Pacing Dogs – Why They Do It

Have you noticed your dog become consumed with pacing around? Whether it is back and forth or around in circles, the constant nervous movement seems out of the ordinary for dogs. What do they have to be so nervous or stressed out about? Well, when it comes to pacing and dogs, it typically is out of the ordinary and usually not related to a stressful situation. In fact, if you dog is pacing, it is a condition that needs to be looked into to ensure there is not a major concern. Possible reasons for your dog’s pacing could be anything from behavioral issues to health concerns and even environmental factors.
Behavioral Reasons
There are a number of behavior reasons as to why your dog may be pacing. The first and most simple reason could simply be boredom. If your dog is craving more attention and structure in his daily life, he simply could be so bored that there is nothing better to do than to walk around back and forth. The more activities and people you can get your dog involved in and with the better for your dog. Other behavioral issues can also play into your dog’s pacing. If your dog has anxiety or has recently gone through separation anxiety these could also play a factor. Do not discipline your dog for the behavior, rather give your dog options to focus some positive energy into.

Health Reasons
Your dog’s health could be the cause for your dog’s recent pacing. The possible conditions that can contribute to pacing are vast and can range from common infections to more serious cognitive diseases. If your dog has an infection, like an ear ache or even an eye infection the pain could be causing your dog to pace around the house. Another possible cause for pacing is also the aging disease, Alzheimer’s. The confusion and forgetfulness that is accompanied by this disease can cause your dog to become unaware and pace without realizing it or even knowing why. Other cognitive diseases could also be the cause for your dog’s pacing as well. It is important to schedule an appointment with your dog’s veterinarian to either treat or rule out any of the possible health conditions.
Environmental Reasons
Environmental causes could also be the cause for your dog’s pacing. If your dog is hyper-sensitive, keep a watchful eye out on what is going on with the environment to see if you can tie something together when your dog begins pacing. Perhaps the loud noise of a thunderstorm, or even a windstorm could be causing your dog some nervousness. Perhaps a little critter, field mouse or even rabbit are stressing your dog out to begin pacing. Try removing your dog from those environmental factors and if that still doesn’t do the job, visit your dog’s veterinarian to figure out if there are other suggestions for your to consider, or possible even setting up an appointment with a dog behaviorist to dig deeper into why your dog is being bothered by these environmental factors.
Susan Wright DMV is a vet and writer, sharing articles that provide tips to create lasting memories with your dogs