Provide The Appropriate Amount Of Exercise
Find a good average from too much to too little exercise. Each dog is unique so this amount will need to vary from breed to breed and dog to dog. Brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs and Shih Tzu dogs may only last for a casual stroll around the block. More active breeds will not be satisfied until they’ve walked a mile or more.
Understanding And Reducing Stress In Dogs Left Home Alone
Claire Hargrave Tuesday, May 1, 2012
As stress is a physiological response to what is occurring in the surroundings, it is likely that every pet in the world experiences stress each day. Acute stress is essential for survival, enabling an animal to deal with the initiating stressors in a manner that will enhance the animal’s chances of survival. However, many animals experience chronic stress regular and/or continuous exposure to stressors at levels and proximities that the animal is unable to control or alter. Such stressors can lead to physiological and emotional distress and impaired welfare. The dog that is left alone in the home can become trapped in an environment for which it has no coping strategies or, due to circumstances outside its control, may have lost its previous coping strategies. Such dogs suffer daily impairments in welfare.
Dog Time Means More Energy And More Feelings Of Happiness For Many
Im a professor, and I noticed that my students get stressed very often, especially around exam time, says Frances Chen, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, and one of the co-authors of the study. I also noticed on my campus and on other campuses across North America, doggie de-stress sessions are getting increasingly popular. Ive even had students tell me that they were on waiting lists for therapy dog sessions. So as a researcher, I set out to try and figure out if these therapy dog sessions that are so popular actually have a tangible effect on students well being and stress levels.
RELATED: Can Pets Help People with Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Recommended Reading: Why Do I Get Stressed So Easily
Try And Distract Your Dog
Dogs can become stressed for many different reasons and many are stressed at certain situations. For instance your dog may become stressed if he hears fireworks or maybe even thunder, any loud noise can cause your dog much distress. If this is the case with your Fido, then distraction really does work wonders.
All you have to do is take your dogs mind off the noise. You can do this by practicing tricks that your dog already knows, or by rewarding him if he carries out the trick successfully.
As your dog is concentrating on the task, and the reward thats coming, he isnt worrying about the noise as much.
RELATED: What is the Best Dog Toy?
Puzzle toys are perfect for distracting your dog in stressful situations and these can include toys like treat balls or Kong toys. Any distraction that involves your dog having to concentrate on something else will work. When there is a reward at the end of the task, your dog wont be as frightened in stressful situations.
He may still not like the situation much, but at least a reward will make it much more tolerable.
Destructive Or Problem Behaviour Because Of Boredom
Destructive or problem behaviour is one way cats and dogs communicate they are feeling stressed. Sometimes the cause of this stress could be boredom.
How to reduce problem behaviour caused by boredom in cats and dogs
- Pent up energy is the biggest cause of destructive behaviour in dogs. Make sure your dog is being given plenty of walks and mental exercise. This should be in line with their age and breed.
- Give your cat plenty of toys to occupy them, and make time to play and interact with them.
- It is important not to scold your cat or dog for destructive behaviour, especially if you dont see them doing it. Unlike when you scold a human, your pet will not link their action with your reaction. Instead, it may cause them to become nervous or fearful of you. If you see your pet doing it, reprimand them firmly and calmly.
To help reduce stress in cats and dogs caused by destructive or problem behaviour, we recommend using the Beaphar CatComfort® Calming Diffuser and Spray, or the Beaphar CaniComfort® Calming Diffuser and Spray.
Don’t Miss: Can Hair Grow Back After Stress Loss
Is Boarding Stressful For Dogs
Whether boarding is stressful for your dog or not will depend on many different factors including your dogs character, the kennel environment, and events that take place during their stay. Your dog will have to contend with possible changes to their diet, routine, aggression from other dogs, new smells, sounds, and being handled by new people. All of these can result in anxiety.
You wont always know whether your dog will be stressed in a kennel stay. Even the most even-tempered of dogs can become stressed out when placed into new and unfamiliar surroundings coupled with a change to their daily routine.
The bottom line is, dogs are like young children. Studies have shown they look upon owners as their parents, with one piece of research even suggesting dogs have the same IQ as two year olds.
Based on this, you could take the position that putting a dog into boarding is similar to leaving a toddler for a week. It doesnt sound so easy now does it, and you can start to understand a bit better why some dogs will find boarding a stressful experience.
