I’ve written about dogs and fear, and now we’ll talk about pets and anxiety.
To start, what is the difference between fear, anxiety, and phobia in pets?
Fear is a natural response to a stimulus that is present or proximal. In other words, the fear object is a “clear and present danger.”
Anxiety is apprehension of an anticipated danger or threat; it is a response to an idea, rather than an object.
Phobia is an excessive, irrational fear, without presence of a true threat.
Signs of Anxiety in Dogs
- escape behaviors
Typical Causes of Anxiety in Dogs
- noise (fire alarms, fireworks)
- separation from owner
- general anxiety disorders
- vet visits
Signs of Anxiety in Cats
- eliminating outside litterbox
- aggression (hissing, spitting)
- urine spraying
- overgrooming / fur pulling
- recurrent infections
Typical Causes of Anxiety in Cats
- change (new people, pets, litter, litterbox, food, furniture)
- vet visits
As a result of untreated anxiety disorders or phobias, pets can develop undesirable behaviors. These behaviors can cause the pet owner to consider euthanasia or relinquishment of the animal.
Top Reasons for Pet Relinquishment
- house soiling
- destruction of property
What can be done about anxiety in pets? We will discuss options in Part 2 of Understanding Anxiety in Pets. Stay tuned!
If you suspect that your pet is showing signs of anxiety, Contact Us, so we can schedule an appointment to discuss your pet’s behavior today.