Why are French Bulldogs So Anxious?

French Bulldogs crave attention which is normal as they are companion dogs. Their love for the company gets the best of them, leading to separation anxiety when they are separated from their owner.

The anxiety levels of Frenchies tend to increase when they are not given the attention or exercise they need. When their anxiety levels increase, they can sometimes showcase destructive behaviors like chewing anything they get their teeth on, raiding the trash can, pacing, scratching the door, excessive licking, and constant accidents in the house. French bulldog behavior problems can have adverse effects on the dog and even its owner, if not properly managed. It is thus imperative we know French bulldog anxiety symptoms.

French Bulldog Anxiety Symptoms


Whenever you leave your apartment or home and you may notice certain strange behaviors from your Frenchie.  There is a very high probability that such a dog has a very high chance of suffering from a certain form of anxiety. The behavior of the French bulldog can be a key indicator to detect if it is anxious. A dog owner or pet lover can watch out for the following French bulldog anxiety symptoms;

Hiding

This is popular anxiety-related behavior displayed by French bulldogs. A stressed Frenchie will always find a confined place to hide; the dog is most likely to sniff around the house till it finds the owner’s clothing to snuggle in. In an attempt to find solace, a French bulldog can hide for hours under furniture or huge appliances in the house. This is a good case of a French bulldog anxiety attack.

Panting and Yawning

This is another one of the French Bulldog anxiety symptoms. The reason a dog yawn is quite different from that of a human. When a dog yawns it is mostly a means of trying to relieve its anxiety levels. This is usually followed by panting.

Loss of Appetite

Another symptom that a French bulldog is under an anxiety attack is the loss of appetite.  Such a dog would ignore its food bowl till the owner fixes it another meal, only to ignore it again. This will result in a noticeable weight loss. This has a significant impact on the dog’s health and may lead to a host of other health problems as such a dog will lose the energy to carry out other body functions.

Barking and Howling

Whenever you are about to leave your apartment without your dog, notice its behavior, if it barks and howls continuously, this is a French bulldog anxiety symptom. It’s totally normal for a dog to bark but this form of barking is a clear sign that the dog is stressed. A dog in this condition will also whine, pace, or remain in a position for a long duration of time.

Self-Destructive Behavior

When your French bulldog has behavior problems it can create a lot of concerns for you and your family.  These bad behaviors can even cause adverse effects on the health and well-being of your French Bulldog. In very serious cases where the anxiety level of the French bulldog is high, it will display a host of self-destructive behavior, ranging from making attempts to escape by breaking a door or sliding through an opening to scratching surfaces. In most cases, such behaviors usually result in the dog getting seriously wounded in the process. French bulldog anxiety attack can have an effect on the nerves of that adorable bulldog of yours.

Other signs of symptoms of anxiety exhibited by French bulldogs to look out for are trembling, avoiding interactions, dilated pupils, and spontaneous elimination. Our cute companion may display a few of these French bulldog anxiety symptoms occasionally, especially when they are in uncomfortable situations.

my dog ate toilet paper

Causes of French Bulldog Anxiety

In general, anxiety in respect to a French bulldog is caused as a result of a varied number of reasons, namely; health, separation/abandonment, trauma, and familiarity. Below are four types of anxiety with their causes explained;

Separation Anxiety

There is no evidence to support why dogs develop separation anxiety, however, a good number of cases is reported with dogs taken from the homes or shelters where they spent a majority of their life, to a new environment usually develops separation anxiety. Dogs unlike humans are social animals that prefer to live in packs.

This goes to say that we are our dogs’ pack and whenever we are away; our best friend will definitely feel a form of discomfort known as separation anxiety. Separation anxiety was very common during the aftermath of the COVID-19 when a lot of workers returned to work in their offices instead of working from the comfort of their homes.

The dog already used to the company of its owner finds it difficult to adjust and suffer separation anxiety. This form of anxiety is not rare but common with French bulldogs. A majority of dogs detest being left alone in a particular place, no matter how short the duration is. This form of anxiety can also be a result of the deterioration in memory or the cognitive understanding of older dogs, known as old-age-onset separation anxiety.

