5 Common Causes of Doggy Anxiety

Did you know that dogs can suffer from anxiety, loneliness, and depression, just like people can? Our canine buddies are actually very emotional. In fact, many dogs suffer from anxiety. In this article from Armitage Animal Clinic, a local Newmarket, ON vet lists some common causes of doggy stress.


Major changes can often cause doggy anxiety. Changing owners is one example. Fido gets very attached to his humans, and can feel sad, lonely, depressed, and/or anxious when separated from them. Moving can also stress our four-legged pals out. Gaining or losing human or animal friends can also cause anxiety, as can palpable tension in a home.


One thing that is important for dog owners to understand is the fact that our canine pals don’t understand the concept of punishment. Fido always acts according to his instincts or physical needs. While it can be frustrating to find that your four-legged friend has chewed up your new shoes or eaten a sofa cushion, you should never punish him for misbehaving. Your pooch may not associate his behavior with your reaction, and may not understand why you are angry. This can leave your pet feeling scared, anxious, or angry. Focus on rewarding good behavior instead.


It’s not unusual for people’s commitment to proper doggy discipline to wax and wane. However, it’s very important to be consistent. Don’t let your furry pal snooze on the couch one day, and then reprimand him for it the next. This may just confuse Fido, and make him anxious.

Forced Attention

Fido is very smart, but he really doesn’t think the way we do. Affection is one thing that our canine friends see very differently than humans. For instance, in doggy language, hugs are actually a sign of dominance. Your furry buddy may not mind if you hug him. However, many dogs get very uneasy when strangers hug them.

Lack of Exercise/Stimulation

While there are certainly some furry couch potatoes out there, most dogs are curious, playful, and energetic, and need proper activity and entertainment to thrive. Fido can get very anxious if he is left alone with nothing to do! Make sure he has plenty of fun toys to play with, and take him for at least 1-2 vigorous walks every day.

Please contact Armitage Animal Clinic, your local Newmarket, ON pet hospital, anytime. We’re here to help!

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