As a dog owner, you love your dog, and you want your dog to be happy. When they start acting strangely and suddenly seem fearful, it’s no wonder you’re concerned.
If your dog seems fearful all of a sudden and isn’t his usual content, energetic self, it’s totally normal to be worried. To reassure you though, there are likely lots of reasons this has happened and the sooner you know the cause of your dog’s anxiety, the sooner you can help them feel better with solutions like chews for nervous dogs.
Is It An Emergency?
Before we discuss common causes of fear in dogs, it is important to check that this is not an emergency. Sometimes sudden fearfulness in dogs is a reason to act now, and it is important to get them help as soon as possible to avoid any issues getting worse. Common emergency symptoms that accompany sudden fearfulness and warrant action now are:
● Extreme weakness
● Extreme lethargy
● An extremely high or low temperature
● Mouth foaming
● Abnormal walking
● Extreme stiffness
● Excessive bleeding
● Excessive shivering or shaking
You can find out more detailed information on what an emergency is when it comes to pet fearfulness in this handy article.
Common Causes Of Sudden Fear In Dogs
If you have established that it is not an emergency and your dog is not in grave danger, then it is a good time to consider the alternative causes of his fear. Dogs can exhibit anxious behavior in lots of different situations and for lots of different reasons. Some of the most common causes of fear in dogs are:
● Unknown or unfamiliar objects
It is extremely important to understand why your dog is fearful or anxious in order to help them overcome their emotions.
Stress on a dog can be horrible for them to experience and it can be very emotional for an owner to go through too. We naturally don’t want to see our pets unhappy.
Phobias and fears that are developed may even put the dog in danger. For example: if your dog is so fearful of the vet that they will not be seen and cannot be handled at all, they may not be able to get life-saving treatment if they need it. They may become a danger to themselves or others.
Understanding why your dog is fearful is not only an important part of their happiness, but it is an important factor when it comes to keeping your dog and everyone around your dog safe.
Revealing Past Trauma
A dog can be calm and show no signs of any issues until one day, they suddenly appear completely terrified and you don’t know why. This circumstance is more likely if you have not had your dog since he was a puppy and you don’t know his history. This can happen because a dog is triggered in a phobia or fear that you didn’t know that they had. They might see the trigger (an object, situation or person) that caused the initial trauma and seemingly transform into a completely different dog. Dogs that have not had early socialization are particularly likely to struggle with fear later on in life.
The Priority Is Finding Out The Root Cause
In a situation where your dog exhibits fear, first, check that it is not an emergency. If it is not, you can work to find out the reason for your dog’s fear or simply consult your vet for advice straight away. The priority is finding the root cause, which may take some time but it will be the best thing for your pet and your family all around. To help you further, check out this handy article by dog expert Cesar Milan to find out how to handle a frightened canine.
It’s best to consult a professional to determine the most likely cause of your dog’s anxiety problem. However, there are small things you can do to help alleviate the symptoms. For instance, you can consider removing potential triggers that lead to an anxiety episode. You may also create a calming space surrounded by their favorite toys.
To help redirect the anxious energy, go out for a walk and exercise. You may also give them durable treats or chews if you want to prevent destructive chewing. All these are simple yet effective ways that you as a dog parent can try to help them deal with the problem.