Signs Your Dog is Stressed
Dogs are sensitive animals. This is why they’re really vulnerable to stress and anxiety. What is tricky is that some of the signs of stress in dogs can be mistaken as some of their common habits.
This is why studying dog stress is really essential. You wouldn’t want to realize your dogs are stressed when it’s already too late. It may also be the case that something as simple as a multivitamin for dogs can go a long way in reducing your dog's stress levels.
What are the Signs of Stress in Dogs?
The most common sign of stress in dogs is excessive barking. Normally, dogs bark when they see strangers, unusual objects or when they’re engaged in strenuous activity. When none of these are happening, but your dogs still bark loudly and continuously, they might be stressed.
You might also hear whining while they’re barking. It would sound like they’re gasping for air. Both barking and whining are dogs’ ways to get your attention and soothe their stress.
Their body movement and posture will also change. Either they will put their heads down when stressed, or they will put their tails straight up.
Dogs will also pace nervously when under stress. They will walk in a circle around something or walk back and forth within the same area. It’s their way to ease their stress on their own.
They might also exhibit aggression characterized by growling and biting. They will growl upon people their know, including you. They will also tend to chew on anything that they get their hands.
Gastrointestinal problems are also common symptoms of stress in dogs. They experience indigestion, diarrhea and flatulence. This will also lead to a decrease in appetite and restlessness.
Lastly, dogs will develop hair loss during the latter days of stress. When dogs shed beyond the normal rate or their regular shedding season, it could be because of a psychological issue. Dogs will also bite unto their skin which will cause inflammations, wounds, and later on, alopecia.
How to Treat Anxiety in Dogs
Just like humans, the best way to treat dog anxiety is to remove the thing that stresses out your dog. Some of these causes of dog anxiety are loud noise, unfamiliar environment, meeting people or animals, or abrupt change in daily routine.
For things that you can’t prevent, you should give your dogs time to adjust. For new people, make them show they’re harmless, let them engage in interesting activities in a new environment, and slowly transition into a new routine.
You should also be sure that the signs your dogs are exhibiting are really because of stress. Say, for example, irregular postures could also mean that they’re developing hip and joint problems. It’s best to consult your vets if their signs persist for a long period of time so they could recommend hip and joint supplements.
Aside from these, you should also address the side effects of stress, such as gastrointestinal problems. Introducing probiotics for dogs to your dogs can ease indigestion. It can also regain the appetite of the dogs.
Lastly, it’s highly recommended to give your dogs Vitamin D, which is verified to improve energy levels in dogs. This way, you’re both psychologically and physically improving the mood of your dog!
Stress is a serious issue in dogs. This is why as responsible dog owners, you should know how to spot it early and how to treat it.
Laura Robinson, DMV
Dr Laura practices at the Antonio Animal Hospital in California, where she was born and raised. She is an advisor to Wuffes, ensuring all our products and content is of the highest standard