Dogs, like humans, can become anxious. It usually occurs when canines are put in tough conditions. This is not always the case. While it can be difficult to determine what is causing your dog to be anxious, you can quickly detect some of the symptoms and take appropriate action. In this post, we’ll look at some of the indicators of stress in dogs and what you can do to help your dog feel better.
Recognizing signs of stress in a dog
Dogs, like humans, can experience stress and exhibit particular behaviors when they do.
Recognize changes in their habits
When a dog is worried, it is usually rather obvious. Based on your knowledge of your pet’s habits, make your decision. Knowing your pet’s personality well assists you to recognize instances in which your dog is not reacting appropriately. For example, if your dog normally enjoys going for walks but refuses to move, this could indicate stress. Other sorts of behavior include refusing to eat or not greeting you when you arrive home.
Dogs and cats enjoy routines. If your dog abruptly changes their pattern, it is most likely because they are bothered by something. Internal (wounds, digestive difficulties, etc.) or external (a loud noise, a phobia) causes can exist.
Stress manifests physically
You may also discover that your dog is stressed if they are agitated and have difficulty relaxing down. They may pant as quickly at rest as they would after an exercise session. They may even become angry or salivate excessively. Depending on the severity of the digestive disorders, this can have an impact on their stress and produce gas and diarrhea.
If your dog loses fur outside of molting seasons, it could be an indication of stress. You can also check the position of your dog’s ears to see whether he or she is feeling worried. If your dog is frequently reclining back, they are in an uncomfortable situation and demand your care.
A nervous dog may exhibit unusual behavior in addition to physical difficulties. Dogs may become less attentive to their owners’ demands and everything around them in some instances. Instead, they will be preoccupied with the source of their concern and will be unable to relax. They may also grow agitated. For example, they may bark for no apparent reason in an attempt to attract your attention. Furthermore, when confronted with mundane situations, they may exhibit disproportionate reactions. In other words, when they are petted or when someone gets up, they may behave terrified or hostile.
In the worst-case scenario, kids may also injure themselves. This is especially true when a dog is concerned about being abandoned.
Sources of anxiety
A variety of factors might cause a pet to become stressed and anxious.
A shift in the environment
Our four-legged friends are very attached to their way of life, and a change in their environment, such as a move, may be extremely upsetting. Furthermore, loud noises (fireworks, a car horn, thunder) can frighten your dog. It is critical to recognize the sounds that frighten your dog so that you can protect them.
A smell that your dog is unfamiliar with or does not recognize can also cause anxiety. Even if the cause is not always obvious, it is advisable to observe your dog to try to identify the source of their worry. Check that you haven’t brought in any new furniture or clothing that may have an unpleasant odor for your dog.
The departure or arrival of a family member
Every dog has its own personality. While some dogs are amiable, forcing an interaction with them when they are not in the mood is not a good idea. This can actually be stressful for them. If they are not acclimated to it, the advent of a new pet, child, or other new person can create stress.
The prospect of being separated from a member of the family can make a dog extremely anxious. This can often become a source of worry for dogs, whether for a short or extended amount of time.
Voice or body language
Dogs are accustomed to their owners and can detect changes in your voice or conduct. They may become anxious if they do not know how to respond. A directive delivered more forcefully than normal, or angry gestures, for example, can make them fearful of you.
A phobia or pathology
Dogs might suffer from stress on a regular basis. It could be because they are of a breed that is naturally anxious or stressed. This is common in Spanish Water Dogs and Shetland Sheepdogs. A recurring anxiety disorder can also be inherited. Notably, if the dog’s parents were scared as well, or if the breed is anxious by nature.
Your dog may be afraid of something. Yes, dogs, like humans, can develop phobias that can be harmful to them. There is a fear of heights, a dread of loud noises like fireworks or gunshots, and even a fear of strangers.
Assist your dog in dealing with stress.
A stressed-out dog is an uncomfortable situation. However, many difficulties are very treatable with the help of a veterinarian, a behaviorist, a few lifestyle changes, or some schooling.
Consult a veterinarian.
It is important to take your pet’s stress seriously. It deserves your attention because it could have bodily or psychological consequences. If you are unsure about the source of your worry, you should visit a veterinarian. They will be able to tell you whether your dog is stressed or whether the behavior is related to a wound or another cause. In addition to treatment, your dog will be able to be monitored by a behaviorist veterinarian, allowing you to take long-term action.
Establish a steady atmosphere
Ascertain that your dog is not missing anything. Your dog needs to feel protected in order to be happy and not worried, and it is up to you to provide them with that. Food, a house, hobbies, and affection are all important for your dog to be happy. If this is not the case, your dog may suffer and exhibit signs of tension, anxiety, and, in the worst-case scenario, depression.
Physical activity should not be neglected. Your dog desperately needs to play and go for walks. This will allow them to get rid of the tension they have acquired or maybe prevent it from arising in the first place.
Prepare your dog for the unexpected.
Travel, children, or a move—our lives are full of surprises. Unfortunately, once dogs reach adulthood, they struggle when confronted with events they do not comprehend. This is especially true if they were not previously exposed to them. If your dog is still young, do not be afraid to introduce this type of circumstance to him gradually. This will allow your dog to be more sociable as an adult, to not be upset when you are not home, and to simply not stress when they do not know how to behave in unusual situations.
If your dog is already an adult, proceed as normally as possible. This will demonstrate to your dog that there is nothing to be concerned about.