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Emotional Distress in Anxious Dogs by petwell

Emotional Distress in Anxious Dogs


Emotional distress in anxious dogs is a common issue that affects countless dogs around the world. Sadly, some pet owners often overlook the signs or mistake the symptoms of emotional distress for misbehaviour. 

When we misinterpret their actions and punish them for what we perceive as 'bad behaviour,' we unwittingly reinforce their emotional distress, making them more fearful and anxious.

PetWell CALM – Anxiety Aid can help. Developed by a pet naturopath, it's a natural supplement crafted with human-grade ingredients, free from preservatives and synthetics. It's the trusted choice for pet owners who want the very best.  PetWell CALM is packed with naturally occurring calming ingredients including l-tryptophan and l-theanine.

PetWell also offers a delightful twist with functional treats called CALM + LAMB, that serve as ideal meal toppers and training aids, tailored to dogs struggling with anxiety. 

These treats feature freeze-dried lamb infused with PetWell CALM supplement, creating the ultimate healthy calming treat for your beloved pets.

PetWell CALM Supplement and Treats for Dogs and Cats

Just like humans, dogs can experience a range of emotions, including anxiety and distress. Understanding and recognising emotional distress in anxious dogs is crucial for their well-being and happiness. 

Recognising Emotional Distress in Anxious Dogs

Dogs, being non-verbal creatures, communicate their emotions primarily through body language and behaviour. 

Some common signs and symptoms of emotional distress in anxious dogs are:

  • Excessive panting and restlessness: An anxious dog may pant excessively, even when not overheated, and exhibit restlessness. They will often struggle to settle down or find a comfortable position.
  • Destructive behaviour: Dogs experiencing emotional distress may engage in destructive behaviour, such as chewing furniture, shoes, or other household items. This can be an outlet for their anxiety.
  • Excessive barking or whining: If your normally quiet dog becomes unusually vocal, it could be a sign of emotional distress. Excessive barking or whining can indicate anxiety.
  • Elimination accidents: House-trained dogs may have accidents in the house when distressed. This is often a sign of anxiety or fear.
  • Aggression or agitation: Dogs may become aggressive or overly agitated when they are emotionally distressed. This can be directed towards other dogs, humans, or even themselves.
  • Withdrawal: Some dogs withdraw from social interactions when they're anxious or distressed. They may hide or avoid eye contact.
  • Trembling or shivering: Physical symptoms like trembling or shivering are often indicative of emotional distress in dogs.
  • Excessive licking or chewing: Dogs might excessively lick or chew their own bodies, which can lead to skin issues or hot spots.

Naughty dog Emotional Distress in Anxious Dogs by petwell

Managing Emotional Distress in Anxious Dogs

  • Consult a veterinarian: If you suspect your dog is experiencing emotional distress, the first step is to consult with a veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying health conditions and provide guidance on treatment.
  • Create a safe space: Provide your dog with a designated safe and comfortable space in your home. This can be a crate or a quiet room where they can retreat when feeling anxious.
  • Regular exercise: Ensure your dog gets enough physical and mental exercise to reduce anxiety and stress. Regular walks, playtime, and puzzle toys can help.
  • Desensitisation and counterconditioning: Gradually expose your dog to their triggers in a controlled and positive manner. This can help reduce their fear and anxiety over time.
  • Training and socialisation: Enrol your dog in obedience training and socialisation activities to build their confidence and help them adapt to new situations.
  • Supplements: An effective and safe approach to help anxious dogs is through supplements specifically designed for their needs. Opt for supplements that incorporate natural ingredients supported by scientific evidence for their calming and relaxing effects on dogs.

    PetWell CALM combines a selection of all-natural ingredients thoughtfully formulated to work synergistically, delivering a sense of calm to your beloved pet.

    Here is a link to the studies for ingredients used by PetWell > PetWell Ingredients

  • Behavioural training: Consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviourist who specialises in working with anxious dogs.
  • Stay calm and consistent: Dogs can pick up on their owners' emotions. Stay calm and consistent in your interactions with your dog to help them feel more secure.


 By providing a supportive and loving environment, along with professional guidance, when necessary, you can help your fur family lead a happier and more balanced life. 

Understanding the Causes of Emotional Distress

Emotional distress in dogs can be triggered by various factors, including:

  • Separation anxiety: Dogs are social animals and can experience anxiety when left alone for extended periods. Read more about Separation Anxiety in Dogs.
  • Environmental stressors: Loud noises (thunderstorms, fireworks), changes in routine, or new environments can be distressing for dogs.
  • Past trauma: Dogs with a history of abuse or neglect may carry emotional scars that result in ongoing distress.
  • Illness or pain: Physical discomfort or illness can also lead to emotional distress.
  • Lack of socialisation: Dogs that were not properly socialised as puppies may have trouble coping with new situations and people.

Read more about How to Recognise Dog Anxiety Symptoms

In Summary

Emotional distress in dogs is a real and common issue, but with the right understanding and approach, it can be managed effectively. It's essential to recognise the symptoms of emotional distress and address the underlying causes. 

Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another, so patience and perseverance are key in helping your anxious dog overcome emotional distress.

The Science Behind It

Don’t just take our word for it, here are some evidence-based studies for you to review.

Research links of CALM ingredients

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this email and website are not to be taken as medical advice. The team at PetWell encourages you to make your own pet healthcare decisions based on your research. And in partnership with a qualified pet healthcare professional.

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