Sometimes, things can get too much, problems become harder to handle, and it feels like everything’s only getting worse. When life becomes more demanding and draining, our body reacts in the form of stress.
Stress, that feeling where things seem too much handle, is familiar to all of us. But did you know that even our pets experience stress too?
Dog stress is more common than we think. Having suffered from it yourself, you know how getting through a day can be when you’re stressed. So as their owner, it is important that you know how to spot signs of dog stress so you can address the problem right away.
Most Common Signs of Dog Stress
It’s easier to tell whether your dog is suffering from stress if you know the symptoms. Here are the most common signs of dog stress you have to be on the lookout for.
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1. Decreased appetite
When we’re stressed, we tend to eat more, which, by the way, has a scientific explanation behind it. When things get too much, our body sends out a hormone that makes us crave sugary and fatty foods. But when it comes to our pets, the case is different. If your dog used to get easily motivated when presented with the treat but suddenly asks for it less, it could be one of the first signs of dog stress.
Eating less means your pet is in a situation where they feel the need to flee from an enemy or defend their territory. If your pet is more concerned about whether they need to fight or flight because they feel threatened, food is the last thing on their mind.
A decrease in appetite could also be due to an underlying health condition. Either way, make sure to consult a vet before things get worse.
2. Excessive shedding
One of the most frequently mentioned signs of dog stress is abnormal shedding. This symptom can mean a lot of things, but it’s often a signal that your pet is anxious. Shedding becomes your pet’s defense mechanism when they’re faced with something that makes them nervous.
3. Yawning and drooling
Yawning doesn’t always mean they just need some sleep, sometimes, it’s a call for help.
Dogs yawn as a way of relieving stress. The yawn in this case is prolonged as opposed to the yawn they make when they’re sleepy. When done in places where yawning is not usually called for, like public places or at the clinic, this means they’re not comfortable and is in fact stressed. Drooling is another one of the most common signs of dog stress, especially for dog breeds that do not usually drool, such as Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands.
Sometimes, we find the sight of our dog moving along amusing, but this seemingly meaningless behavior is a warning that they are not well. Pacing in a manner that is very repetitive and for no reason at all could be one of the signs of dog stress. This means your dog isn’t comfortable in the environment they are currently in and is getting anxious.
5. Diarrhea and frequent vomiting
Digestive issues are another indicator of stress. Just like how we end up getting sick when we have too much on our plate, our dogs develop health issues too when they are stressed. Digestion, diarrhea, or constipation may not always mean they’re anxious or depressed, if it lasts longer than twenty-four hours, it’s better to call your veterinarian for help.
Stress may not be a big deal for us humans, but for our furry friends, it’s more than what they can handle. Our pets cannot communicate to us the way they would have wanted to ask for assistance, so it is up for us to spot the signs. Be alert and do not hesitate to speak to your vet when things seem off.
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