Saturday, January 28, 2023

How To Make Your Dog Less Stressed

Don’t Rush Your Dog’s Morning Potty

How do I make vet visits less stressful for my dog?

You might be rushing to get out the door to get to work, but your dog doesn’t share your feelings of urgency. Sandi Laird, animal care director at Operation Kindness, told USA Today that not every dog goes to the bathroom as soon as it gets outside. Give your dog the time it needs to take an adequate bathroom break before you leave for an entire day.

Tip 3 Give Them Bedtime Cuddles Or Massages

If you cant allow your pup to sleep near you, go ahead with the alternative option. How about giving them massages or cuddles? I think that’s a good idea to help them cope with anxiety or stress at night.

Spending good time with the owner is itself a relaxation for pups. Try slow ear and head rubs and as well as feet rubs. The petite massage not just makes them relax but reduces the chances of stress in dogs. Cuddling and massage can be wonderful gestures to show your love for dogs.

Lip Licking Drooling And Yawning

When they are bored or tired, dogs yawn. They also yawn when they are stressed. Stressed yawns are more intense and prolonged than a sleepy yawn. If there is no food involved, lip licking and drooling are also a sign of stress.

Dogs tend to lick their lips when they feel threatened around someone or something, or when they feel uncomfortable. Its an attempt to prevent their aggression from swelling up. If you notice any of these signs, look around and identify the source of stress and get rid of it immediately.

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Desensitising Your Dog To Loud Noises

Life in general can be very noisy, and many dogs find loud noises scary and stressful. Desensitising your dog to loud noises is a good way to keep them calm in situations that may otherwise make them anxious.

While there are things you can do to calm your dog during a period of loud noises, such as fireworks, or Bonfire night, getting your dog used to loud sounds can be a better long-term solution. By gradually desensitising your dog to loud noises over a period of time, you can teach them to associate these sounds with something positive, instead of something to be scared of.

This process should be carried out over a gradual period of time and can take months. Were going to use fireworks as an example, however, if its too late to do this, we have some tips on how to manage your dogs stress during loud noises too.

Watch the video below and follow the steps to help desensitise your dog to loud noises.

What Happens When Dogs Feel Anxious

How to Make Mealtime Less Stressful for Your Dog

There are several symptoms of anxiety in dogs that you should look out for, especially if you feel anxious near your dog.

Anxious behaviors can include chewing objects around the house, having accidents even though theyre housetrained, licking or chewing at their own paws or skin, barking or whining, pacing, scratching, trying to escape, or showing physiological responses like dilated pupils, shaking, and excessive panting.

If you see these signs on a regular basis, it may mean your dog has an anxiety disorder instead of just a general feeling of anxiety.

The problem can go from bad to worse when dogs react to anxious humans and become anxious, themselves. For example, a person whos anxious or fearful around dogs might tense up and stare.

Dogs can take this as a challenge posture and become anxious and defensive. This is when incidents can happen.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that less emotionally stable people are more likely to be bitten by dogs. This is a correlation, not a causation, but its possible that anxious behaviors lead dogs to feel more anxious and respond with fear or aggression.

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What Stress Signals To Look For

Just like with people, dogs can express stress in a variety of ways and degrees, says McCue-McGrath. Some of the classic visual cues: crouching, pulling their ears back, tucking their tail, excessive blinking, shivering or trembling. Your pup might also pace or stand with one foot in the air, and if you can see the whites of her eyes easily, thats another sign shes anxious.

Many dogs will also stress pant, which can be hard to tell apart from normal panting at first, says Fratt. Youll know the panting is likely stress-related if there isnt a physical reason to be pantingfor instance if your dog wasnt just exercising and its not hot. Any behavior that doesnt make sense given the situation, like yawning repeatedly when nothing else is going on or lip licking when no food is presentmay be a signal of stress, says Fratt.

Tip 4 Make Sure To Take Them Out To The Bathroom Before Bed

Your dog is trained to pass it out at some specific point!

Dogs will get stressed when they need to go out to pee or poop at night, but they can’t. If you can’t keep the door open for them to move out, then make sure to take them out before bedtime. In this way, your pup will not have urination in the middle of the night.

Also Check: Can You Get Cancer From Stress

Spend Quality Time With Your Cat

Spending some ‘one-on-one’ time, sitting quietly with your cat, can help reassure him. Gently stroking your cat, from head to tail, will also help to relax him. Making a fuss of your cat or rewarding him with a treat, when faced with a stressful situation, can also help change his perception from a negative to a positive outlook.

