Use Doggy Daycare Or A Quiet Room
Can moving cause a dog not to eat? Yes, in some extreme circumstances, it can.
Some dogs can become so concerned at the sights and sounds around them that they can go off their food or even become physically ill. If your dog suffers from anxiety or has trouble relaxing, the hustle and bustle of the moving day could be too much for them to handle.
In this case, you can do yourself and your dog a big favor by arranging for your dog to spend the day in a safe place that they are already familiar with, such as with a neighbor or relative. A boarding kennel or doggy day-care facility can give you peace of mind knowing that your dog is safe and being well looked after, while you take care of everything that needs to happen on moving day.
If this isnt possible, or you dont think your dog will be too badly affected, move their bed, toys, and favorite items into a quiet, safe room that is least likely to have foot traffic, such as a bathroom or laundry. Put a sign on the door to let everyone know that your dog is inside and shouldnt be disturbed. This is the best way of ensuring your dog doesnt become lost, injured, or overly upset while everything goes on around them.
Dealing With Separation Anxiety In Dogs
Sometimes referred to as separation anxiety, some dogs can find being left on their own an overwhelming and stressful experience.
Check out our video for to see our tips on how to help keep your dog relaxed when youre not at home.
For some dogs, separation-related behaviours are simply a product of boredom due to lack of appropriate physical and mental stimulation. Whereas for other dogs, separation-related behaviours and anxiety are much deeper rooted. When a dog is emotionally attached to someone and that person goes away, it can cause fear, frustration, and anxiety. Over time, your dog might even start to anticipate the behaviour and the changes to their environment that lead up to that person leaving and may start showing their anxious behaviours before it happens.
Understanding the root cause of the problem and why your dog is reacting in this way will allow you to implement the right kind of training that will improve their behaviour in the long term and not just straight away.
Its important to remember that each dog is an individual and will progress through training at different rates. Always aim to ensure you are working within your dogs limits and that you are keeping a close eye on their stress levels. Recognising signs of stress and knowing how to manage stress levels is key in making sure that your dog is happy.
There are a number of signs that may show that your dog is stressed, which include:
- Excessive panting
What Should You Do Next
The sooner you notice the signs, the less chance your dogs stress will escalate into more serious behaviour issues. Pets can cope with a certain amount of anxiety, but a normal stress reaction should only last a short time, and end when the trigger has gone. If it lasts longer, or happens more often, your dogs anxiety could be escalating into a fear or phobia.
Its really important to know what your dog looks and sounds like when hes happy and relaxed, says Inga. Dogs have lots of early warning signals for stress, so anything that seems unusual should be thought about. Try to identify the source of his anxiety and remove it if you can.
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Tight Hugs May Be Stressful For Dogs
It can be hard to resist locking your dog in a loving embrace, but holding on too tightly can make dogs anxious.
“Dogs like to snuggle, but they don’t like to be held very tightly. Feeling as if they cannot get free can be stressful for them,” said Ochoa.
When cuddling your dog, make sure to be gentle and leave enough wiggle-room.
Stress In Dogs: Causes Symptoms & Finding Relief
You’re probably all too familiar with your own responses to stress. And you can probably tell when your closest friends or family members are feeling anxious, too. But what are the signs of a stressed-out dog?
As their pet parent, you are your dog’s best ally when it comes to defeating stress, so it’s important to be able to identify when they’re stressed and to know how to help them relax.
Here’s everything you need to know to understand, identify and relieve dog stress.
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Staring At Your Dog May Make Them Nervous
Sara Ochoa, veterinarian and veterinary consultant for DogLab, told Insider that gazing at your beloved pup may actually stress them out.
“Dogs do not like to be constantly watched. Even if you’re staring at them because they’re acting cute, your dog will likely think that they’re doing something wrong,” said Ochoa.
Though you should definitely pay plenty of attention to your dog while playing, try not to stare too much while they’re lounging on the sofa or curling up in bed.
What Causes Anxiety In Dogs
Sometimes it might seem like anxiety comes out of nowhere, but its usually brought on by some change in routine, environment, or activity.
This is especially important right now as areas begin to re-open after COVID-19 shutdowns, and your pets have become used to spending more time with you.
The sudden change in routine when returning to work can cause one of the most common types of anxiety in dogs: separation anxiety.
