Is your dog stressed? Here’s how to ease it
Jun 25, 2020 A Dog’s Life
Just like humans, dogs experience stress and anxiety. While a little stress is normal, long-term stress or irregular bouts of anxiety can negatively impact your dog’s health and this shouldn’t be ignored.
Is your dog acting unusual? Even if you think you know your canine buddy better than anyone else, there are still a few signs that can easily go undetected. Luckily, like us, dogs have very similar psychological responses to stress. Here are a few things to look out for and ways to relieve stress:
5 Signs your dog might be stressed
A decrease in appetite
If your dog isn’t eating as normal, it could be due to stress or an underlying health issue.
Hiding or trying to escape
A little alone time isn’t unusual, but if your dog is constantly isolating away from people or other pets, anxiety or sickness could be the cause.
Diarrhoea, constipation or other digestive issues
Seek advice from your vet – this could be a food intolerance, anxiety, or disease-related.
Salivating, sweaty paws, flattened ears, yawning, shaking, dilated pupils, or vocalising excessively could all be signals of stress.
Growling, snapping, or biting are often misunderstood as bad behaviour but there could be underlying levels of stress.
Scratching, tense muscles, panting or shaking, licking lips, excess chewing, or drooling are a few more things to look out for.
Natural ways to help your dog calm down
The easiest remedy is to avoid potential stressors and stressful situations. Here are a few ways to help your canine buddy feel more comfortable, safe, and in control.
- Make a cosy “safe zone” at home away from all the bustle. Add a security blanket for stressful situations like thunderstorms and check in regularly.
- Play or exercise with your dog often.
- Choose high-quality dog food.
- Watch how you manage your own stress – dogs are very perceptive at picking up human emotions.
- Give your dog a gentle neck and back massage.
- Play classical music.
If the stress or anxiety persists, chat to your vet to see what else you can do to help.