Dog Day Stress

0 Comments Posted by tcahvet in Videos and More on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015.

sad dog 1

Like humans, dogs deal with stress and anxiety. Some dogs are more likely to deal with their stress via destructive behavior, while others may use self soothing methods that can cause harm.

#1 Excessive shedding
Every owner understands the constant battle of hair invading there homes, cars, and wardrobe, but have you ever pet your dog during times when they seemed stressed? Most times you will notice a considerable increase in the amount of hair that just seems to pour off. That is due to your pet being anxious.
#2 Pinned-back ears
Dogs will draw their ears back and low when under stress.
#3 Yawning
While yawning is usually associated with being tired, it is also a common sign of being stressed. When your dog yawns it may be a good time to check for other signs.
#4 Panting
Dogs generally pant to cool themselves down when it’s hot or when they’ve been exercising. If your dog is panting for no apparent reason, possibly with their ears pinned back and low, this can be a sign of stress. Be careful if the dog suddenly stops panting and closes their mouth, as they may be escalating toward biting.
#5 Destructive behaviors
Some dogs may look for ways to sooth themselves such as chewing or biting furniture. Other calming methods include destructive biting or licking of their own body (most commonly the paws).
#6 Avoidance
There are many reasons your dog may show avoidance, whether it’s avoiding other dogs or people. Tail tucked, avoiding eye contact, turning away — these are all ways your dog shows you that they are uncomfortable. It’s important to remember that if your dog is avoiding a situation that makes them uncomfortable, this is better than showing aggression and it’s best to respect this message.
#7 Accidents
One of the biggest signs of stress is having accidents in the house. Many dogs who are stressed about being left alone, but have otherwise been house-trained, will backslide in their training. Consider crate training, or confining your dog to a comfortable, closed-off location when you’re out, as this may give them a more secure feeling.
#8 Illness
Does your dog exhibit signs of stress with physical symptoms? Loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, skin problems or allergies can all be signs of stress in man’s best friend. If any of these physical symptoms don’t have an obvious cause, stress should be your prime suspect.
#9 Barking
Does your dog howl or bark a lot? Excessive barking, whether inside or outside the house, can be a sign of anxiety. Try and find a pattern to the barking to determine the cause of the anxiety. Does it happen when you’re gone? When strangers come to the door?

How to help your dog
Recognizing that your dog is experiencing stress is a step in the right direction — but now you need to find ways to help them cope with their anxiety. Here are some ideas for making your dog’s life a bit more stress-free.

Keep things as routine as possible: Routine is important for dogs, just like it is for young children. They suffer less stress when they know their routine, from where they sleep to what time of day they go for a walk or eat.
Prevent stressful situations: If you know, for example, that your dog doesn’t do well in crowded situations, don’t walk them on a busy recreation trail. If your dog is stressed when you aren’t home, crate training might bring them some comfort.
Exercise often: Exercise can be a great stress-reliever for your dog, as long as it’s kept fun and relaxing. Repetitive games of fetch at the dog park can actually cause stress in some dogs, so make sure you find the right balance.
Spend more time together: If you can, spend more time with your dog to reduce stress. Working out in the garage? Bring your furry friend out there with you. They crave being near you and it’s good for their soul (and yours).
Rules: Dogs experience less stress when they know what’s expected of them. Set your house rules and be firm, yet gentle about any disobedience. Your dog wants to please you, but cannot possibly succeed if the rules keep changing.

By working with your dog and setting clear boundaries, you can usually pinpoint the sources of their stress and work with them to help them live a less anxiety-ridden life.


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