But thats not the only type of anxiety that dogs can experience.
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Do Dogs Get Homesick After Moving
Dogs have many of the same feelings and emotions as humans, and we all know how traumatic and upsetting it can be to move from one house to another. Now is the time to show compassion and understanding towards your dog. Yes, they may try your patience as they bark, whine, or become overly clingy. Just remember that theyre picking up on your thoughts and emotions, as well as being genuinely confused and worried about all the changes taking place. Try not to take out your worries and frustrations on your dog, and always use positive training methods. Even though youre probably busier now than ever before, make sure you continue to spend some positive one-on-one time with your dog and engage in the same fun activities youve always enjoyed together.
Continue Playtime And Exercise
Dogs love habits and routines, and your normal daily walks, exercises, and playtime are an enormous source of joy and happiness to your dog. You could make your dog anxious in new home if you dont continue your normal routine of playtime and exercise.
Even though youve got so much to do setting up your new home, unpacking all the boxes and finding your way around your new neighborhood, it is vitally important to continue to spend as much time with your dog as you previously did.
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Subtle Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs
Any dog can become anxious. While it is true that some breeds are a little more prone to anxiety than others, a traumatic event, lack of socialization, illness, pain, overheating, and of course separation from its owner can all be sources of anxiety.
Shivering, door dashing, not eating, more frequent urination, whining, escaping the yard, and restlessness are all common signs of anxiety in dogs that you are probably already familiar with. However, there are some signs that are not as apparent:
What Can You Do For A Depressed Dog
How can I help treat my dogs depression or anxiety? Offer your dog more attention. Keep your dog active with regular walks, playtimes, and other activities you know they enjoy. If your dogs symptoms are related to the loss of an animal companion, consider getting another pet or start socializing them with other pets.
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Diarrhea Constipation Or Other Digestive Issue
Although they are more commonly attributed to disease or food intolerance, gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and constipation can also be brought on by anxiety. Speak to your veterinarian if the diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive issue is abnormally severe, especially if it has lasted longer than 24 hours or if the diarrhea is bloody. Blood in the vomit and/or stool can be an indicator of a food borne illness.
Give Your Dog A Safe Comfortable Space Of Their Own
Make sure you leave your dog in a safe area of the house so if they do try to chew or destroy anything they cant be injured. Make sure its the right temperature and they have a safe comfortable bed to relax in.
Some dogs will happily use a dog flap to get out into a secure garden if they need the toilet. If a dog flap isnt suitable for your home, someone will need to come and let them out regularly so they can have a toilet break.
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Travel Can Be Overwhelming For Some Dogs
You may love the idea of seeing the world with your fluffy friend at your side, but travel can actually be nerve-wracking for pets.
“For many dogs, traveling is stressful,” Kirk told Insider. “They have to deal with new smells, new sights, and new environments. Just because you are there with them does not mean that your canine is not worried.”
If you need to travel with your dog, allow them to grow accustomed to being inside a car or crate before the big trip. Be sure to pack plenty of their usual food and toys to keep them comfortable on the road and at your destination.
Change Of Familiar Surroundings
Dogs are true creatures of habit, they feel safe and comfortable in their familiar environment. Plus, smells and furniture helps them navigate. This is why many dogs experience stress when an object suddenly moves to a different location. In particular, suddenly become disoriented. If you want to rearrange your home, you should move the furniture gradually so that your four-legged friend can gently adjust to the change.
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Drop Your Dog Off Earlier In The Day
Try to drop your dog or puppy off at the kennels early in the morning. This will let them have the whole day to get used to the new surroundings and become familiar with the new noises, smells, and strange people or dogs.
If you drop your dog off on your way to get a late evening flight, its unlikely the dog will sleep properly, and their anxiety levels could be off the scale.
If they have a day to acclimatize, it could help reduce any kennel stress they have.
Older Dogs May Not Like Being Petted Unexpectedly
An unexpected cuddle can actually be stressful for older pets.
“When a pet is losing their eyesight or hearing as they get older, they can become easily startled,” Gardner told Insider. “Even the sweetest dog can snap when someone pets them unexpectedly.”
If you have an older dog, make sure they can see or hear that you’re nearby before petting them, and avoid touching any parts of their body that may be arthritic, such as their paws or joints.
