Pet Anxiety

Understanding Pet Anxiety

Animals from all backgrounds can experience anxiety. While you may expect it from an abandoned or abused animal, seeing the anxiety in your cherished pet may surprise you. But we come across this frequently at Hilltop Animal Hospital. Our Fuquay Varina pet patients may develop anxiety for various reasons or with no clear explanation. Learn more about this common pet condition. 


Common Pet Anxiety Causes

There are many reasons your pet may be experiencing anxiety. Plus, each pet reacts in different ways and extremes to undesirable stimuli. Their anxiety may be mild and short-lived or severe and near-constant. Determining the cause of their anxiety, if there is one, is one of the steps to helping them find relief. Our veterinarian can help with this.


Loud noises, unfamiliar people, new surroundings, and undesirable situations may provoke anxiety in your pet. Many dogs and cats become very anxious during thunderstorms or when fireworks go off. While some dogs and cats may love meeting new people, others run and hide when someone new is introduced. 


This issue is possibly the biggest cause of anxiety in pets. They typically crave closeness and attention with their humans. When you and the family leave for extended periods, it can be incredibly stressful for your animal.  

Big Life Changes

Change can be an anxiety-provoking experience for cats and dogs. New family members or relocating may induce stress and anxiety that causes behavioral changes in your feline or canine.


Getting older is the culprit in many health conditions for all of us. Unfortunately, pet anxiety can be a side effect, as well, in your animal. 

Symptoms of Pet Anxiety

Pet behavior can offer clues as to what ails them. But be wary of jumping to conclusions. The following are common signs of pet anxiety. But some of these issues may also be caused by other issues and conditions.

  • Chewing, scratching, digging, and other destructive actions
  • Aggressive behavior towards people or other animals
  • Barking and howling for no apparent reason
  • Urinating and defecating indoors
  • Defecating and urinating outside the litter box
  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Drooling
  • Shivering
  • Excessively licking themselves or others
  • Restlessness
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Not eating

Take note of any of these behaviors and their frequency to share with your veterinarian to help with diagnosis. 

Treatment for Pet Anxiety

The qualified vets from our animal hospital can offer treatment for your pet’s anxiety. Some therapies include training and behavior counseling that includes counterconditioning and desensitization. These methods help your animal deal with the causes of its anxiety. In some cases, medication may be necessary for effective pet anxiety treatment. 

Contact Our Veterinary Team for More Information

At Hilltop Animal Hospital in Fuquay Varina, NC, our dedicated veterinary team is committed to helping your pet live a healthy, happy life. We offer a full range of services, including animal acupuncture, chronic disease management, and behavior counseling, to support this effort. Call us today at 919-567-9700 to schedule an appointment or for more information about pet anxiety. 


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