4 Surprising Signs Your Dog Has Anxiety

Stress and anxiety disorders affect a large portion of humans today. While shocking to learn, anxiety can also affect your pet. Anxiety disorders may stem from excessively loud noise and even past abuse. In addition, 20 to 40 percent of dogs are diagnosed with separation anxiety, which occurs when your dog is left alone. Unfortunately, you may not realize your dog is suffering from anxiety that can affect both their emotional and physical health. With this guide, you will understand a few surprising signs of anxiety disorders in dogs.


If you are a human who suffers from depression or anxiety, you will most likely avoid social situations, isolating yourself from others. Dogs will exhibit a similar behavior if they have an anxiety disorder.

Your dog may choose to sleep in a room away from the family. If you have guests come over to the home, your dog may avoid greeting your visitors.

Your dog may also divert their eyes and turn they head away from you in an attempt to avoid any contact with you or other family members.

Most dogs prefer to stay close and spend time with their family. If your dog is isolating themselves from you and other family members, they may have an anxiety disorder of some sort.

Rolling Over

Many dogs enjoy rolling over onto their backs in hopes of having their stomach rubbed. However, rolling over in certain situations may be a sign that your dog has had enough play time and wants to be left alone.

Rolling over to signal they are stressed is common when your dog no longer wants to play or is tired from playing with excessively energetic children. Of course, your dog may just want a break to rest, but if the rolling over occurs multiple times, your dog may have anxiety.

Home Damage

Scratches and chew marks on furniture, doors, and windows is a sure sign that your dog has anxiety. In most instances, this type of behavior occurs from separation anxiety when your dog is left alone, since you are not there to stop the behavior.

Separation anxiety can lead to serious problems if left untreated. They may scratch and chew on things in your home so severely that they injure their nails or teeth. Your dog may also attempt to escape the home or fenced in area. This can increase the risk of them becoming lost or injured.

If you believe your dog has separation anxiety, efficient treatment is even more important to make sure they are safe at all times.

Licking Lips

Another surprising sign that your dog has anxiety is the constant licking of their lips. Your dog will lick their lips when they see you eating or if they know food is nearby. If there is no food around your dog, the lip licking may stem from anxiety.

Your dog may begin licking their lips to diffuse a stressful situation. They may feel nervous and lick their lips constantly while at the vet or while they are being groomed. Many dogs will also lick their lips if they are being photographed, since the sound of cameras and the flashing of lights can be stressful.

If a dog is experiencing nausea, issues with their mouth, teeth, or gums, and even pain or discomfort of some sort, they may also feel anxious and stressed. This discomfort will cause your dog to smack their lips, as well.

Treatment is available if your dog is showing signs of anxiety. With a professional diagnosis, training, and even the use of prescription anti-anxiety medications, you can ease your dog's emotional distress. Reach out to a veterinarian in your area for more information.