Is Your Dog Stressed? Identifying Triggers, Symptoms, and Solutions
There is no denying that dogs are man’s best friend. For millions of pet owners around the world, dogs are their loyal companions who bring endless joy and comfort to their lives.
However, just like humans, dogs can also experience stress and anxiety. In fact, studies have shown that over 70% of dogs exhibit some form of stress or anxiety in different situations.
Causes of Stress in Dogs
There are a variety of factors that can cause stress in dogs, including:
1) Changes in routine or environment
Dogs thrive on consistency and any sudden changes in their daily routine or living environment can be stressful for them.
This can include moving to a new home, the addition of a new family member or pet, or changes in your work schedule.
2) Loud noises
Dogs have sensitive hearing and loud noises like fireworks, thunderstorms, or construction can be very stressful for them. It is also common for dogs to experience noise aversion, which is an extreme fear of loud noises.
3) Separation anxiety
Dogs are social animals and when left alone for long periods, they can develop separation anxiety which can lead to stress and destructive behaviors.
Separation anxiety is more common in dogs who have been abandoned or adopted from a shelter.
4) Medical conditions
Certain medical conditions such as infections, allergies or digestive issues can cause physical discomfort and manifest in behavioural changes that may indicate stress in dogs.
It is important to rule out any underlying medical issues before addressing stress in dogs.
Symptoms of Stress in Dogs
The signs of stress in dogs can vary depending on the dog’s personality and the intensity of their situation. Some common symptoms include:
- Excessive barking, whining or howling
- Pacing and restlessness
- Loss of appetite or overeating
- Trembling and shaking
- Aggression towards people or other animals
- Destructive behavior such as chewing furniture or digging holes in the yard.
How to Deal with Stress in Dogs
If you suspect that your dog is stressed, it is important to address the issue immediately to prevent any long-term effects on their physical and mental well-being. Here are some ways you can help your stressed-out furry friend:
1) Identify and eliminate triggers
If you know what causes stress in your dog, try to eliminate or minimize exposure to those triggers.
The first step in managing stress in dogs is to identify the triggers that are causing their anxiety and try to eliminate or reduce them. For example, if your dog is afraid of loud noises, try to create a quiet and calm environment for them during thunderstorms or fireworks.
2) Establish a consistent routine
Dogs feel most secure when they have a predictable daily routine. Stick to regular feeding, exercise and play schedule to help reduce stress.
It is also important to maintain a consistent sleeping routine for your dog.
3) Provide a safe space
Just like humans, dogs need a safe space to relax and unwind. Create a quiet and comfortable area in your home for your dog to retreat to whenever they are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
For example, a crate or a designated room with their favourite toys and bedding can be their haven.
4) Use calming techniques
Just like humans, dogs can benefit from relaxation techniques such as massage, acupuncture or aromatherapy.
This is especially helpful for dogs who suffer from separation anxiety or noise aversion. For example, lavender essential oil has been known to have a calming effect on dogs.
5) Seek professional help
If your dog’s stress levels are severe and impacting their quality of life, it may be beneficial to seek the advice of a veterinarian or professional dog trainer.
Dogs are amazing creatures that bring so much love and joy into our lives. However, they can also experience stress just like humans do.
By understanding the causes, symptoms and how to deal with stress in dogs, we can ensure our furry friends live happy and healthy lives. If you are looking to get a puppy, check out our online store.