The word "stress" is frequently used to refer to pressure or strained feelings. There are a wide variety of stress-related factors. Maybe your work is making you worried, maybe you get uncomfortable when you meet new people, or maybe you get anxious when your regular routine is interrupted.
You may find comfort in a number of methods to lower your stress levels. You could find comfort in the companionship of a reliable friend. Perhaps you get stress relief when engaged in common tasks like housecleaning or exercising.
Similarly, if you have a stressed dog it will affect their behaviour and behavioural patterns, it also damages their mental as well as physical health.
Even our dogs are susceptible to stress. Since we are aware of how stress affects humans, we undoubtedly want to assist in reducing stress in our pets. However, how can we know when our dogs are stressed when we can't read their body language. They don't slam the phone down, or throw a fit. In dogs, worry frequently shows itself in subtle ways. In actuality, certain stress-related behaviours resemble those of unwinding.
What are a few signs of stress in canines?
Shaking or pacing
After a bath or a roll in the grass, you've probably seen your dog tremble. Except when it's a reaction to stress, that whole-body trembling may be funny and quite acceptable. Dogs, for instance, frequently experience worry while visiting the vet. When they land on the ground after leaving the test table, many dogs "shake it off." Dogs pace when disturbed , much like people do. While they wait for the vet to enter, some canines circle the examination room repeatedly.
Barking or whining
In dogs, vocalisation is a common form of self-expression, albeit it can become more intense under stress. Dogs that are anxious or fearful may whine or bark to attract your attention or to calm themselves.
Licking, yawning, and drooling
Dogs yawn when they are exhausted, bored, or under stress. A strained yawn is longer and more powerful than a drowsy one. Additionally, anxious dogs may lick and drool excessively.
Eyes and ears change
Like agitated individuals, stressed dogs may have dilated pupils and fast blinking. They could look shocked by opening their eyes extremely wide and exhibiting more sclera (white) than usual. Normal alert or relaxed ears are pressed back against the head.
Alterations in posture
Dogs often support their weight evenly on all four legs. A healthy dog that has no orthopaedic issues may be showing signs of stress if he transfers his weight to his back legs or cowers. Dogs may tuck their tails or become quite stiff when they are terrified.
Show dogs that experience anxiety in the show ring frequently "blow their coat." Dogs shed a lot while they are at the vet's office. Even while it's less obvious when the dog is outside, such when visiting a brand-new dog park, anxiety causes more shedding.
When they are overheated, enthusiastic, or stressed, dogs pant. Even when he hasn't exercised, your dog may be stressed if he is panting. Look out for out of the normal situations when you see your dog panting for no reason.
Alterations to how the body works
Like anxious individuals, anxious dogs may have an unexpected desire to use the restroom. Your dog may be claiming his territory and responding to the stress at the same time when he urinates quickly after meeting a new canine companion. Food refusal and gastrointestinal dysfunction are further signs of stress.
Displacement or avoidance behaviour
Dogs may "leave" an unpleasant circumstance by concentrating on something else. They could sniff the earth, lick their private parts, or just walk away. Even if ignoring someone is not courteous, it is preferable than becoming violent. Do not push your dog to engage with people or other dogs if they avoid it. Observe his decision.
How can I assist my dog cope with challenging circumstances?
You must be familiar with your dog's typical behaviour in order to distinguish stress symptoms from routine activity. Then you will be able to determine if he is licking his lips out of anxiety or desire for a treat.
He will have semi-erect or looking forward ears, a soft lips, and wide eyes when at ease. He'll balance himself equally on all four paws. You may alleviate an unpleasant situation fast and efficiently by distinguishing between normal behaviour and stress symptoms.
Remove the stressor from your dog if he's freaked out. Find him a peaceful area to rest. Refrain from trying to soothe him too much. Make him work for the attention or rewards you wish to give him by engaging in an activity first (e.g., sitting). The dog is diverted and given a feeling of normalcy when it responds to routine orders. Amazingly, the commands sit, down, and heel may sooth a distressed dog.
Visit your veterinarian if your dog exhibits signs of stress on a regular basis. Your veterinarian could suggest hiring a trainer or veterinary behaviourist to assess stress-related problems after making sure that your dog's behaviour is not caused by a medical condition. If necessary, they could also recommend anxiety drugs.
Just as with people, exercise has a powerful calming effect. Walking or playing fetch are two exercises that might help you and your dog relax. It's also a good idea to give your dog a secure area of the house where he may retreat from stressful events. A serene setting is appealing to everyone.
Finally, keep in mind that stress is not necessarily negative. Stress-related emotion called fear makes us steer clear of potentially unsafe circumstances. Therefore, stress could really be a safeguard. Whatever the case, stress is a normal part of life for both us and our pets, therefore we should acquire effective coping mechanisms.
Hope this was helpful, woof!