Understanding Fear, Anxiety and Phobias in Pets: Pt. 4

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CHARLOTTE – Has it been eye-opening to learn more about fear and anxiety in pets over the past few weeks? This week we’ll touch on phobias and some that can often be recognized in pets.

We defined a phobia before, which is a sudden, profound, or excessive fear response.

Sometimes this is a result of an experience that your pet perceives as “bad.” We often see pets with phobias of storms, loud noises, and new people. As an example of storm phobia, let’s say your dog was accidentally left outside in a sudden thunderstorm at some point. The next time there is a thunderstorm, your dog is probably hyper-aware and might perk her ears up. If you go to coddle your dog, petting her and telling her it’s okay repeatedly, you may be accidentally conditioning her to think that she should respond to storms in a fearful manner. She may think, if I am nervous about the storm and walk over to my parent, they will pet me and give me attention. The same situation can apply if you have a pet who has a phobia of loud noises, such as fireworks. So, sometimes we inadvertently cause a reward to our pet’s fearful behavior.

Have you noticed any signs or symptoms of fear, anxiety or a phobia in your pet? At Passionate Paws, we’re proud to be Fear-Free certified and we’d love help you and your pet work through and find the best solution or treatment for any of these issues.

Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce and the Waxhaw Business Association.

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