How do you know if your dog is unhappy?
A lot of pet owners worry about the happiness of their pets. Because they can’t just tell us how they’re feeling, it can be really tricky to know whether or not you’re giving them a good life!
Luckily, when it comes to dogs there are some signs you can look for. Although they can’t speak, there are other ways that mans best friend tells us they’re unhappy.
Take a look at these 5 signs of an anxious dog to learn more.
1. Changes in Appetite
Just like in humans, changes in appetite can indicate that you have an unhappy, anxious dog. If they suddenly lose interest in their food and aren’t eating as much as they usually would, you should be concerned. If this is the case, you should take your pup to the vet to make sure there isn’t an underlying health condition causing the appetite loss, but they could just be feeling depressed.
There are also dogs out there who have the complete opposite reaction. If your dog is suddenly devouring their food and asking for more than usual, they might be comfortable eating! Dog anxiety or unhappiness won’t feel nice for your furry friend, so they may be using food to subdue their feelings and cheer themselves up.
Remember, you should always take your dog to the vet if you notice any sudden appetite changes. This is the same for unexplained or sudden weight gain or loss, too.
2. Sleeping Too Much or Too Little
A dog should sleep between 12-14 hours a day, which is a lot more than humans! If you notice a change in your pets sleeping habits, this could indicate that they’re not feeling very happy. If you’re finding them sleeping much more than usual, they could be depressed.
Equally, if your dog seems to not be sleeping, having trouble getting to sleep, or having trouble staying asleep then something’s wrong. But, insomnia can also be caused by physical pain as well as anxiety in dogs. To be safe, take them to the vets for a check-up.
3. Excessive Licking
Dogs often lick themselves and this is completely normal. They lick their paws and body frequently to try and clean themselves, so don’t be immediately worried! However, if you notice they’re licking more than usual, they could be feeling a little blue.
If a pup is licking excessively, they might be trying to calm themselves down and soothe themselves. The same goes for chewing as well, which is another soothing technique used by unhappy dogs.
If you’re wondering why my dog is anxious and want to know more about how to help them, be sure to check out these 5 signs of anxiety, alongside tips for calming an anxious dog.
4. Losing Interest in Activities
Dogs are naturally playful, inquisitive, and friendly creatures, which is why we love them so much! But, if your dog suddenly doesn’t seem interested in the things they used to love, it could be an indicator that they’re not feeling their best. Just like humans, depressed dogs can feel a lack of motivation to do the things they used to.
For example, if your pup is usually a big fan of playing with their toys but hasn’t bothered with them lately, they’re probably feeling a little down. Remember though that it’s normal for a dogs interest in their toys to vary from day to day, but if their uninterest has been going on for a long time you should definitely be paying attention.
The same is true for exercise and walks. If your dog seems super low on energy, lethargic, and doesn’t want to come out and jump around, they could be feeling depressed or anxious. If they’re also hiding and cowering around the house, this a sure sign that something isn’t right!
5. Changes in Behaviors
If you’re noticing a lot of changes in your furry friend’s behavior, they might be letting you know that they’re unhappy. If your dog is usually very friendly but is suddenly showing signs of aggression, for example, then something’s not right. Sudden aggression can be a sign of both depression and anxiety, so don’t ignore it!
You might also notice that your pup starts pacing. Just like humans that are feeling anxious, dogs have certain things they do to try when they’re feeling unhappy and pacing back and forth is one of them. This could also be a sign of boredom, and if you spot your dog pacing take them outside for a fun run around – it could be just what they need!
Like pacing, starting to destroy things is another sign of a dog that’s less than happy. If your pup has never been one for destructive behavior but is suddenly tearing up their toys, destroying furniture, and generally acting rougher than usual, they might be feeling anxious, unhappy, and bored. Again, try to increase their mental stimulation by playing with them and taking them outside so that they can release some energy.
What To Do When You Spot Signs of an Anxious Dog
If you’re noticing changes in your dog that you think is because of unhappiness, there are a number of things you can do. The first is to take them to a vet to make sure they’re healthy. You should also try and spend more time with your dog, play with them, and take them outside. Socializing them with other friendly pups can also help lift their mood.
Sometimes something as simple as changing their diet can help, too. There are also calming chews, like CBD dog chews, which could help ease their nerves.
Hug Your Puppy and Keep Them Happy
Noticing the signs of an anxious dog in your own pup is never nice. Alongside the tips above, be sure to give your little furry friend plenty of hugs and love during this time! They might need some extra attention until they feel happy again.
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