Read Your Dog’s Body Language – How Dogs Express Anxiety

anxiety in dogs

anxiety in dogs

All dog owners long to understand their beloved pets a little bit better. Our dogs can’t talk to us, so they can’t tell us what they’re feeling. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t communicating. By paying attention to your dog’s body language, you can gain a very clear understanding of how he’s feeling most of the time.


One of the easiest emotions to read on your dog is anxiety. Dogs can feel stressed or anxious for a wide variety of reasons, and it’s not always easy to predict what will trigger this emotion. But by watching your dog for expressions of anxiety, you can help him relax and feel more comfortable.


The Ears

The ears are one of the easiest ways to read anxiety on a dog. A happy, comfortable dog will display relaxed ears. When a dog is experiencing unease, however, his ears tend to become more erect. Of course, perked up ears could also just be a sign of interest—a dog will perk his ears up at the sound of his own name or a word with which he’s familiar, for example. You can use context to judge whether your dog is feeling anxious or whether he is merely paying attention to something.


A more reliable sign of anxiety is the flattening of the ears back against the head. This can be hard to spot on a dog with floppy ears. Pay attention to the base of your dog’s ears and watch for them to rotate back and move the ear back from its normal position.



Your dog may not be able to speak, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t “talking” to you. Do yourself and your dog a favor and familiarize yourself with the meanings behind different types of dog vocalizations so you’ll know what your dog is saying.


In most cases, a dog will communicate anxiety by barking. Get to know your dog’s normal bark and listen for a higher pitch. This change in pitch indicates nervousness.


Physiological Symptoms

Excessive anxiety affects more than your dog’s behavior—it affects his well being, too. A dog suffering from anxiety might manifest the following physiological symptoms:


  • Shedding
  • Drooling
  • Tension
  • Excessive tail wagging
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Licking
  • Digging
  • Chewing
  • Pacing
  • Aggression


If your dog is suffering from anxiety, CBD for dogs can help to alleviate that suffering and help them achieve relaxation. Speak to your veterinarian or contact us today to find out what CBD can do for you and your dog.