Most dogs develop fears and phobias growing up. These fears have different sources, such as insufficient socialization, or an unfortunate incident that has marked the dog’s memories. Dog owners should recognize the signs of fear, such as trembling, barking, destructive behavior, cowering, and aggression. To find out what dogs are most fearful of, here are some of their fears and phobias.
One of the most common fears in dogs is astraphobia, or the fear of thunder. Like any other fear, the level varies from one dog to another, where some might only have a slight fear of it. Dogs with astraphobia will show signs such as wide eyes, a tucked tail, and flattened ears when there is a thunderstorm. The severity of this fear may lead dogs to hide, be destructive, and sometimes lose control of their bladder or bowels. Astraphobia in dogs may also mean that they may or may not fear other loud noises. The majority of dogs are afraid of loud sounds.
Fireworks is another dog phobia that you will notice in most dogs. Much like the fear of thunder, the loud noises, and bright lights, fireworks can increase a dog’s stress and anxiety because of their fear. Dogs tend to run away in the event of a fireworks display.
Dog owners can reduce this fear by getting their dogs used to hearing the sound of fireworks. Some dogs may need anti-anxiety sedatives or medications, depending on the severity of the anxiety.
Some dogs don’t like to be left alone at home, and this is most commonly known as separation anxiety. They will tend to show destructive behavior once their owners leave them alone. Dogs will bark excessively and will try to break and chew on some items inside the house. Dog owners can reduce their dog’s anxiety by staying calm when they leave and arrive home. They can make their dogs slowly get used to the setup of being alone in the house to help reduce their separation anxiety.
The fear of going to the veterinarian is most common to many dogs. Like in the Glenridge Animal Hospital, their experience of receiving dog patients made them develop strategies to reduce the dog’s fear. The reason behind this fear is the dog’s exposure to a new environment that has strange smells, being restrained, receiving vaccinations, and being handled in an unusual manner.
Some dog owners establish regular visits even without an examination involved to reduce their fear of the veterinarians. If your dog stays calm, reward them with praise and treats to reinforce good behaviour.
Riding in a Vehicle
Some dogs are afraid of riding a vehicle due to the shock of experiencing a new environment. If your dog did not have early exposure to car rides, they may have a hard time dealing with it when they’re older. There can also be negative experiences with riding vehicles, such as having a trip going to a shelter, getting car sickness, or trips going to the veterinary clinic that increased their fear of riding in the car.
Dog owners can help their dogs overcome this fear of riding a vehicle by giving them treats and praises to lure them into getting inside the car. Make frequent small rides to happy places like a dog park and walk your dog through, giving him a memorable experience that they will enjoy.
Treating Your Dog’s Fears
Now that you know some of your dog’s fears, you need to find ways to reduce them. You don’t want your dog’s health to deteriorate because things increase their stress and anxiety. It would also be best to take them to a veterinarian to treat the condition to let your dog live a happy life.