal is reacting to something he does not understand or perceives might be a threat. Knowing the signs and possible causes of anxiety can help you to ease your pet’s distress.
Below are 10 signs of pet anxiety:
1. Excessive barking or meowing, whining, yelping, crying
2. Pacing, panting, restlessness or running around
3. Cowering, trembling, shaking
4. Excessive vigilance with exaggerated startle response
5. Hiding under furniture, in the bathroom or freezing to the spot
6. Seeking comfort from owner/guardian
7. Drooling, vomiting
8. Inappropriate urination or defecation
9. Destructive chewing
10. Running away
Leaving your pet home alone, boarding/kenneling, veterinarian or groomer visits, new animals or visitors to the home are some of the many causes of anxiety in pets. There are no drugs approved for most anxiety conditions in pets, and even in cases where drugs have been registered, there is concern about side effects, particularly heavy sedation.