According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, dog anxiety can have a variety of causes, and they’re almost never tied to the owner’s behavior (don’t worry!). Like people, dogs are very attuned to changes in their environment, so taking a look at your pup’s surroundings and history can offer you the best glimpse of what might be causing their distress.

Some of the most common causes of anxiety in dogs are:

Separation anxiety is estimated to affect around 20-40% of dogs. Dogs with separation anxiety are unable to find comfort when they’re left alone or away from their owner. This anxiety often manifests itself in behaviors like having an accident in the house, destructive chewing and digging around entry points or furniture, and excessive barking.

Fear-related anxiety can be caused by loud noises, strange people or animals, or new experiences like the vet’s office or car rides. Although some dogs may only have brief reactions to these kinds of stimuli, they may affect anxious dogs more consequentially.