Ways To Alleviate Stress In Your Dog
Stress levels naturally waver, and sometimes stressful situations are unavoidable. Maybe a family member travels a lot, changing your dogs schedule. Or you cant help loud noises around where you live.
There are ways to generally avoid stressful situations for your dog and offer ways to alleviate stress.
- Prevention. Reduce stressful environmental factors, like exposure to noise or crowds. Exercise and mental stimulation are essential.
- Reciprocation and affirmation. Repeating back certain behaviors emulates and supports your dogs efforts to calm down. You can also offer calming affirmations.
- Safe zone. Make sure your dog has a crate or mat they know is their space to feel safe and calm down.
- Training. Untrained dogs suffer needless anxiety trying to figure you out. And a trainer can help you improve any unintentionally stress-inducing behaviors.
- Consistent caregivers. kennels can create stress, as can strangers. A loving dog sitter reduces stress, as does a dog walker. Rover can help you find both.
Most importantly, be aware. Note potential signs of stress in your dog, and consult your vet. Also, yoga with your dog? Is totally a thing.
Anxiety In Dogs Can Present In Many Forms Such As:
These different types of anxiety can be caused by multiple factors and can also occur in conjunction with one another.
How can you tell if your dog has anxiety? Body language is often the best indicator.
Symptoms may vary from dog to dog depending on the type and severity of their anxiety, but the easiest way to identify if your dog is suffering from anxiety is by paying attention to their body language.
This can include subtle signs, like overreactions or unusual reactions when there are changes in location, people, or social situations. It might show up as barking or being overreactive but can also be as simple as not being interested in food when theyre in a new environment.
Common Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety
The following is a list of symptoms that may indicate separation anxiety:
Urinating and DefecatingSome dogs urinate or defecate when left alone or separated from their guardians. If a dog urinates or defecates in the presence of his guardian, his house soiling probably isnt caused by separation anxiety.
Barking and HowlingA dog who has separation anxiety might bark or howl when left alone or when separated from his guardian. This kind of barking or howling is persistent and doesnt seem to be triggered by anything except being left alone.
Chewing, Digging and DestructionSome dogs with separation anxiety chew on objects, door frames or window sills, dig at doors and doorways, or destroy household objects when left alone or separated from their guardians. These behaviors can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped paws and damaged nails. If a dogs chewing, digging and destruction are caused by separation anxiety, they dont usually occur in his guardians presence.
EscapingA dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where hes confined when hes left alone or separated from his guardian. The dog might attempt to dig and chew through doors or windows, which could result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails. If the dogs escape behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it doesnt occur when his guardian is present.
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Always Seek Expert Help
Remember, it is your duty as a dog owner to ensure your dog gets enough relief from stress. Always seek expert help whenever you cant relieve your dog from unnecessary barking, panting, and shedding. Check out for more tips on how to handle a stressed dog.
Spectrum Canine Dog Training
Changes In Toilet Habits
Dogs with boarding kennel stress will often show a change in their peeing and pooping. For example, your dog might come home and start pooping around the house. He could even have diarrhea , or he might start marking his territory with urine.
The territory marking is classic stressful behavior and is easy to understand. Your dog has been in a strange place with different dogs trying to assert their authority. As a result, your dog will come home from kennels and immediately want to re-establish that hes back in his own territory, with urine marking being his way of showing that.
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Increased Levels Of Oxytocin
The hormone oxytocin, also known as the feel-good hormone, can make you feel happier and reduce stress levels. It is naturally produced when something makes you feel happy. Research has shown that when people are petting an animal, their body produces more oxytocin, thus making them feel happier and reducing stress. This shows that dog owners can feel better by petting their dog during stressful times.
My Dog Is Acting Different After Moving Whats Wrong
If youre wondering why your dog is acting different after moving, it could be because theyre feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by the additional attention theyre receiving from new family members in the house. Dogs of any age need time to rest and be by themselves, particularly during their normal eating and resting times. Your dog will also need plenty of time alone with you to get some personal attention from their favorite person, without always having to share you with the other adults, children, and pets in the house.
