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.
Common Stressors For Pups
1. Being punished for behaving like an animalIf your dog is like most, he enjoys barking at the mailman, chewing on stuff, sniffing smelly things and digging in the trash. These behaviors can be frustrating for humans but the truth is, your dog is just being…a dog.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they should have free reign to do whatever they want whenever they want to. Rather than yelling at your pup or taking her toys away, practice positive reinforcement and set her up to succeed . And remember, your dog isn’t acting out of spite, these behaviors come naturally to her and may be reinforced by your response.
2. Not having a regular scheduleDogs love a routine. If you’re inconsistent,they might become stressed. If your pup isn’t fed regularly, hunger can turn into stress easily. This can lead to more problematic behaviors like resource guarding or demand barking. You also want to make sure your pup is getting enough sleep. Just like in humans, sleep depravation can cause stress and irritability. So, if you have to get up earlier than usual for a meeting, try to let your pup sleep as close to normal as possible.
4. Getting scolded with a shaking a fingerYou might be tempted to raise your voice and stand over your pup with a shaking finger, but this stance is more likely to stress them out than actually fix the behavioral issue. Rather than take a dominating stance, use positive reinforcement to teach your dog good behavior.
Natural Remedies For Dog Anxiety
Dog anxiety is common. It can stop your dog from enjoying normal doggie activities like going for a walk around the neighborhood. So its important to find a way to help her relax and have fun!
While some vets may prescribe your dog pharmaceutical meds they may not be the best choice. Medications for anxiety can have some pretty bad side effects . Luckily, there are lots of natural remedies you can try.
Before I get to those, heres some background on dog anxiety.
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Pets May Show A Whale Eye When They’re Nervous
Ever have a pet look at you sideways with only one eye? Known as a “whale eye” or side-eye, this expression is often a sign of discomfort.
“Their eyes get dilated and you can only see a sliver of the white of their eye as they look at you from the side. Whale eye is an indication that they are stressed or anxious,” Johnson told Insider.
If you notice your pet making this expression, Johnson advised that it’s a good idea to give them some space and remove any potential stressors from the environment, such as other pets or loud children.
Accidents Inside The House
While there are many reasons a potty-trained pet might begin to have accidents in the house, stress is a frequent cause. Just like some humans, dogs can be nervous urinators, and when they are extremely stressed or scared, they might even lose control of their bowels. The old saying scared the crap out of me, applies to our canine companions as well!
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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.
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.
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Signs Your Dog Is Stressed And What To Do About It
We all know how draining stress can be. It can hinder our ability to think straight, it can affect our sleeping patterns, and it can significantly impact our physical, mental and emotional well being.
But dogs experience stress in the same way we do. The environment can cause your pooch to feel uncomfortable or nervous. And as a way to cope and communicate those feelings, dogs exhibit many different body language signals and behaviours.
It can be upsetting to think poor Fido is suffering in silence with their anxieties. But its our job as good pet parents to interpret the signals and offer them some form of relief. Here are the 15 most common signs of stress in dogs, as well as a few tips to help your pooch feel happier and calmer.
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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.
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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
Why Is My Older Dog Correcting The Puppy
Have you recently adopted a new puppy and found your older dog growling at it? This reaction is mostly triggered by the wild behavior of the puppy. Just like kids, puppies dont know how to socialize and this can annoy the older dogs. In these circumstances, the purpose of snarling is to teach the young dog some manners.
It doesnt matter how much time you spend to teach your puppies, the lessons they get from older dogs are critical for their grooming. Basically, puppies mimic the behavior of other dogs and try to gather useful information by observing their actions. Thats the reason why the training time of a new puppy reduces significantly if an older dog is already present.
Although it does look a little unkind at times, this correcting behavior is essential for the social development of the puppy. You just dont want any biting going on.