However, there are ways in which you can prevent boarding kennel stress in your dog. Keep reading for my tips on how to do that, plus what the signs of kennel stress are.
What Causes Stress In Dogs
Dogs can become stressed because they are bored, frustrated, scared or anxious.
You may also be feeling a bit stressed by the coronavirus restrictions in place. For many dogs, being around a stressed family member will be enough to affect them, as dogs can sense when things arent quite right.
Dogs can also be affected by a change in routine, such as less exercise. This can lead to excess energy with nowhere for it to go. Or your dog might become stressed when going out to public places following lockdown. Remember that your dog has become used to being at home too and that they may need extra support to help them get used to busy places again.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Stress And Headache
Bringing Home A New Kitten Or Puppy
Adding a new kitten or puppy to your family is incredibly exciting for you, but for them could be an overwhelming experience. Very early in their lives, kittens and puppies experience many things that could be stressful for them. This includes being removed from their mother, siblings and home, travelling in a car, settling into a new home, and vet visits for vaccinations and neutering/spaying.
Fortunately, by using a calming aid and remembering these top tips, you can help your new arrival feel right at home in no time.
How to help your new kitten or puppy settle into their new home
To help reduce anxiety in kittens and puppies when bringing them home, we recommend using use the Beaphar CatComfort®Calming Diffuser, Spray and Spot-On for cats, and the BeapharCaniComfort® Calming Diffuser, Puppy Collar and Spray.
Create A Sanctuary Space
Some dogs get so anxious in certain situations that no amount of calming, praising, or rewarding will give them relief. When this is the case, they need a quiet space with no stimulation where they can turn off all the input and simply unwind, says Dr. Konecny.
This can help in many situations, such as if they are nervous:
When visitors come to your home
Drowning out ambient sounds with white noise may also help them relax in their sanctuary room.
Read Also: What The Bible Says About Stress And Anxiety
Symptoms Of Stress In Dogs
We all can identify many of the symptoms of stress in our own dogs such as shaking or trembling, wanting to turn away or hide, or constant barking. But what about some of the less obvious signs of stress in dogs? Top Dog Tips identified at least 20 signs of stress in dogs. Some of these signs may indicate other problems, but if you begin to notice more than one symptom at once, stress may be the problem.
Create A Quiet Den For Your Dog
As soon as he arrives, your dog should have a quiet area of the house to call his own. This should contain a soft bed and several toys, so he can relax in comfort. Orthopedic dog beds are often the most comfortable, as they contain supportive foam, but the most important thing is to choose a bed thats suitable for your dogs weight and size.
Your new dogs den should be in a quiet location where he can retreat when overwhelmed. Try to find somewhere without much foot traffic and ensure the dog is always left alone on his bed. Over time, hell learn the bed is a sanctuary from activity, play, and noise.
Its also a good idea to place your dogs food and water bowls near his den. Ask the shelter which food he has been eating and avoid changing his diet until hes settled in, as this can lead to stomach upsets. If you decide to switch foods in the future, do this gradually to minimize discomfort.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I So Stressed And Anxious All The Time
Socialize Your Younger Dog
Younger puppies might not yet have the experience of interacting with other dogs of all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, so make sure they have mastered socialization training before a boarding stay. I dont recommend any puppy younger than 6 months of age should stay in boarding kennels, but thats a personal opinion. Heres what other people say about minimum age limits.
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.
Read Also: What Is In Olly Stress Gummies
Below Are Some Quality Tips For You To Reduce The Stress Of Your Beloved Pal
1. Encourage your dog to adopt a daily, regular exercise routine. Swimming, trips to the park, playing, and walking. All these activities help your dog reduce daily stress. It is also helpful to prolong a healthier life for your pet.
2. Give your pet different types of treats or toys as rewards for good behaviour. You should provide mental rehabilitation for your dog equally with physical exercise. Both are crucial for the healthy life of your furry friend.
3. Crate training can be a vital training tool for dogs to avoid stressful situations. Dogs feel safe in their dens, just like wolves. So, you should crate train your dog from the very first day he or she arrives in your home. Crate training also protects your best friend from accidents, anxiety, as well as loss during relocation.
4. Just like humans do yoga, Dogya has received much popularity among pet owners in recent years. It is a recreational activity to invite your friend to participate in an ancient exercise, calming them, reducing their stress levels, and ultimately increasing their longevity.
Apart from providing just a soothing aid and experience for your dog, this activity actually increases trust between you and your beloved furry friend.
