This is something that you’ve been saying lately.
You blurt it out whenever Fido displays a behavior they don’t normally show.
And you guess it’s due to anxiety.
Let’s see whether you’re right or wrong with this short quiz.
Keep reading to find out:
- 9 simple ways to test whether your dog has anxiety.
- How to quickly spot compulsive and anxious behaviors in canines.
- 3 easy steps to count your dog’s heart rate (to check for possible anxiety).
- And much, much, more…
Table of contents
- Does my dog have anxiety quiz: 9 signs to test it
- #1: Count their heart rate
- #2: Track their breathing cycle
- #3: Monitor the frequency of their bathroom breaks
- #4: See if they’re breaking their house training
- #5: Assess their stool
- #6: Try to lure them with a treat
- #7: Check for compulsive behaviors
- #8: Look into their bedtime schedule
- #9: Observe for any signs of self-harm
Does my dog have anxiety quiz: 9 signs to test it
#1: Count their heart rate
There’s a famous term connected with anxiety.
It’s called the “fight-or-flight” response.
According to vets, the reason behind that phenomenon involves adrenaline.
It’s the main hormone related to anxiety and stress.
And when your pupper is anxious, they get a surge of that hormone.
Then, it leads to rapid heart rate (HR).
And as PetMD revealed the normal HR for dogs as:
|Dog size||Average HR|
|Toy breeds||180 beats per minute|
|Small to medium||160 beats per minute|
|Giant breeds||140 beats per minute|
With that, anything over the average HR indicates anxiety on Fido.
So, count your dog’s heart rate to test if they’re anxious.
And here’s how to do that:
Step 1: Prepare
Get a timer to help you measure your dog’s HR accurately.
Then, set it to count down to 15 seconds.
Step 2: Locate your canine’s pulse
Place your index and middle finger over either of these areas:
- Inside your dog’s hind limb.
- At the back of your canine’s forelimb and over their chest.
In picking which pulse area to count on…
Choose the one you can feel the most.
Step 3: Start counting their pulse, calculate, and identify
Start the timer countdown and begin counting.
Each beat you feel is 1 pulse.
And once the timer finishes, multiply the pulse rate you got by 4.
That’s because 15 seconds multiplied by 4 is equivalent to 1 minute.
After that, identify whether your dog’s HR is below, exact, or above the average.
If it’s the last one, then your pooch is anxious.
#2: Track their breathing cycle
Another sign that an adrenaline surge creates in an anxious dog is:
A case of rapid breathing.
And according to vets, the standard breathing rate in dogs is:
15 to 30 breath cycles per minute.
That’s said, here’s…
How to track your dog’s breathing cycle
Step 1: Prepare
Get a timer to keep results accurate.
Similar to taking a dog’s HR, we’ll use the 15-second strategy.
So, set the timer to count down to that number.
Step 2: Settle your dog
With this, you should make your pooch sit in front of you.
Or you can also do this while they’re lying down flatly.
Just ensure you’ll see their chest and abdomen rising and falling.
Step 3: Count and calculate
Start the timer countdown that’s set to 15 seconds.
Then, begin counting your dog’s breathing cycle.
Remember that 1 breath is equal to:
1 inhale (chest rising), and 1 exhale (chest falling).
After 15 seconds have passed by, multiply the breathing cycle you got by 4.
That’ll be the final amount in 1 minute…
Which you’ll compare to the average breathing cycle of dogs.
#3: Monitor the frequency of their bathroom breaks
As you learned, an anxious dog experiences an adrenaline rush.
And apart from that increasing their heart and breathing rate…
The hormone surge also disrupts your canine’s urinary organs.
That’s why your dog with anxiety will pee more.
In general, your pooch should pee at least 3 to 5 times a day.
So, anything more than that frequency is an indication of anxiety.
#4: See if they’re breaking their house training
Since anxiety urges them to pee more…
Their need to go becomes random and unexpected.