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Things To Do When Your German Shepherd Dog Is Stressed
Knowing the signs that your German Shepherd Dog is stressed or anxious about something is very important to your dogs well-being. But once you learn how to tell what your dog is feeling, you also need to know what to do to help her. How you react to your Shepherds moods about a person, object or even the environment will affect her, as well. So be sure you know the correct way to handle your dogs fear. The following are four things to do when your German Shepherd is stressed.
Changes In Environment And Resource Guarding
Less common forms of anxiety can involve changes in environment, such as going to the vet, in the car or moving house, says Dr Nguyen.
“Even things like changes to work hours, the owners travelling any sudden change to normal routine can prompt anxiety,” Dr Mornement says.
Resource guarding displays of aggressive behaviour designed to scare other dogs or people off can also be an issue if a dog is anxious about a valued item being taken away.
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Dont Force Your German Shepherd To Confront Her Fears
Many times, people think, If I force her to the object she fears, she will see its fine and not be afraid anymore. Dogs dont work that way. If you force your German Shepherd into a situation that stresses her, it can escalate to the point where she becomes fear aggressive. She may redirect on you, or attack the object/person/dog that is causing her response.
How To Relieve Your Dogs Stress
After youve identified what might be causing your dogs stress, try using a few of these tips to help you manage their anxiety.
Above all else, you should first look to find the source of your dogs stress. This will help you identify techniques you can use to minimise their anxieties, allowing your pooch to lead a happier and more fulfilled life. Just as it should be!
What causes your dogs stress and how have you helped them cope with their triggers? Let me know in the comments below
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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.
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When To Look And Listen For Stress
The time of day when dogs get stressed totally depends on the dog and what hes anxious about. For instance, Dogs that are sensitive to commotion outdoors might struggle during the morning commute or when people walk outside, says Fratt. Or dogs that get stressed by being alone will probably be most stressed mid-day. If your pup frequently seems bothered in the evening, it could be a symptom of a hormonal imbalance, says McCue-McGrath. In that case, a supplement might help him relax and wind down at the end of the day consult your vet if you suspect that could be the problem.
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How To Spot The Signs Of Stress
Subtle signs your dog might be stressed include:
- yawning unless your dog is tired
- panting often with a curled tip of their tongue instead of relaxed
- pacing back and forth
- dilated pupils or red around the eyes
- whites of their eyes showing
Obvious signs your dog might be stressed include:
- loss of appetite
- backing away from someone or a situation
- tail tucked between their legs
- diarrhoea or increased bowel movements
- trembling or shivering
Some of these signs may also be caused by a health problem and you should speak to a vet if you are concerned.
Tips To Reduce Your Dogs Stress
Dogs can also suffer from stress and this can cause damage to their mental and physical health. It is therefore vital for your pet that you know how to recognize the symptoms of this disorder and take action.
In this article, we will tell you how to tell if a dog is suffering from stress and how to deal with it.
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Common Real Life Situations That Can Stress A Dog Out
Below are some of the more common situations that may stress a dog out with resources to help you guide your dog through each of them.
- Loud noises: Dogs have super sensitive hearing, so a loud noise to you is only amplified to them. Learn how to help your dog around loud noises like fireworks.
- Moving: Whether it’s moving houses, rehoming a dog after the loss of a loved one, or just bringing home a dog for the first time after adoption, new places can leave any dog anxious. What you might see as a dog acting out , might just be a dog stressed about their new environment.
- Leaving Your Dog at Home: There are a variety of reasons why you have to leave your dog at home alone for extended periods of time: new job, going back to work after the birth of a child, day trip out to go shopping and so on, but for a dog that is used having company at home may act out from . Here are some helpful tips for leaving your dog home for the first time.
- Introducing Your Dog to New People: Despite the old phrase of “dogs are man’s best friend,” not every dog likes being introduced to every human. Whether because of mistreatment from past owners or being territorial, your dog may need time to warm up to new people. The best thing to do is to go slow and do not force it. Give your dog plenty of time and space to become comfortable with the new person.