Are you dog acting paranoid all the sudden? It might just be a phase, but before you start panicking it's worth figuring out what's going on first.
Dogs can be nervous for a variety of reasons, and if your pup is normally happy and relaxed, then it may be time to take him to the vet.
On the other hand, if he has been exhibiting signs of fearfulness or excessive anxiety, there could be an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Find out how to spot some common behavioral changes in your dog and some tips on what you can do to help him below.
- Section 1: Why is my dog acting paranoid all the sudden?
- Section 2: What can cause a sudden change in dog's behavior?
- Section 3: Common signs of fearfulness and anxiety in dogs
- Section 4: How can you tell if your dog is depressed or lonely?
- Section 5: How do I know if my dog is in pain?
- Section 6: What are the signs of anxiety in dogs?
- Section 7: How do I calm down my dog?
- Section 8: Tips on how to make them feel better
Why is my dog acting paranoid all the sudden?
Because your dog is scared. Dogs are hardwired to look out for danger, so it's easy for them to get upset when they perceive something to be a threat.
And if your dog is usually friendly and relaxed, then suddenly he's all jumpy and nervous, it could be for one of two reasons.
One, his person is doing something to make him feel this way. In fact, pet behaviorist Karen Underkoffler told National Geographic that being anxious is a natural dog reaction and can happen when the dog feels you are being unfair to him.
Or two, something is making your dog fearful of something in his environment.
Maybe you have a dog who becomes nervous when a guest comes to visit and starts pacing around the house, or maybe your dog doesn't like going into the kitchen and is afraid to walk by the refrigerator.
What can cause a sudden change in dog's behavior?
If your dog has suddenly begun experiencing inexplicable fearfulness, you need to know how to tell if the change is a phase or if he may have a serious problem.
Signs of a serious medical condition that could be causing his sudden fearfulness include excessive noise or an immediate reaction to a sound, excessive skin grooming, and limping or stiffness.
If your dog isn't displaying any of these signs, then it's worth keeping an eye on him for a while, in case he just experiences some anxiety.
However, if he suddenly stops reacting to any noise or stimuli or is skittish about certain stimuli, then you'll probably want to see a veterinarian.
Common signs of fearfulness and anxiety in dogs
If your dog starts barking incessantly or becomes extremely anxious when you get home, or if he starts guarding his food and water bowls when he is eating, then he may be showing signs of fearfulness or anxiety.
Dogs who are afraid or anxious often bite or chew on their owners, and they can also be impulsive when it comes to chasing their tail, eating objects and crashing through fences. These situations can be extremely stressful to any dog.
Another sign of fearfulness in dogs is barking, which might be constant or become excessive when you are home, as he is trying to express his anxiety and stress.
If you're worried about your dog, it's important to speak with a veterinarian about these concerns, as these problems are easily preventable.
How can you tell if your dog is depressed or lonely?
In some cases, your dog may just be acting a bit shy, or "calm and subdued" as I call it, but if it persists for more than a few weeks, you should bring him or her to the vet.
The same thing goes for showing signs of low energy, a lack of interest in things your dog used to enjoy, such as walks, or being overprotective of you. Sometimes this can be caused by a brain tumor or any other severe brain injury.
Even if your dog is perfectly healthy, he or she may have gotten too used to things, or even worried about new things in their environment that come into the household.
Sometimes just learning to get to know your dog again and find their footing again can be a lot of work. If this sounds like your dog, then it may be time to call in the professionals.
How do I know if my dog is in pain?
Laying on the couch all day might be adorable for you, but if your dog is in constant pain, it can be scary and leave you wondering what's going on.
If you notice your dog getting overstimulated or anxious, but nothing else out of the ordinary, you might be seeing a physical problem that needs to be addressed.
You can ask your veterinarian to perform a physical exam and take a look at your dog's behavior, as well.
Even if your pup is acting like it's in pain, there might be something else going on that you're not even aware of.
Make sure to let your vet know if he sees anything else out of the ordinary, such as ear infections or skin rashes, and together you'll be able to figure out what's wrong.
What are the signs of anxiety in dogs?
Common signs that your dog is anxious include:
- Strained breathing, which is more difficult to control
- Chasing of tails
- Crying, whining, or whining when he isn't doing anything
- Excessive panting
How do I calm down my dog?
First and foremost, it's important to remember that dogs are naturally social creatures, and anxiety and fear in them will be a reflection of that. So it's important to be understanding of their behavior.
Anxiety in dogs often manifests itself as a change in their behavior — and that can be because it's a way to protect themselves.
If your dog starts growling or acting skittish, especially in certain situations, then it could be a signal that he's being attacked by an unknown enemy, or it could be a sign that something is amiss.
Always remember to remain calm and try to understand what the cause is before reacting or making any rash decisions.
Tips on how to make them feel better
First and foremost, it's important to understand the cause and effect here. Your dog may be starting to worry or fret, but that can make him less comfortable in his surroundings and less likely to go to sleep.
If your dog has been laying around with a constant alert, it may be time for a trip to the vet to get a full checkup and then to start working on solutions for how you can ease his anxiety and make him feel more comfortable in his environment.
These suggestions can go a long way toward alleviating the issue.
1. Always praise your dog for good behavior. When he is calm, it encourages him to continue being so.
2. Play with him! This will make him feel more confident in his surroundings, as well as have a better time socializing and getting comfortable with people.