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Start Sleep And Crate Training
If your dog has not slept in a crate before then now is a great time to do so. They will have more room in kennels compared to a crate, but crate training in a different room of your house can help prepare them for the stress of a smaller living environment.
Dogs that sleep with their owners will find it a lot tougher acclimatizing to boarding kennels, so start this this process a couple of weeks before boarding.
If you dont do this, you might find that your dog is very sleepy and lethargic after boarding.
How Can You Tell If Your Dog Is Sexually Frustrated
You can tell that your dog is sexually frustrated if they hump things, vocalize a lot, or want to be near a female in heat. Humping is a sign of sexual excitement.
The ASPCA states that dogs who arent allowed to mount a female in heat will often hump or masturbate. They will do it to other things or other dogs.
Male and female dogs will vocalize a lot if near each other. And they arent allowed to go and mate.
Male dogs can track females in heat through the smell of their urine.
Its a biological urge that they cant ignore.
So if you take your female for a walk around the area of your house, male dogs can appear at your gate.
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How To Help Your Dog Relieve Stress
Its not surprising that our dogs often exhibit stress just as humans. These stress feelings can result from various things, including strangers in our homes, abandonment, loud noises, and being around other pets. However, unlike humans, dogs have no means of relieving such feelings and can only express them by displaying unusual behaviors like panting, shedding, intense barking, or prolonged yawning. If you find it challenging to identify stress in your dog, various dog training experts like canine training offer stress-relieving exercises for dogs.
These unusual stress-related behaviors can sometimes be intimidating to humans. So, its advisable to attend to your dog whenever they display any sign of distress. It would be best to ensure that you understand your dog to differentiate whether the behavior is stress-related or just regular yawning or barking. If stressed, you need ways to ease and relieve them from the stress. Here are essential tips to get you started.
Increased Feelings Of Social Support Were Reported Too
“But students were reporting less feelings of negativity,” Chen continues, “and more interestingly, they reported a greater global sense of social support. Their perceived social support, not just from the therapy dog session, but in general, was higher. We found that quite interesting, that just being part of a session like this might have a larger effect on the global perspectives of your social environment.
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Pack Familiar Smelling Items
Your dog will miss you when youre gone, so you can help to reduce their kennel stress by packing familiar bedding for them to get comfortable on.
To further help with any possible separation anxiety and homesickness, pack something with a familiar smell of you on it perhaps a t-shirt or blanket you both cuddle up with at home.
Handy Hint: Not sure what to bring for your dog? Worry no more, with this checklist of what to bring to boarding kennels for a happy dog experience.
Try Dog Appeasing Pheromones
Dog appeasing pheromones are synthetic pheromones similar to the calming pheromones that female dogs give off while nursing puppies.
These pheromones can help reduce anxiety in some dogs and are available in a few different forms. There are collars, sprays, and diffusers, so you can choose the best option for your dog.
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How To Cope While Your Dog Learns To Be Calm
It can take time for your dog to unlearn their panic response to your departures. To help you and your dog cope in the short term, consider the following interim solutions:
- Ask your veterinarian about drug therapy to reduce your dogs overall anxiety.
- If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs, take your dog to a well-run doggie daycare facility or kennel when you have to be away.
- Leave your dog with a friend, family member or neighbor when youre away.
- Take your dog to work with you, if possible.
Build Up To Stressful Situations Slowly
Rather than jumping into the car for day trips, we realized we were first going to have to desensitize Barli to the car, taking baby steps to show him that the car means fun! Wearing an ADAPTIL® Calm OnTheGo Collar, weve slowly, slowly re-introduced Barli to the car. Hes progressed from just sitting in the car and eating treats to sitting in the car with the motor running, backing out of the carport then pulling back in, driving to our gate and back, short trips, and, finally, last weeks trip the beach!
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How To Move Across The Country With A Dog
Before you move across the country with a dog, check the local laws in the area youre moving to. The US Department of Agriculture website has plenty of information about bringing dogs in from overseas, while youll need to check with your local council to find out about leash laws, off-leash areas, and any rules relating to specific breeds. Your vet should be able to advise whether your dog will need any specific vaccinations before traveling across the country.
