No loving pet owner wants their loyal furry friend to be stressed or anxious and stressed in dogs, but how can you tell? For many people, some of the key signs of stress in dogs are difficult to identify, and many can easily be confused with other emotions. Unfortunately, our mini golden doodle for sale texas cannot speak to us directly. In order to know how they are feeling, one needs to be familiar with their body language and their actions. To help you take care of your nervous dog, we’ve rounded up 10 Signs Your Dog May Be Stressed Out so you can better understand your dog’s fear and behavior.
What Causes Stress in Dogs?
Anxiety and stress in dogs can be caused by a number of reasons. In general, there are some common triggers that can make the dog nervous. These include separation anxiety, loud noises, moving house, traveling, the vet, and meeting new people or pets. However, when it comes to dogs in trouble, the important thing to remember is that every dog is different. Every dog is unique, so what might be stressful for one may not be for another. In addition, what may cause low levels of anxiety in one dog can greatly increase the stress level in another dog.
Common Causes of Stress in Dogs
Signs of Stress in Dogs
Now that you know the causes that can make your dog feel anxious and restless, what are the signs? While there are a number of typical (and not so typical) stress symptoms in dogs, there are ten of the most common symptoms. When your dog is anxious, he will usually show one or more of these symptoms to varying degrees.
A stressed dog shows excessive barking, as well as howling, whimpering, and whining, a great sign. Of course, even when happy, dogs bark for a number of reasons. So if you are barking in response to any of the above causes or along with any of the other symptoms, then you are most likely feeling anxiety and stress.
2. Walking around
You often see people racing back and forth when they’re nervous, and the same goes for dogs. Running around and being unable to sit still or relax is a big sign that something is on your dog’s mind. Walking around is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as wailing or wheezing.
3. Big ears
While dog ears vary by breed, a nervous dog of any breed has one visible mark in common. When you experience fear or stress, most dog ears appear tucked back, meaning they are lying flat or being pulled back. If you know your dog well, you can easily see what their ears look like when they are happy, sad, or scared.
4. Tail between the legs
A well-known sign of an unhappy or fearful dog is having its tail between its legs. A dog’s tail is a great indicator of its mood; a happy dog will wag its tail up high so that once the tail falls you can tell that there is a problem. A nervous dog can also let the tail hang straight down or just slowly wag the tip.
Dogs pant as a way to cool off when it’s hot or after exercising, but if there doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason then it’s most likely a fear response. Because when they’re scared, their heart rate increases and their breathing becomes faster. Panting due to stress is often referred to as “behavioral panting”.
Shaking and trembling are common signs of fear and terror in dogs and people, so it’s pretty easy to spot. Unless it is for some other reason, such as the cold, when your dog starts shaking in response to a trigger, he is most likely nervous. Shaking usually won’t be the only sign, and it’s usually coupled with other signs.
7. Destructive behavior
While destructive behavior can also be the sign of an untrained or unruly dog, a stressed dog can also show this sign. This is because they feel the need to chew on things to release tension. Destructive behavior usually occurs when dogs are left alone (separation anxiety) or when they meet new pets or people.
8. Loss of appetite
Every time a dog spurns its food, something is wrong. Unlike us, our furry friends will eat pretty much anything and everything when they feel happy and carefree. It is therefore important to avoid stressful situations if this causes your pet to stop eating.
9. Digestive Problems
Gastrointestinal problems like constipation and diarrhea, as well as vomiting, can often be caused as a result of stress. If your dog feels anxious, especially over a long period of time, an upset stomach may result. That’s why many soothing agents contain beneficial ingredients like ginger or chamomile to support your mood and stomach!
10. Hair loss
Hair loss and other problems with a dog’s skin and coat can be a long-term symptoms of anxiety. Many people say that stress causes their hair to fall out, and a nervous dog can suffer from it too. Excessive hair loss is usually not a response to sudden stress such as a loud noise, but rather an ongoing stressful situation such as moving house.
Other symptoms of stress in dogs
There may be some other signs of stress in dogs as well, either considered to be less common or more specific to certain situations. These include avoidance or isolation, mouth or nose licking, yawning, itching, scratching, excessive drooling, and aggression. There may be other specific traits in your dog too, so the best way to know the symptoms is to watch and understand them!
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How to help a stressed dog
If your dog is showing any of these signs and you think he is feeling stressed, there are a few ways you can help!
- Regular Exercise – Taking a walk or playing a game is a great way to find some stress relief in your dog. Exercising before a stressful event can also be a great way to make them more relaxed and less hyperactive.
- Make Them Feel Safe – Whatever the source of the stress, create an area where they can feel relaxed, such as their sleeping area. If possible, you can also try to stay with them during troubled times (e.g. during loud fireworks).
- Diet – What you eat may not be related, but it can actually have an effect. When your dog is not getting enough of something or is lacking vital nutrients, it can affect their overall mood and wellbeing.
- Pet Stress Supplements – Give your dog a natural supplement that is designed to help with stress relief and help him feel calm and satisfied. These usually contain calming ingredients like chamomile and B vitamins.
- Distraction – A nervous dog can easily be calmed down by distraction. This can include playing soothing music to cut out any noise and leave them with fun toys that can occupy their brains and make them think of something else.