Liquid error (layout/theme line 103): Could not find asset snippets/okendo-reviews-json-ld.liquid
Your cart
Close Alternative Icon

The Impact of Aging on Dogs' Anxiety

Arrow Thin Left Icon Arrow Thin Right Icon
The Impact of Aging on Dogs' Anxiety

Table of Contents:

  • The Relationship Between Aging and Anxiety

  • Can Hearing Loss in Dogs Cause Anxiety?

  • Symptoms to Keep an Eye Out For

  • Solutions to Help

  • Which Treatment Is Best for Old Dog Anxiety?

  • Helping Your Older Dog Live Their Best Life


Research shows that around 73% of all dogs exhibit at least one behavior that stems from anxiety. While dogs of all ages can suffer from it, old dog anxiety is especially common due at least in part to the effects of aging. Although anxiety can negatively impact your fur baby's mental well-being, there are things you can do to help.

In this piece, we'll discuss some practical solutions for anxiety in older dogs and explore the relationship between aging and anxiety in canines. In addition, we'll review what to expect with an aging dog that suffers from anxiety and share some common anxiety symptoms to be on the lookout for as your dog ages.


The Relationship Between Aging and Anxiety


Like people, dogs experience a decline in cognitive function as they age. The changes that take place in a dog's brain can lead to memory problems, causing dogs to get lost even in places they are familiar with and experience confusion that may lead to behaviors like urinating and defecating indoors.

Dogs may even struggle to recognize people and other family pets. As a result, dogs may begin to feel fearful and anxious in circumstances and locations where they never used to when they were younger.

Other physical changes that occur due to aging can also contribute to anxiety in older dogs. Due to age, dogs may experience loss of vision and/or hearing impairment, and the limitation of their senses may make them more tense and anxious.

Chronic pain due to age-related conditions like arthritis may exacerbate or cause anxiety as well. When mobility issues due to arthritis and other conditions make dogs more dependent on their human caregivers, senior dog separation anxiety is also more likely to occur.


Can Hearing Loss in Dogs Cause Anxiety?


Hearing loss can cause anxiety in dogs. It may also worsen existing symptoms of anxiety.


Symptoms to Keep an Eye Out For


Anxiety can be among the signs that your dog is getting old, especially when accompanied by other symptoms like cloudiness of the eyes, worsening bad breath and reduced mobility.

Being able to spot the warning signs of anxiety in dogs is important, as mental health issues are often easier to treat when detected early. The following are some signs of anxiety to be on the lookout for:

  • Panting: Panting in hot weather or after exercise is normal and helps your dog maintain their body temperature. However, panting at other times may be a sign that your dog is stressed.
  • Trembling: Shaking and trembling may indicate anxiety in dogs, especially when accompanied by other signs of fear like holding ears back, tucking in the tail or widening or squinting eyes.
  • Drooling: Excessive or new drooling can be a sign of anxiety.
  • Withdrawal: An anxious dog may shy away from their family or attempt to hide.
  • Aggression: Anxiety can cause dogs to growl, snap and bark, even around people they are familiar with.
  • Whale eye: When dogs become anxious, they may exhibit whale eye, the term for being able to see the whites of a dog's eyes.
  • Excitability: In some cases, dogs may become overly friendly, jumping on and licking people.
  • Dependence: An anxious dog may be overly clingy with their owner and even be reluctant to let them out of their sight.
  • Repetitive behaviors: Dogs may engage in repetitive behaviors like licking the same spot or pacing when anxious.
  • Displacement behaviors: In some cases, anxiety can cause dogs to exhibit behaviors at inappropriate times, such as yawning when not tired or stretching even when they're not feeling stiff.
  • Changes in sleep patterns: Senior dog anxiety at night may cause sleeplessness. Anxiety can also cause excessive sleeping in some dogs.
  • Other behavioral changes: Changes in behavior such as lack of appetite, urinating or defecating indoors or lack of interest in play may also indicate anxiety.


Solutions to Help


If you recognize any of the above symptoms of anxiousness and stress in your pet, old dog certain solutions may lead to improvements in their behavior and support their mental well-being. Some things that may help include:

  • Maintaining a consistent routine: Older dogs with anxiety often thrive when they have a set schedule. Adopt a consistent routine for your pet, striving to feed your dog, play with them and let them out around the same time every day. Doing so may help your senior dog know what to expect.
  • Environmental enrichment: Create a safe, comfortable space for your dog to relax in when they're feeling stressed. Outfit with a bed and favorite toys and consider playing the television or using a white noise machine in the area when you're not at home.
  • CBD oil: The AKC reports that some dog owners find CBD oil to be beneficial for dogs with anxiousness, and Kradle Calming products make it simple for your dog to reap the potential benefits of CBD. Our line of products includes Chews, Melts, Bliss Bars and more and are formulated to help them better cope with normal external stresses.
  • Veterinary treatment: In some cases, veterinarians may prescribe medications like antidepressants to treat clinical anxiety in dogs.


Which Treatment Is Best for Old Dog Anxiety?


There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all treatment for anxiety in older dogs. The solution for one dog likely won't be the same as the right one for another, and in some cases, a combination of approaches may be beneficial. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog's symptoms and work together to develop a treatment plan that works for them.


Helping Your Older Dog Live Their Best Life


The physical and mental changes that occur with age in older dogs and stress often go hand in hand. Being able to recognize the signs of stress in your dog and talking to your vet when you first notice them can open the doors to finding solutions like modifying your home environment and giving your dog Kradle Calming products that may help them feel less stressed.

Does your senior dog suffer from anxiety? Share your story in the comments. Tell us what's worked for you and what challenges you still face to help other pet parents, and feel free to ask any lingering questions that you may have about dog anxiety. We'd love to hear from you.







Subscribe to receive the latest news, blogs and special offers.