life sheltie

Stressed dog, Whats a girl to do?

Kiara our shetland sheepdog in an anxiety fit. Curled up in the corner hiding from noise.
Kiara in one of her anxiety fits from a car alarm going off. 

So for the past few months I’ve noticed that my dog has become increasingly agitated. She cowers at things she never use to. She shakes at loud or different sounds, like my four year old sister’s bell on her bike. She sleeps in the corners of the room or under things when she used to sprawl out anywhere.  I’m not really sure what the cause of this behavior change is. The only thing I really can think of is that since July 4th (ish) this has really become an increasing problem. We moved closer to the city by about a 10 minute drive. What I realized is we are much closer to the waterfront where the fireworks go off. That coupled with the neighbors setting off fireworks three nights a week all summer long I suspect this could be the cause.  Sometimes I was able to calm her by raising the sound of the television but it was not always the case.

Just now someone’s car alarm is going off and she began to pace. Then she lays down in one spot all curled up and then gets up and moves to another spot and the cycle repeats. Now, I’m pretty sure apart from the fireworks the sounds are pretty much similar. In fact I hear a lot less sirens here. Another thing I’ve noticed is that, for some reason, whenever my dog goes down the steps my mother’s dog (a Chihuahua) snaps at her feet. I don’t remember that ever happening before,  I don’t know why she is aggressive at this point. 

Sometimes she’ll even chase Kiara to the steps when she knows my dog is going to head back upstairs. However, when they are both downstairs together everything is perfectly fine. Could this aggression from my mother’s dog be the cause of this, could it be new sounds? Either way I need to get to the bottom of how to fix this problem and get Kiara back to her old, happy self.

Kiara the shetland sheepdog
Kiara a few months ago, after her minor surgery

The other day at the dog park she actually freaked out at another dog for sniffing her. She has been around dogs her entire life, playing and wrestling are about as far as she goes with attacking another dog. I am worried that her change in behavior led her to react differently to other dogs as well.  For now I am not going to be bringing her to the dog park. This particular dog park has large dogs (which it was) and small dogs in the same area. Could that be the problem even though Kiara has been around different sized dogs her entire life? 

The only anxiety she ever really displayed was being in the car, she would get sick. We fixed that a while back with anxiety pills for traveling and making it as comfortable as possible for her.

sheltie upset anxiety

I’ve spent most of the week cuddling my dog because she was stressing and shaking about one thing or another.  I am debating on if we need to make a vet visit or should I just attempt one of those Anxiety Wraps? I’ve been trying to give her treats and encouragement whenever these noises set her off, sometimes it calms her down other times she keeps pacing. I’ll be updating on her progress.
What would you do? Any advice you could give?

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