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What are the Common Sources of Stress for Your Dog?

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By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | April 30, 2023
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Dogs can experience stress, just like humans. Stress in dogs can be caused by various factors, including changes in their routine or environment, separation anxiety, illness or injury, fear of loud noises or other dogs, and more. But what are the common sources of their stress?

Stress in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors, including changes in routine or environment, separation anxiety, illness or injury, fear of loud noises or other dogs, lack of exercise or mental stimulation, and inconsistent or harsh training. Identifying the source of your dog’s stress and taking steps to alleviate it can help prevent prolonged stress, which can have negative effects on your dog’s health and wellbeing.

How Do Dogs Get Stressed?

It’s important to identify the source of your dog’s stress and take steps to alleviate it. If your dog’s stress is severe or persistent, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Separation Anxiety

Like children and adults, pets experience separation anxiety when their owners leave for the day. Some dogs have minor anxiety symptoms, while others have more severe anxiety for various reasons. If you notice your dog is anxious, overly nervous, or exhibiting disruptive behavioral tendencies when you leave or return home, it may be suffering from separation anxiety.

What Causes Separation Anxiety?

  • It’s the first time your dog has been left alone.
  • Your pet has previously experienced trauma.
  • A change in the daily routine disturbs your pet.
  • Pet anxiety can be triggered by the death of a relative or another pet.

Routine Through Reassurance

Resist the urge to shower affection on someone right before or after you leave for a trip. Wait a few moments before giving that cherished pup a reassuring pat. Allow your dog to snuggle with an item of clothing that carries your scent while you’re gone. Before you leave, say a specific word your worried canine can hear to indicate that you will return.

Terrifying Sounds

Thunderstorms and fireworks can make your pet nervous, scared, and want to hide. How can you comfort your pet in its hour of need? Here are some pointers to help them adjust:

  • Make a safe haven with easy access that muffles loud noises and provides a cozy environment for them to take refuge in.
  • Engage your pet in a favorite activity to distract them from their fear; discontinue the action if the anxious behavior persists or worsens.
  • To help your pet relax, use calming treats or Thundershirts.
  • Play tapes with startling noises quietly, then gradually increase the volume. This helps your dog become accustomed to the sounds.

How to Spot Signs of Stress

Knowing what to look for can help reduce your dog’s stress and prevent future problems.

Subtle signs that your dog is stressed include:

  • Yawning, except when your dog is tired
  • Panting, frequently with a curled tip of their tongue rather than relaxed
  • Back and forth, pacing
  • Licking their lips
  • Pinned back ears
  • Pupils that are dilated or red around the eyes
  • Showing the whites of their eyes or whale eyes.

The following are obvious signs that your dog is stressed:

  • Appetite loss
  • Withdrawing from someone or something
  • Their tails were tucked between their legs.
  • Cowering or shrinking down or crouching
  • Diarrhea or frequent bowel movements
  • Shivering or trembling

A medical condition may cause some of these symptoms, so consult a veterinarian if you are concerned.