How to Recognize Common Pet Anxiety Triggers

By Monday, October 17, 2016

Dig this… a portion of this post is sponsored, but opinions are my own and 110% “pawthentic”!

My first experience with canine anxiety was with my Boo-Bear back in the 2000’s. Not only did he have extreme separation anxiety, he had thunderstorm phobia, too. And that was tough on all of us!

Through my own research and talking with others, I learned that these are two of the most common and well-known anxieties that dogs suffer from. But in the years since we adopted my now 6-year-old canine sidekick, Chilly, I’ve discovered that there are many different types of anxiety that pet parents may not be aware of.Dog's mind quote

If your dog suffers from fear, anxiety or stress, the first step in helping them is to understand what may be bringing it on. Below are some common anxiety triggers in pets:


What dog doesn’t love to go for a ride in the car? Well, believe it or not, there are plenty! Some pups find even short car rides stressful, while others may only have issues with long trips. Dogs thrive on routine and travel disrupts their normally reliable schedule.

Other Dogs or People

Chilly wears Calmz on walks to help him keep his cool when he meets new dogs.

Chilly wears Calmz on walks to help him keep his cool when he meets new dogs.

Whether due to a lack of socialization or a traumatic experience, many dogs experience anxiety when exposed to unfamiliar dogs or people. This may result in the dog barking, lunging, or trying to get away.


Chilly sleeps through an afternoon thunderstorm with Calmz.

Chilly sleeps through an afternoon thunderstorm with Calmz.

Both Buck and Chilly were afraid of thunderstorms. But some dogs are also sensitive to other loud or out-of-nowhere noises like fireworks, the smoke alarm, a dropped pan or even the beep of an alarm clock.

New or Unusual Stimuli

This is sometimes referred to as generalized anxiety disorder. Dogs with this type of anxiety are hyper vigilant about their environment and tend to overreact when they encounter new or unusual things or situations. This can be a challenge for pet parents since it’s difficult to predict what the dog may or may not react to.

Vet Visits

Not surprisingly, this is one of the most common anxiety/fear triggers for pets. All the unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells, perhaps combined with some not-so-great vet experiences in the past, can result in anxiety, stress and fear.

Chilly wears calmz to the vet for his "carside" service.

Chilly wears calmz to the vet for his “carside” service.

My dog Chilly has a variety of mild fear, stress and anxiety disorders. Fortunately, because of what I learned with Buck, I was able to spot the symptoms early on and get Chilly the help and solutions he needed. Rather than avoid situations like the vet, new places and strange dogs (which, by the way, is pretty much impossible), we began behavior modification and all-natural therapies.

One of the most effective therapies we’ve discovered is the Calmz Anxiety Relief System. Similar to technology used to treat humans for anxiety and pain relief, Calmz combines music, tones and vibration to relieve anxiety in dogs.

the_calmz_anxiety_relief_systemI had the opportunity to test Calmz before its market launch in the spring of this year. At first, we were just using it when a thunderstorm was coming, and to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure how well it would work. But I was amazed to see Chilly go from trembling, hiding and just looking generally pathetic, to calmly lying down and even sleeping through storms while wearing his Calmz!

Since then, we’ve used Calmz whenever Chilly goes to the vet, visits new places or when we think he might encounter a new dog. The Calmz Anxiety Relief System, in combination with help from our certified dog trainer, has helped him make great strides in overcoming his stress, fear and anxiety. And of course, that makes the humans in the household very happy as well!

If you think your dog suffers from fear or anxiety, talk with your vet or a veterinary behaviorist for guidance and help in overcoming these issues.

This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions and anecdotes are my own, and I never promote any products or brands I don’t believe in. ~Petfully yours, Kristen

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