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The Top 10 Tips For Relieving Your Dog’s Stress
Dogs can have a number of different behavioral problems, everything from aggression to separation anxiety. Just like humans, canines often suffer from everyday stress that can lead to issues that can cause them to act out irrationally, again similar to their masters.
While people have some means at their disposal to deal with stress, dogs arent so lucky. In this light, here are our top ten ways to help reduce and relieve canine stress.
#1 Easily the number one way to reduce a dogs stress is through regular, daily exercise. Walking, playing, trips to the dog park, swimming any form of physical activity will not only reduce your dogs daily stress level, it also helps them to live a much longer and healthier life.
#2 Providing mental stimulation is just as effective as physical exercise and the two can also be combined. Think about different types of toys available that entice a dog to work for a treat or reward.
#3 Crate training is a great practice, especially when it comes to safely transporting your pet, but it also provides them a safe haven. Just like a den for wolves in the wild, this dog-friendly space makes them feel comfortable in their own space at home.
#4 Dogya has exploded in popularity recently. When humans invite their canines to join in with this ancient practice, calming poses combined with gentle massage and stretching techniques does wonders for masters and their four-legged friends.
How Anxious Is Your Dog Lets Talk About The Levels Of Canine Anxiety
Like people, dogs can suffer from different levels of anxiety. Not all dogs are going to experience this anxiety in the same way and not all dogs are going to exhibit the exact same symptoms.
There are three levels of canine anxiety and these levels can be described as mild, moderate and severe.
Mild Canine Separation Anxiety
Dogs with mild separation anxiety will typically exhibit anxious behaviors before and after you leave, but these behaviors will be mild. Dogs may pace, whine, pant, or follow you around the house until you leave.
Once you leave, these anxious dogs may stress for a short period, but they will often calm down quickly and go about their business without destroying anything, causing harm to themselves or having bathroom accidents.
Moderate Canine Separation Anxiety
Moderate separation anxiety can present itself in heightened anxious behaviors that are a bit more excessive than the mild symptoms and present themselves with more intensity.
These behaviors can include more insistent vocalizations, pacing, whining, jumping and an overall clear distress at the anticipation of you leaving.
Some moderate separation anxiety can also result in destructive behaviors like chewing or shredding after you leave, and can include barking or whining that results long after you have gone.
Severe Canine Separation Anxiety
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How To Calm A Stressed Dog Down
Dog owners should also reflect on their own behavior to see how they might be contributing to the stress. Some ways owners might make their dogs stressed include not giving clear commands, staring directly at them, or punishing them unnecessarily.
The best way to calm your dog down is to identify what is stressing them, then eliminate the trigger. Alternatively, work with a professional trainer or your veterinarian to reduce their response to the trigger.
Sometimes its as easy as blocking off an area where your dog can eat while no one bothers them. Or, teaching children how to respect your dog appropriately. If you know your dog gets stressed out about specific events, like a car ride or fireworks on the Fourth of July, there are some specific ways to ease that anxiety.
The bottom line? Start paying attention to your dogs body language and youll be able to read their stress signals and reduce their anxiety in no time.
Other Behavior Problems To Rule Out
Sometimes its difficult to determine whether a dog has separation anxiety or not. Some common behavior problems can cause similar symptoms. Before concluding that your dog has separation anxiety, its important to rule out the following behavior problems:
Submissive or Excitement UrinationSome dogs may urinate during greetings, play, physical contact or when being reprimanded or punished. Such dogs tend to display submissive postures during interactions, such as holding the tail low, flattening the ears back against the head, crouching or rolling over and exposing the belly.
Incomplete House TrainingA dog who occasionally urinates in the house might not be completely house trained. His house training might have been inconsistent or it might have involved punishment that made him afraid to eliminate while his owner is watching or nearby.
Urine MarkingSome dogs urinate in the house because theyre scent marking. A dog scent marks by urinating small amounts on vertical surfaces. Most male dogs and some female dogs who scent mark raise a leg to urinate.
Juvenile DestructionMany young dogs engage in destructive chewing or digging while their guardians are home as well as when theyre away. Please see our articles, Destructive Chewing, for more information about these problems.
BoredomDogs need mental stimulation, and some dogs can be disruptive when left alone because theyre bored and looking for something to do. These dogs usually dont appear anxious.
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