Dog Panic Attacks Explained

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Dog Panic Attacks Explained

by Peter Coughlin

It's a strange notion if you haven't come across it before, but a dog panic attack can be a real problem. A dog panic attack is exactly the same as human panic attack, but with a dog there is more potential for a violent reaction, which is why we need to understand exactly what's happening.

What constitutes a dog panic attack?

You've probably seen a dog panic attack before, although you may not have realized it. Any dog that tries to attack you for no reason is more than likely suffering a panic attack. It may be that you are seen as threat to them, in which case their reaction will be one of fight or flight - a classic symptom of a panic attack - and if the dog has nowhere to go it will turn on you in it's panic.

Some dogs are very nervous, and if you approach them without making them aware of you, they can panic when they suddenly realize you are there. This would be a dog panic attack.

In addition to this kind of dog panic attack, there are those which can be due to the physical or psychological health of your dog. If you suspect your dog may be having panic attacks, the first thing to do is give him a good health check. You might want to look for the following signs and symptoms;

* Is your dog off his food?
* Are there any obvious signs of injury?
* Has he stopped running, or is he walking with a limp?
* Does he look under the weather or irritable?
* Is he sleeping more than usual?

Any of these could increase the potential of your dog suffering a panic attack.

If things are a little more serious than that, and your dog is obviously in pain, take him to the vet as soon as possible. They will conduct a thorough physical examination and confirm whether there is a likelihood of a dog panic attack occurring. Vets understand more than most how animals cope with anxiety, stress and pain.

Is there a cure for dog panic attacks?

Unsurprisingly, a dog panic attack can be treated in much the same way as a mild human panic attack. One of the best remedies is affection. Give your dog some extra love and attention, and it may just be enough to make them feel secure again and bring them out of their depression. They are very simple animals, and an open display of affection shows them they are loved, much like children in many ways.

If there is an underlying physical condition causing your dogs panic attacks, your vet will be able to prescribe any medication. Resist the urge to give your dog any medication intended for human consumption, this can be fatal.

Peter Coughlin writes on anxiety and stress related issues for various ezines, websites and publications. For more information about panic attacks please visit his Panic Attack Tips website.

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