6. Some dogs like listening to calming music to soothe and relax them, other dogs love to listen to classical music. The music trick seems to work on a lot of dogs to help them feel relaxed and less stressed.
Licking Drooling And Yawning
Dogs do tend to yawn a lot when they feel bored or tired but take care as they may also yawn a lot when they are under stress. The sleepy yawn that is produced when tiredness is taking hold, is not as intense and prolonged as when they encounter a stressful situation.
As with yawning, other signs that fido could be suffering from stress are when he or she licks themselves or drools more excessively than they usually would. Although licking, drooling, and yawning are all typical behaviours of dogs, its important to pay attention as if any of these activities are carried out in excess then your canine companion could be under stress.
You May Like: What Are The Physical Symptoms Of Stress
Build Your Dog’s Confidence
If your dog is fearful and anxious when left alone, it could be an issue with their confidence. Just like humans, the more we reward our dogs and boost their confidence the happier they will be to do things on their own.
You can help your dog to be less anxious about being left alone by engaging in some basic training to help increase their self-confidence. This could be teaching them fun new tricks or just practicing behaviours they already know such as sit, down and paw. Try to also reward any independent behaviour from your dog, rewarding them with gentle praise if they choose to settle themselves down somewhere away from you.
Sweaty Paws And Stress In Dogs
The paw pads are the only place on a dog that contains sweat glands. Just like we may get sweaty palms, dog experience this same reaction when stressed. The first time I observed this phenomenon was when I was trying to trim my dogs nails and I found the hairs between his paws to be very wet.
Searching for a place where she might have walked in something wet, I soon realized she didnt like having a pedicure and was showing signs of stress.
Read Also: How To Manage Stress During Pregnancy
Changes In Body Posture
In general, dogs bear even weight on all four legs. So, if your dog is healthy and he had no recent injury recently, but he shifts his weight to his rear legs or cowers, he might be going through some stressful situation. Also, dogs tend to become quite rigid when stressful or they may tuck their tails.
Diagnosis Of Stress In Dogs
If you are not sure that your dog is stressed, but you do notice that his behavior is different from day to day, you should contact your veterinarian.
Sometimes, your veterinarian is the only one who can check if there is an underlying problem, like brain disease or thyroid, which can be caused by exposure to toxic substances. Therefore, a blood test needs to be conducted to rule out such a possibility. You may expect for your veterinarian to prescribe medication for anxiety, fear, or phobia.
If you are up for something different, yet effective, you can talk with your veterinarian about CBD for anxiety. The veterinarian may recommend what will suit your dog based on the types and triggers of behavioral techniques that you can use to alleviate the dogs stress and anxiety.
Also Check: How To Not Let Work Stress You Out
How To Approach A Stressed Dog
There are several ways of approaching your dog:
- Kneel down,
- Use a gentle slow approach,
- Avoid sudden noises or movements,
- Ask strangers to approach from side-on,
- Try not to look into your dog’s eyes.
- Offer your dog treats and work towards patting him/her on the chest or under the chin,
- Mimic your dog’s body language back to them. Such as looking away when they do.
- Avoid leaning over, staring or putting your hands over your dog’s face.
On a final note, perseverance and patience will pay off. At the same time remember to use lots of rewards and positive reinforcement for good behaviour and your pet will be well on your way to enjoying a stress free visit to their veterinarian.
How To Help A Stressed Out Dog
If your dogs behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make recommendations to help lower your dog’s stress level. Here are some tips for helping to alleviate anxiety in your dog:
Play/exercise with your dog regularly Physical activities like a game of fetch or a walk around the block are a great stress reducer for dogs.
Create a safe zone Set apart an area in your home for your dog to escape high-stress events like thunderstorms and parties. Provide your dog with a favorite “security blanket” such as a toy and visit your dog often. If possible, stay with him until the high-stress event has passed. Your presence is a great reassurance to him or her.
Choose a high quality dog food Your dog’s diet is an integral part of his health and wellbeing. Providing your dog with a diet that is not properly balanced for his or her life stage and lifestyle may cause unforeseen repercussions that may lead to anxiety and stress.
Help us make PetMD better
Was this article helpful?
What did you find helpful?
- This article had helpful info and advice that I trust.
- Article was somewhat helpful, but could be improved.
What was not helpful?
- Article wasn’t very helpful and needs improvement.
Also Check: How To Leave Work Stress At Work