And an anxious dog would also poop inside the house again.
According to PetMD, dogs feel anxious when they perceive a threat or danger.
Now, one of their bodily reactions is losing control of bowel movements.
Plus, as your pup thinks a threat is incoming…
They tend to prepare themself mentally.
So if they need to go, they’ll hold it instead.
Lastly, being in a pooping position means becoming vulnerable.
With that, they’ll only let go of it when they’re cleared from danger.
Or if they can no longer hold it.
So, observe if your dog breaks their house training to know if they have anxiety.
#5: Assess their stool
Yes, you can use your dog’s poop to test whether they have anxiety.
And don’t worry…
You won’t need any laboratory equipment to carry this test out.
Instead, you just have to use your eyes.
Now, there’s this thing called brain-gut connection.
According to Harvard research, it’s due to the brain’s direct effect on the stomach.
That when someone feels anxious…
It can trigger symptoms like diarrhea in the individual.
And the same thing can happen to your pooch…
So, you must check their poop.
If it appears to be the following, they might have anxiety:
- Watery (like a soup).
- Leaving residue when picked up.
- Thick but have no defined shape (similar to a cottage cheese consistency).
You might also want to know: Help, My Dog Has Loose Stools And Smelly Gas! 7 Tips
#6: Try to lure them with a treat
A healthy dog can’t resist a treat from you.
But that’s not the same for a canine with anxiety.
As anxious dogs have a reduced or absent appetite.
So use a treat to test whether your pooch is anxious or not.
You can confirm that’s the case if they hesitate to take it.
And when they do that…
Most of the time, your pup just leaves the treat on the floor.
Sometimes, they’ll refuse to take the snack from you in the first place.
#7: Check for compulsive behaviors
When talking about signs of anxiety in dogs…
Compulsive behaviors are the most tell-tale ones.
As dogs use these practices to cope with the pressure they’re feeling.
So, don’t forget to check for compulsive behaviors in your pup. Those are:
- Staring into space.
Moreover, there are normal canine behaviors that can turn compulsive. Examples are:
- Excessive barking.
- Chewing on objects (especially your belongings).
But with these behaviors occurring even in healthy dogs, this question comes up:
“How can I know if a behavior is compulsive?”
PetMD defines these actions as:
- Done with no purpose.
That said, if a healthy pooch is licking their skin…
They’re only doing it to clean themself.
And once they finish that, they’ll stop.
However, if the behavior’s compulsive…
Your pooch will do it randomly.
With no reason, they’ll lick themself, even if they’re already clean.
What’s more, they have trouble stopping themself.
And that’s when you can confirm a behavior has turned obsessive.
To guide you further on what a compulsive practice looks like…
Watch this short video of an occupied pup who can’t seem to stop:
Learn more: 23 Critical Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs + How To Treat It
#8: Look into their bedtime schedule
Your canine thrives in routine…
So, you can use their schedule to test their mental state.
Because if they’re feeling anxious, their usual routine gets disrupted.
And the best thing to look into is their bedtime habits.
If there are any recent changes in that…
Like they’re constantly stirring in their bed…
Or they’re transferring from one spot or room to another…
It could mean your dog is uneasy.
As I mentioned before, this anxiety causes an adrenaline rush in your dog.
And that creates more energy in your pup’s body.
Which they didn’t manage to spend during the day…
So, they remain restless at night.
#9: Observe for any signs of self-harm
Research revealed that dogs are self-aware.
But not as much as you and I. As canines can’t rationalize.
However, they do understand their body a bit.
Plus, they’re aware that their actions have consequences.
And with those abilities also comes the tendency to self-harm when anxious.
So, you should check for teeth marks on your dog’s skin.
As one way they do it is by biting themself.
Moreover, scan for any moist wounds in their body. Especially around these areas:
- Base of the tail.
Because anxious dogs tend to lick their skin off on those parts.