Dogs Trust

Anxiety in dogs: How you can prevent it and how we help

Freddie from Dogs Trust Darlington

This World Mental Health Day we are raising awareness about anxiety in dogs. Although our dogs bring us so much joy, they too can suffer mentally and emotionally, just like humans can.

What is dog anxiety?

Anxiety is an unpleasant apprehensive feeling of nervous anticipation about something that might, or might not, happen. This is why most dogs will benefit from a general daily routine, because being able to predict what is happening around, or to, them and when, can help them to feel safe and secure.

Life can present lots of challenges to our beloved pet dogs – for example there are times when they might need to spend short periods all by themselves, times when they experience loud, unexpected and unexplainable noises, or times when we might not be able to give them the attention they would like. If a dog isn’t sure how to cope with this, they might become worried and distressed. Prolonged anxiety can also result in stress-related illness and poor physical health.

Learn how to spot separation anxiety >

How to prevent anxiety in your dog

It’s important to help our dogs learn to cope when things don’t happen as they expect, however just like us dogs are individuals, and some dogs are likely to find this more challenging. Fortunately, we’re here to help them out and grow in confidence.  

At our Dog Schools, we teach lots of ways to prevent dogs from developing anxiety, equipping dogs with vital skills for all sorts of situations, and ultimately less overall anxiety. We also have some fun training ideas for you to try out at home.

How we help

As well as running Dog School classes to help equip dogs to deal with challenges they might face, some of our dogs currently looking for their forever homes have issues with anxiety. Our Training and Behaviour Advisors will work closely with the dogs to help teach them to cope, but this can take time so we will need to work with their new owners to continue their training.

Hope Project

How else we are supporting World Mental Health Day

Homeless people are nearly twice as likely as the general population to experience mental health problems. We support homeless dog owners through our Hope Project by funding vet treatment and encouraging hostels to accept dogs.

Find out more about our Hope Project >