Dog Pacing: Why Does My Dog Do This in Boynton Beach, FL?

When a dog paces, they are usually walking back and forth from one spot to another. Just like humans, dogs may begin pacing back and forth if they are feeling anxious or stressed. Dog pacing is not typically a health issue; it is more of a behavioral response to them being nervous about something.

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Common Reasons Why Dog Pacing Occurs

If you notice your dog pacing, you should stop and watch them to see if they are showing other symptoms that could require medical treatment or attention. You know your dog’s behaviors and patterns better than anyone else, so you will most likely be able to determine why your dog is pacing or when something is out of the norm. When your dog’s pacing seems unusual, you should speak with your veterinarian in Boynton Beach, FL. about possible causes and ways you can help minimize this behavior. Otherwise, your dog may just be worked up about something.

Some of the main reasons your dog is pacing include:

Over Excitement

If a dog is excited, they will demonstrate a ton of energy. Think about how excited your dog is to finally see you when you get home from work. When you come home, your dog knows he or she is going to get treats and attention from you. These are VERY exciting events that your dog looks forward to.

Your dog will understand words and phrases such as “going for a walk” or “treats” and they will get very excited until it finally happens. Therefore, you should never make promises to your dog until you are ready to fulfill those promises.

If your dog has a regular daily routine, they may not pace as much. However, if they don’t have a strict schedule and routine, they will remain very excited while waiting for what is coming next.

Stress, Worry, and Anxiety

There are many common stress triggers for dogs. Loud noises, storms, and fireworks can cause stress and anxiety for your dog. Separation anxiety is also a trigger for dogs. They do not like to be away from human company, especially as young puppies. Try to help your dog understand that you will always return home to them.

If you notice your dog is pacing because they are stressed or anxious, try to identify the trigger that is causing the stress. There are calming supplements that you can purchase over the counter for your dog. When you know a storm is coming, or when your neighbors start popping fireworks, try giving your dog a calming supplement to see if it helps.

Boredom or Lack of Stimulation

Dogs need interaction and stimulation on a daily basis. If a dog is bored, they may begin to pace back and forth just trying to keep themselves busy. Taking your dog for a walk is more than just exercise for their body; they are also using their mind by taking in everything going on around them. Instead of hurrying your dog along during a walk, let them stop and sniff their surroundings. This fires up their brain as they process the different sights and smells, which in turn tires them out by the time you get back home.

If your dog hasn’t gotten enough stimulation or hasn’t been able to exercise their mind enough, they will begin to grow restless, and you may notice them pacing back and forth more frequently.

Your Dog Smells or Hears Something

Dogs have heightened senses. This is why you may sometimes see your dog staring at the wall and growling at something that you can’t see. Your dog may detect mice or bugs in your walls and pace around until they find exactly where the pest is. When your dog does this, he or she is trying to protect you.

Your dog may also hear something happening outside that your human ears don’t hear. Whatever they hear may be making them nervous which can lead to them pacing around the house. Offer your dog reassurance and try to help them calm down.

In Heat

If you have a female dog who is not spayed, she will go into heat every six months or so. The cycle can last up to three weeks and during this time, your dog will be restless. She may pace constantly and not be able to settle down. She will want to go outside regularly and will attract unfixed male dogs when you take her for walks. The only way to prevent or stop this behavior is to have your dog spayed.

Pain and Discomfort

If you notice your older dog pacing back and forth, it could be due to arthritis. Larger breeds of dogs are more prone to having arthritis later in their life. Because larger dogs carry more weight, their joints experience more wear and tear over time.

If you know your dog is not suffering from arthritis, their pain or discomfort may have a different cause. Look for signs of limping – it’s possible they have pulled a muscle or injured themselves in another way. If your dog is pacing, he or she may be uncomfortable or in pain and you should contact a veterinarian.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s Disease occurs when the adrenal glands overproduce cortisol in a dog’s body. This condition mainly affects senior dogs. Cortisol is the stress hormone, which means a dog that is overproducing cortisol will constantly be agitated. This leads to them pacing around the home. There are other symptoms that accompany a Cushing’s Disease diagnosis, but this could be one reason why your dog is constantly pacing.

Contact Your Veterinarian in Boynton Beach, FL if Your Dog is Pacing

This is not a complete list of reasons why dogs pace back and forth around the home. It can be something as simple as they need more attention and stimulation, or it could be something more complex that requires a medical diagnosis and treatment.

If you are unable to control your dog’s pacing behaviors on your own, talk to your veterinarian at Colonial Animal Hospital or Colonial Gateway Veterinary Center . We can assist you with determining the reasoning behind your dog’s pacing behaviors and find a treatment method. If you have any additional questions or concerns about dog pacing in Boynton Beach, FL, contact us today!