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Bentley & Friends: Owner-influenced anxiety

Our pets can easily become troubled from our own anxiety. Here's how to help.

It’s no secret that anxiety especially in these recent times has gone through the roof. But did you know our dogs feed off our energy, which has led to a big increase in anxiety in our pets?

“When I first started practicing we didn’t see anxiety like we do today," Veterinary Acupuncturist Dr. Denette Cooke explains.

The climate of these times certainly plays a factor in all of this. We’re anxious about money, our jobs, family and friends -- and it all adds up. So how can you spot when your anxiety is playing into your dog’s well-being?

“That’s a tough one. It could be clinginess, hanging to you all the time, it could be excessive licking. [They] will lick carpet, fabric, they may chew excessively," Dr. Cooke says.

These behaviors may very well be developing more recently as we gradually return back to our routines from before the pandemic. Our pets may have a hard time readjusting to not having you around full-time anymore.

Here’s an interesting tidbit.

“Sometimes we see it start with thunderstorms and whatnot. As humans, we tend to baby them and go to them and say 'Honey that’s ok.' Often that will make that anxiety worse," Dr. Cooke explained.

If your pet's anxiety is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to some big-time health issues.

According to Dr. Cooke, anxiety could lead to GI upset, diarrhea, IBD, vomiting, issues with high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases in dogs.

Thankfully, there are numerous effective ways to treat anxiety including prescribed medications for your dog. In previous Bentley & Friends segments, we've looked at the calming effects of CBD, which can also help the situation.

If you notice any of the behaviors we talked about, it is best for you to consult your veterinarian and treat the condition as soon as possible. It will lead to fewer headaches for you and a happier pup at home.

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