Also, make sure that your cat is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation. As Barney is reluctant to go outside now, I tend to let him out while I potter around in the garden. My presence helps him to build up his confidence and he is beginning to become more independent.

Encourage your cat to play with a variety of cat toys. Neko Flies cat toys are very popular but there are plenty of others to choose from. You should also try and rotate the toys every few days so that your cat does not become bored. You can also purchase cat toys that contain catnip. Just be careful to monitor your cat’s reaction to catnip as it may stimulate aggression in male cats.

Cats love your undivided attention.


Increased Heart Rate And Panting

How to Tell if Your Dog is Stressed. Signs of Stress in Dogs. ð?¶ #ANXVLOG02

The autonomic nervous system kicks in automatically when stress occurs. This is the fight, flight, or freeze response to external fears or stressors. It is an involuntary response system for survival and adapting.

Dogs also have a sympathetic nervous system. When a dog is stressed, this system releases adrenaline and increases their heart rate and respiratory rate, which is often seen as panting.

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Tips For Your Dogs Anxiety On New Years Eve

The year has raced by us, yet again, and is now coming to an end. As you plan your New Years Eve parties, take into account your pets. It may be a joyous night for you, but for your little guy, it may be a night of anxiety. Much like the fourth of July, New Years Eve is full of loud noises that may stress out not only your dogs but cats too. Here are a few ways you can help keep your animals calm and safe this year.

Ways To Make Your Dogs Bathtime Less Stressful

A hot bath is soothing and relaxing a great way to kick back and forget about the anxiety of the day. A bath for your dog, on the other hand, is probably the source of some of that anxiety.

The fact is: your dog doesnt want to be washed just as much as you dont want to wash him. It doesnt have anything to do with actually being clean and smelling fresh, but rather the lack of agency that comes with a hop in the tub, says Katelin Thomas, an associate certified dog behavior consultant and owner of K9 Turbo Training in Michigan.

Think about how invasive it is and how quickly the owner wants to get done, Thomas says. Theres not much choice there for the dog. Choice empowers them and makes them feel in control.

It takes time to help your dog feel like bathtime is another fun part of her day, but the payoff to all that preparation is that the water will mostly stay in the tub and your dog will now feel as calm as she is clean. So, how can that be achieved? Here are eight tips to make bathtime less stressful for both you and your pup.

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What To Do If Your Dog Is Stressed

First of all, try to understand what seems to set your dog off. Once youve pinpointed stressors, you might be able to control your pups environment to eliminate the causes. If your dog gets startled by certain noiseslike the mail or garbage truck coming up your drivewayturn on a fan, noise machine, or music when you know it will happen.

You might also try to flip the script so your dog will slowly start associating their stressors with happy feelings. To do so, Reduce their triggers as much as possible, then slowly pair those triggers with good things, advises Fratt. For instance, if your dog gets stressed around dogs he doesnt know, try to avoid new dogs on walks and give your dog a treat whenever another dog passes by. If your dogs stress or anxiety seems unusually high, talk with your vet and see if medication or supplements might help. If meds arent the way to go, try working with a dog trainer or behavior consultant, suggests McCue-McGrath. Some resources for finding one near you: the Council of Certified Professional Dog Trainers or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. A veterinary behaviorist might also help, especially in more extreme situations. These are veterinarians who are board certified in animal behavior and can treat serious behavior problems including anxiety, says McCue-McGrath she recommends finding one at the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

Tip 5 Make Your Dog Tired By Day Activities

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No exercise, no games, and doing nothing during the day can be a big reason for night stress in dogs. As dog parents, we should understand the fact that our furballs are meant to exercise. The dog’s body needs exercise to function properly. So, let them play and exercise during the day.

It’s a good idea to keep your pup busy during the day so it will be tired at night to sleep peacefully.

Also Check: Where Does Stress Come From

Review Your Cats Environment

Just as humans need peace and calm, when they are stressed, so do cats. Turn the television down and make sure that any other loud noise, especially shouting or screaming from young children, is kept to a minimum. Let your cat rest in a quiet location and make it as comfortable as possible for him.

As an absolute bare minimum, you should give your cat his own condo, so that he can hide away, whenever he wants to. Also, provide him with a suitable scratching post. In the UK, it is illegal to declaw your cat. Scratching is a means of relieving stress. Ensure your cat scratching post is stable and tall enough for your cat when fully stretched out. Many people make the mistake of buying cat posts that are actually too small for fully grown cats.

Also ensure that your has easy access to food, water and a litter tray. Cats tend not to like sharing litter trays, so make sure that you have enough to accommodate all of them.

