Can Dogs Cause Anxiety in Humans?

“I have a dog. His name is Skye and he’s terribly anxious. Skye came from a local rescue, so I know that his anxiety is related to his past life, but now we just have to deal with it on a daily basis. As a result, I have become an expert on all things anxiety. I have tried medications, dog therapy, and natural remedies that I found online. Nothing has worked so far, but I refuse to give up for my dog is giving me anxiety.”

My Dog is Giving Me Anxiety

“I don’t know what to do. I think my dog is giving me anxiety. She’s a good dog and we love her, but she has very bad separation anxiety. When we leave her alone she cries and destroys things. When we’re gone for hours at a time it gets worse, so we have had to start locking her up in the basement when we leave. She’s not allowed upstairs anymore because she usually destroys something and pees everywhere. We have done everything we can think of to help her with the separation anxiety but nothing works.”

Can a dog give you anxiety?

Yes, some dogs can. Dogs can cause anxiety in many ways, including making you feel responsible or guilty, or distracting you at important times. You might also feel anxious about your dog’s needs, such as going to the vet or making sure they have enough exercise.

Conversely, other dogs can help ease feelings of anxiety. While all dogs have the potential to trigger anxiety, there are some dog breeds that are better suited for people with anxiety.

That said, even if you have one of the breeds known to be good for anxiety, it’s still possible that your dog can cause more stress than relief. It all depends on the individual dog and their personality. Some dogs may have been mistreated in the past and developed a tendency toward aggression in response to certain triggers. Other times, unpredictable or unruly behaviors are simply part of the dog’s nature.

On top of that, your dog might also trigger any existing anxiety. This could be social anxiety (for example, being afraid of dogs in public), or something else entirely.

If your dog causes you anxiety, it’s worth considering whether this is something you want to address. In some cases, it might be better for your dog to find a new home where they won’t cause you stress. This might sound like an extreme measure, but if your dog’s behavior is causing a lot of distress and cannot be resolved with medication or other therapies, rehoming could be the best solution for both of you.

What do I do if my dog gives me anxiety?

Dogs can bring great joy and companionship to the people who love them, but they can also cause plenty of headaches. If your dog is giving you anxiety and you’re not sure what to do, here are some steps you can follow to help relieve that anxiety.

First, make sure your dog is healthy and happy. If he’s showing signs of sickness or discomfort, contact your veterinarian immediately. You might need to take him in for a checkup. Also, make sure his diet is appropriate for his age and weight. Consider switching him to a more expensive food if he’s overweight or underweight.

If your dog seems healthy and happy, then the next step is to determine what triggers his anxiety attacks. For example, does he get anxious around other pets? Does he become anxious when left alone? Does he become anxious when being fed? Once you’ve determined what causes the anxiety attacks, it’s time to figure out how to remedy them. This may involve changing his environment and/or lifestyle so that he doesn’t experience those triggers as often or as intensely.

Dogs are extremely sensitive to their owners’ emotions. For example, if your dog senses that you are sad, she may come up to you and nuzzle her head against your knee in an attempt to make you feel better. Dogs do this because they love their owners and want to see them happy.

However, there are times when dogs can cause their owners anxiety by doing something that upsets them. This can happen if the owner has a fear or phobia of dogs, or if the dog does not like being left alone for long periods of time without human interaction.

In these cases, it’s important for owners to take steps to make sure their dog doesn’t feel like they’re being punished or ignored. This can include getting help from a professional trainer or behaviorist who specializes in treating canine anxiety disorders such as separation anxiety disorder (SAD).

If your dog does have a separation anxiety disorder (SAD), then it’s possible that he will need medication in order to recover from his condition. If this is the case, there are several options available including clomipramine (Anafranil), fluoxetine (Prozac), and Paroxetine.

If none of these steps work, then it’s time to seek professional help from a veterinarian or trainer.

What are the signs of anxiety in dogs?

If you have an anxious dog, you may find yourself regularly frustrated, worried, or even scared of your dog’s behavior. It can be helpful to understand that your dog’s anxiety is not a personal rejection of you or your efforts to care for him. Dogs aren’t spiteful or malicious; they simply act out of fear. Even though it may feel as if your dog is behaving badly on purpose, it’s important to remember that he is driven by emotions and not by logic.

Dogs with anxiety often display some common behaviors:

  • Panting, pacing, shaking/trembling
  • Destructive chewing/digging (including self-destructive chewing)
  • Excessive barking or whining
  • Urinating and defecating in the house (even when house trained)
  • Attempting to escape from the house or yard
  • Aggression toward people or other dogs

You also need to keep an eye on your dog’s emotional health. While dogs are very resilient, they’re still animals and can suffer from anxiety if they don’t get enough attention or feel neglected.


Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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