8 Surprising Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs! | PUPPYFAQS

8 Surprising Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs!

8 surprising signs of anxiety in dogs

Have you ever wondered if dogs can have anxiety? The answer to the question is an outstanding, yes. Signs of anxiety in dogs comes in many forms. 

Pacing, destructive behaviorwhining/crying are all classic signs that your pup is experiencing anxiety. However, all dogs are different, and while many show at least one of these signs when suffering from anxiety, that’s not always the case. 

As well, these are more notable and extreme reactions, often your puppy will show lessor less apparent signs first, and catching it early is the first step to effective treatment.

Related Topic:5 Training Tips to curb Behaviors in Dogs

Lip Licking:

tea cup puppy

Lip licking is tricky because for many dogs it’s a sign of hunger, or in the case of my pup, it means he’s about to get sick. There is one pretty easy way to tell the difference though. 

Usually, when they lick their lips for food, it’s slow and irregular. Think about how you lick your lips when that delicious steak hits your dinner table.

If they are experiencing anxiety, the licking will look more like they are rapidly flicking their tongue.

Physical Tension and Pulling Away:

sad puppy

We often confuse this one with the dog just being stubborn, but they are stubborn for a reason. Usually, they are scared, and other signs will follow such as their ears pinning back or their face tightening.

See Also: Why are dogs afraid of vacuums?

You can try this technique. Instead of calling your puppy to you for petting, try using a toy, getting its attention, and initiating play. 

Get your dog involved in a game; pulling on a sock or pull toy, chasing a ball, whatever his favorite game is.

Tail Wagging:

puppy on log wagging tail

You’ve probably noticed this one whenever you’ve scolded your dog. Dogs don’t wag their tails when they are happy. Like lip licking, this can be tricky, so as always look for other signs.

See Also: Why do dogs like to cuddle?

However, you can check the height the pup is holding their tail to diagnosed. A tail held at mid-height indicates a happy puppy, carried low suggests that dogs are submissive and afraid. Last, if the tail is held high, then this shows aggression and that your puppy is on alert.


Like humans, dogs are social creatures, well compared to us they are social creatures on steroids. Dogs love people especially their owners and pet sitter and often other dogs, and will want to be around them always. 

After all, it’s more common for a pup to follow their owner around everywhere then to never bother them. That’s why if you see your dog avoiding you or others, it’s a sure sign something is up.


puppy yawning

Yawning is a typical indication of anxiety, and it’s frequently seen in people as well. I’m sure you’ve met someone that yawns a lot, I know I have. It’s hard not to notice after you starting yawning too. 

Brief yawning may mean boredom, but if it’s frequent or if by the same token comes to an abrupt stop, then something may be up.

P.S. Have you yawned yet?

Submission/rolling over:

submission puppy

Rolling over is usually a sign of submission. Of course, it’s okay to give belly rubs and healthy to see them rolling over, but it’s still a submissive behavior nonetheless. 

So this is tricky as well, because while they may love belly rubs, they may also roll over due to fear and anxiety. Assess the situation and look for other signs to judge their comfort levels like this next one.

Blinking and Crescent Moon Eyes:

crescent moon eyes

Blinking in dogs is often seen as a nervous tick, and again people will do the same. They rapidly to disassociate ourselves from the visual component of the threat. 

As well, wide open eyes where you can see the white of their eyes – commonly compared to looking like a crescent moon – is a sure sign. As well, you’ll probably notice their ears are back, and their face is tight.

Not Eating their Food:

puppies eating

Dogs love food, don’t they? So when they aren’t eating something is probably up. Now, often no appetite will stem from other issues, but one way you can tell if it’s anxiety-related is if the eating all of a sudden stops.

See Also: How to stop a puppy from crying when left alone at home

Now, if you notice that they wake up one day and won’t eat their breakfast or slowly eat it, then it’s possible that it is another issue, and you will need to address it immediately as it could be a severe medical issue.

How We Can Help With CBD Oil:

cbd oil for dogs

Antidepressant and sedatives are the two main types of anxiety meds for dogs, and this worries a lot of owners. They ask whether their dog needs it or not and you’re not alone. 

We ask ourselves all the time whether we should take certain medications, and we can feel our anxiety. Our poor pups can’t even communicate their stress.

I’m sure you’ve heard about medical marijuana for anxiety, but have you heard about CBD oil for anxiety? Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is medical marijuana without the high! Hemp plants that contain no THC – the psychotropic molecule that gets you stoned.

While THC delivers some therapeutic benefits, it’s terrible for others, such as anxiety. But wait! Isn’t marijuana good for anxiety? If it’s high in CBD, it is. CBD has a counteractive effect on many adverse side effects that come from THC, such as THC’s ability to induce anxiety. Jolly Paw CBD oil for dogs is a best seller on Amazon.

With CBD oil there is no THC to worry about, so it can focus all its great therapeutic anti-anxiety on you and your dog. That’s right it’s safe for both of you to take! Often owners end up taking CBD oil after they see how well it works for their dog and vice versa.

I hope I’ve answered the question, “Anxiety in Dogs: 8 Surprising Signs?” to your satisfaction. Please leave a comment or question below. I look forward to responding to your comments. Don’t forget to share the article with your friends and loved ones too.


I'm a self-employed blogger, life-long pet parent, and lover of dogs. I have always loved animals, especially puppies. So when my family got our first dog 15 years ago, it was love at first sight. We named her Sassy because she was so small, cute, and had a sassy personality! Once we got her home, I wanted to know everything about caring for her, so I researched online. Eventually, this led me to create the PUPPYFAQS website, where I write about nutrition, health, and care of puppies and the latest news in the world of puppies. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local shelter, which is run by volunteers who are passionate about helping homeless dogs find their forever homes. If I'm not working or volunteering for dogs, you can find me spending time with my family, friends, and my puppy. I have been writing professionally online since 2009. In addition to PUPPYFAQS, I also write for several other pet-related publications.

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