It is not normally advisable to radically change your cat’s diet. However, when a cat is stressed, his food may be a little too rich for him to digest properly. Switching to a bland diet, for a short period of time, may help and there are several specialist dry cat foods which are specifically formulated for sensitive stomachs.

Addiionally, remember that if your cat does engage in inappropriate behaviour, do not shout or hit him. He cant help it and disciplining a cat like this will only serve to increase the intensity of his anxiety.

Identify The Cause Of The Anxiety

Identifying triggers for separation related behaviours can be difficult, as the majority of behaviour happens while your dog is on their own. If possible, set up a camera that allows you to see what your dog is doing when youre not with them. This footage will allow you to more accurately identify any specific environmental triggers that may be contributing to your dogs behaviour such as: the sound of people passing the house, loud cars and trucks or maybe even the sound of the neighbours dog barking.

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Engage In Daily Activity With Your Pet

When youre stressed or upset, a sweaty workout helps calm your mind and soothe your stress with endorphin release. The same goes for our pets. Routine daily exercise allows your pet to burn off steam and excess energy that can contribute to behavioral issuesnot to mention that she also will benefit by maintaining a healthy weight and strong cardiovascular function. Engage in daily walks, jogs, hikes, fetch, or indoor games to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Signs Of Stress And Anxiety In Dogs

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It is important to be able to distinguish between normal and anxious dog behaviors, which requires familiarity with your dogs normal behavior.

Most of the time, relaxed dogs will have round, open eyes weight on all four legs a raised tail and raised, forward-facing ears. They will breathe normally unless they are panting from play or exercise.

Here are some dog anxiety symptoms to watch for.

Also Check: Why Am I Feeling So Stressed

Helping You To Reduce Your Dog’s Stress Levels

Stress is something we can all understand. Whether it is work or home-related, people experience stress daily.

Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to express and expel that frustration and bad energy.

Some people choose to take up a hobby, which can restore your emotional and mental health, while others put their all into exercise, physically exerting negative emotions, and tiring their bodies.

We are often so wrapped up in our troubles. We fail to notice that our furry friends may be suffering too!

Dog also feel stress. It may be difficult to imagine what a dog has to be anxious or frustrated about, but they live, breathing creatures, no different from you or me.

Its important to always remeber that dogs feel happiness and sadness and can experience stress in various situations, dog stress is a serious issue and should be treated as such.

It is your job, as their owner, to recognize your pet dog may be feeling discomfort or fear and help them get over it.

And its important to understand and acknowledge that you may be doing something wrong, making your dog feel this way, and that’s okay

Everyone makes mistakes, and parenting is a continually evolving journey with many road bumps.

Once you realize your dog is suffering, your next steps must be to find the solution to help reduce their troubles and stress.

Anxiety In Dogs Can Present In Many Forms Such As:

  • This can occur when your dog is separated from you or other regular caretakers, from moving to a new location, or even a new schedule. This is what people typically think of when it comes to anxiety in their dogs.
  • Generalized anxiety: This often appears out of the blue with no known cause or trigger, even in dogs who have been well trained.
  • Environmental anxiety: This often presents as a fear of going out of the house or to a specific location, such as a vet clinic. Environmental anxiety can also be caused by loud noises or scary situations such as sirens, alarms, fireworks, or thunder.
  • Social anxiety: Anxious about being around different people or around other dogs. This may occur due to past trauma in rescues, or from simply not being socialized frequently.
  • 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.

  • Digging or trying to escape enclosures
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    Ways To Ease Your Dogs Anxiety

    You’ll want to read this before the next thunderstorm hits.

    Dogs suffer from stress and anxiety as much as people do, though it can be harder to recognize their symptoms. Your pet might try to tell you that hes stressed by pushing his ears back, tucking his tail, salivating, yawning, licking his muzzle, or lifting his front paw. Other, more obvious signs of dog anxiety include cowering or hiding, trembling, panting, or expressing his anal glands.

    And just like people, there are plenty of ways to help relax and soothe pets. Love listening to a certain type of music to unwind? Apparently, so does your dog. When it comes to tension-taming tunes, pups seem to prefer the sounds of soft rock or reggae to jazz, pop, or Motown. Playing the music was linked to a decrease in shelter dogs heart rates in one 2017 study.

    But even if youre not a fan of Bob Marley or Michael Bolton, dont worry. There are plenty of other ways to calm your furry friend. Here are five simple strategies worth trying:

    Before shelling out for any products that promise to soothe your pups stress, consider how you might be able to help him feel calmer. “Most of the time, pet owners do have to do something different to help manage and improve their dogs anxiety,” explains veterinary behaviorist Meredith Stepita, DVM.

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