Stressed Dog: 7 Signs That Your Dog Is Stressed And How To Help
Is your dog acting strangely lately? Are they not being themselves as you usually know them? Just like people, dogs can experience stress. It is important to look after not only the physical health of your dog, but also their mental health. If you notice changes in your dog’s behavior that are unrelated to other medical conditions, then you might have a stressed dog.
Here are ten common signs to help you recognize a stressed dog, and what to do to help your dog feel better and more relaxed. Before we get into it, let’s talk about the things that might cause stress in your dog.
Causes Of Stress In Dogs
Your dog can be stressed for various of reasons. A change of environment, a change of diet, a loss in the family – everything that stresses you can stress your dog out as well. Just like people, dogs have their own safe space, comfort zone or things that they do that help them relax. When these things disappear your dog can start stressing out.
Stress can lead to many other health problems, which is why it is important to identify it and reduce it or completely eliminate it. The first step is to notice the signs in your dog’s behavior and go from there.
What Signs Indicate A Stressed Dog?
While every dog is different and they might manifest their stress in different way or behavior, there are a few common signs you should keep in mind when you’re wondering if your dog is experiencing stress:
1. Changes In The Sleeping Routine
A stressed dog, just like a stressed man might experience problems with sleep. If you notice your dog sleeping too much or too little, it might be because they’re experiencing stress. If your dog is avoiding going to sleep or is sleeping too much, maybe something is bothering them.
2. Loss Of Appetite
When dogs experience stress, they often manifest it through avoiding to eat. If your dog isn’t that excited about his treats anymore, there could be a good reason for that. Not eating as much as they used to can imply that your dog isn’t very happy with something.
This is something very common in dogs that are stressed/anxious. Excessive panting happens when your dog is under stress. So, if you notice that they are panting a lot more than they usually would and it isn’t because they’re excited about something, stress might be causing this.
4. Not Being Active As They Usually Are
If you have a dog that likes to jump and play around, and all of a sudden this is not the case anymore – this is a sign of a stressed dog. The loss of motivation to play, move and be active should alert you. If they prefer to be still, hide somewhere and avoid playing, it can be because they’re stressed.
5. Excessive licking, scratching, shaking without any particular reason
All of these behaviors shouldn’t happen unless there is a good reason for them to happen. Behavior like this, if unrelated and excessive shouldn’t happen.
6. Being Too Vocal
Whining, barking, making weird noises..all might come as a cry for help.
7. Digestive Problems
If your dog has tummy pains or needs to do business often, it can be because of stress. Stress affects the digestive system of people sometimes too, and dogs are no exception.
How To Help A Stressed Dog
The best cure is prevention. So you should always strive to provide a nice environment and activities through out the day that will be beneficial for your dog’s mental health. Living in a clean, peaceful space where they can rest and feel comfortable is a must. Playing, bonding with your dog and assuring him that you are there for them is really important for your dog.
If you notice signs of stress in your dog’s behavior, the first thing you should do is identify the source of stress. Is it some recent event, something in the house that is making your dog stressed? Once you identify the source of stress, you should work on getting it out of the way.
When your dog is stressed, you should be there for them. Try not to leave them alone for too long. Make sure that they’re in a space where they feel safe so they can relax. Keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior. Take them out on walks. Try to do things with him that make them happy. Take your dog out for walks. Organize play dates with other dogs. Surround them with nice things like you would do it for yourself if you were experiencing stress.
If your dog’s unusual behavior keeps going on…
then you should contact your vet and schedule an appointment. Especially if there isn’t a source of stress that you can identify yourself. As stress can progress into more serious issues and deviant behavior in your pet, you should keep a close eye on him and see if they’re getting better.
What matters is that you provide your best friend a good environment where they feel like they can recover and be more relaxed. Your dog needs love, attention and care for both their physical and mental health. Acknowledging this will not only cause prevention, but early intervention as well.