Sickness-Induced Anxiety

This form of anxiety is usually a result of ill health. A dog that wasn’t anxious immediately gets to develop a form of anxiety as a result of its health. Key causes of this form of anxiety are highlighted below;

Encephalitis

In a situation the brain tissue swells or suffers some form of inflammation, can result to anxiety-related behaviors and clumsy gait, seizures, aggression and even comma in some cases.

Thyrotoxicosis

Popularly referred to as Grave’s Disease is an uncommon autoimmune disorder that upsets the thyroid glands.

Prediabetes

It is usually pre-diabetes when anxiety is followed by extreme weight gain, the appearance of cataracts, or excessive thirst.

Hypothyroidism

When the thyroid gland has difficulty in producing a sufficient quantity of thyroid hormones which results in a situation whereby anxiety and fear symptoms are joined by the dog gaining weight and losing hair.

Rescue/Former Shelter Anxiety

Dogs that have been left in a shelter for a long duration of time usually get to have the feeling of being abandoned. In some situations, these dogs may experience a certain traumatic situation that led to their being sent to the shelter or get to experience the said trauma or abuse when in the shelter. All these will definitely lead to the elevation of the general anxiety level of the dog for the reason that it handled an unpredictable environmental condition. This form of anxiety can lead to separation anxiety because these innocent French bulldogs are apprehensive of suffering abandonment again.

Social Anxiety

This is another form of anxiety that is mostly a result of unfamiliarity. A dog who hasn’t spent time in the company of humans or other animals may respond aggressively when stroked or sniffed by unfamiliar dogs. Such a French bulldog may exhibit behaviors such as barking, aggression, and lunging.

How to Handle French Bulldog Anxiety

A lot has been said about anxiety, its effects, and causes, it is thus imperative to shed light on how to handle it. To help a French bulldog suffering from anxiety, it is important that the anxiety’s trigger be first identified before any form of treatment is administered. When the anxiety trigger is identified, the following mechanisms can then be employed to handle the anxiety;

Exercise

Ensure that the French bulldog is well exercised. As my dog trainer says, “A tired dog is a well-behaved dog.”  This can be a short 10-15 minutes’ stroll with your dog before you leave home every day. Another option which I am a huge fan of is having your French Bulldog go to a doggy day care 2-3 days a week.

If you have a French Bulldog puppy can also get a dog play pen to keep your Frenchie in a contained environment.

A dog that is exercised won’t have the energy to build anxiety or stress levels. Exercise is very effective in managing the anxiety level of an anxious French Dog and calming a hyperactive French dog.

Supplementation

Just as supplements are helpful for French Bulldogs that are hyperactive, they are also effective for dogs suffering from anxiety. A good example of this supplement is pet CBD oil. Supplementation is known to be a highly effective means of managing anxiety for French Bulldogs. The pet CBD oil has proven to be effective in reducing the anxiety levels of a French bulldog. If severe anxiety symptoms persist, consult your vet for advice.

Show Your French Bulldog Affection

Frenchies love attention from their humans.  This is known to work miracles. French Bulldogs are popular for craving attention. In certain instances, all the dog wants is to be brought close and gently stroked. The simple act of inviting the dog to share the sofa with you, while it is gentle massage can go a long way in reducing its level of anxiety.

french bulldog laying in owner's arms

Training

In numerous instances, separation anxiety is mostly a result of certain behavior of the pet owner. Such a behavior can be modified, and with steady practice corrected. One of the effective means of stopping separation anxiety before it starts having an effect on the French bulldog is crate training. This entails introducing your French bulldog to its crane which symbolizes a haven of calm and rest and rewarding it when you notice it is calm and relaxed. The goal of proper training is to encourage calmness, not to excite the French bulldog.

French Bulldog Anxiety – Final Thoughts

French Bulldogs aren’t like other dogs; they have very specific needs that need to be met for them to be calm. Affection, attention, and enough exercise are very effective in managing the anxiety level of the dog.

PS – For more French Bulldog health articles stroll on over here.

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