How To Treat It
First, talk to your vet to rule out any medical problems. Sometimes dogs have accidents in the house because of infections or hormone problems or other health conditions. It also could be due to incomplete housebreaking. And some medications can cause accidents. If your dog takes any drugs, ask your vet if they are to blame.
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How Owning A Dog Or Cat Can Reduce Stress
When thinking of ways to reduce stress in life, usually techniques like meditation, yoga, and journaling come to mind. These are great techniques, to be sure. But getting a new best friend can also have many stress relieving and health benefits. While human friends provide great social support and come with some fabulous benefits, this article focuses on the benefits of furry friends: cats and dogs.
But Why Is My Dog Stressed
Some causes of stress are obvious, like a whole group of excited children. For many dogs, thats pretty darn stressful. Other things to consider:
- Dogs thrive on routine and when its disrupted whether its walk time or chow time they get nervous.
- Boredom causes stress. Lack of mental stimulation can eat at a dog. A toy, a task, and challenging exercise are all important to reduce stress.
- Noise overload. 21st-century living, particularly urban dwelling, bombards our dogs with loud noises.
- Former trauma. If you adopted a dog with a known traumatic past, more intervention might be required. For military dogs, for example, canine PTSD can be a real issue. Other traumatic events such as natural disasters, car accidents, neglect, and abuse, may have left behind emotional scars. In these cases, a behavioral specialist will probably be helpful.
- New people. All dogs are different. Guests, children, crowded situations, or strange hands petting them may impact your dogs nerves significantly.
- You. Yep. Your mood, especially agitation, will affect your loving companion, whether youre worked up about your dog or something else entirely.
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Teach Your Dog To Relax On A Mat
A safe spot to chill out can be a great stress relief for dogs. Show your dog that settling on a mat is a great place to relax by giving them yummy chews or even a massage when theyre hanging out there.
If a mat isnt cutting it for your dog, you can create Zen spaces just for dogs to help them relax.
How To Help Him
Ask your veterinarian for advice. Every dog has his own way of responding to treatment. Here are some good starting points:
House him better. Leaving him in the corner of the porch or in the stairwell can make him anxious.
Play with him keep him active. Take him for walks at least twice a day.
Vary the walks or jog with him.
Bathe and brush him regularly. Talk to him often and groom him yourself.
See a veterinarian right away if he has licking granuloma or attacks people.
Also see the vet if he has separation anxiety: youll know if he follows you from room to room or wont tolerate playing outside alone. Medication and behavioral therapy can reduce this stress.
Dont talk loudly to your child or hit him, as this will only make him more anxious.
Another important point is that if you are stressed yourself, your dog will feel it and in turn, he will be stressed.
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Lure Your Dog To A Safe Space
When in doubt, simply move your dog away from whatever is scaring them. In some cases, this will help a stressed dog more than anything else.
In some cases, its as simple as calling your dog to you. If your dog is good at hand targeting , you can also ask your dog to target your hand repeatedly to move them away from the scary thing.
If none of that works, or your dogs training isnt quite solid enough yet, grab a treata yummy, smelly oneput it right up to your dogs nose to get their attention, and then walk away while keeping your hand right at your dogs nose, so they follow you. Wait to feed them the treat until you are far away from the scary thing and have control of your dog .
Encourage Your Dog To Be Independent
If your dog is especially anxious and struggles to be away from you even for short periods of time, you can work on teaching them to settle on their own. Teaching them this will help your dog become more independent in themselves and will help with further training in the future.
To do this, fill a food toy such as a Kong and place it by your feet while you are watching TV. Do this regularly over the space of a few weeks and gradually place it further away from you each time. This will teach your dog to settle down and engage in activities without you. When your dog is occupied with the food you should still go in and out of the room as normal.
If you are able, installing baby gates throughout the house will allow you to move from room to room without your dog always being able to follow. This will help in training your dog to remain calm when you are not nearby and can sometimes help by showing them that you are still in the house. You could also try scattering a few bits of your dogs daily allowance of dry food on the floor when you leave a room, which will provide them with a distraction.