Just like humans, dogs can also be stressed. They don’t get stressed simultaneously but they may present some changing behavior during a merely long period of time. In order to comprehend what they are living, dog owners should take time to observe their pets so that they can cope with the level of stress these last are actually living.
Main causes of dog’s stress
Generally, dogs can be stressed after some obvious situations. For instance, a whole group of excited children can cause big stress to these animals. But if you break its routine, it can also turn nervous. Boredom may also cause stress to that kind of pet. If it lacks of mental simulation such as toys, plays or other activities, it may become stressed. Loud noises are also very influent in their serenity. These may include the 21st century living, the urban dwelling and way of life but also the bombards may play a great role within this. After, notice that if you have adopted a dog that has suffered from some kinds of trauma, it may easily be stressed. Separation and isolation may effectively impact on their well-being and cause anxiety and stress to them. And finally, it is not to be forgotten that the mood of its owner can change its well-being.
Beware if your dog shows the whites of its eyes
As you may already know, dogs mainly use their eyes to communicate. If they are stressed, they may bare the whites of their eyes. They often do that in order to reduce oxidative stress. Along with that showing of the whites of their eyes, their eyelids may also be peeled back. You may also be confronted to a crescent shape of whites while they’re looking side-to-side. Some veterinarians call it “half-moon eye”. Literally, it means that something really freak them.
Take into account the position of its ears
Apart from their eyes, the stressed dog may also use its ears to communicate its ill-being. In fact, even if all the dogs don’t share the same ear shape, they all adopt on of the two reactions below. If the ears of your dog perk out and appear rigid, it may suggest a state of stress. Also, beware if you begin to notice that its ears are pulled back and lay flat against its head.
Look out if it shows gum
In theory, when a dog plays, it will mail y show its teeth. But when it is stressed, it may curl its lips. And that may be a sign of aggression. Remarking that curl before it turns snarl is very important. Because the next step that comes right after the snap is the bite. So, in order to avoid these misunderstandings that may turn wrong, watch carefully your dog in play.
Consider its unfocused barking
The way your dog barks is also a criterion that may induce that it is living a situation of stress. Behind some proned, prolonged and unexplained barking may effectively hide a great anxiety. Within these, make sure not to underestimate these other vocalization: growling, whining, whimpering and excessive panting. They may also indicate that your dog is experiencing a stress.
Look at its ingestion and digestion
Dogs may also experience stress around food scarcity. In fact, they may present a decrease in appetite. Within this situation of stress, you may also notice other troubles such as gastrointestinal issues that may lead to constipation or diarrhea.
Beware when it adopts the tail between the legs position
This is probably the common body language that dog adopts when they want to tell that they are actually stressed. And fortunately, many owners are fully aware of that. But if you didn’t notice that before, you have to know now that when you dog leaves its normative position and adopts another one to indicate stress, it means that it is actually stressed.
Other signs that has to be noticed
Apart from all these signs, you should also consider the following body languages. First of all, there is the unnecessary shaking or shivering, the abnormal shedding and the tense muscle. You can also take the excessive drooling, the itching and scratching, the licking lips and nose and the yawning into account.
What you can do to help your dog handle its tress
First of all, you should be familiar to your dog’s behavior. In fact, you should always make sure that your pet is really experiencing a stress. Once you are sure of what it is living, you can afterwards help him to cope with it.
The first thing to do is to remove it from the place that stresses it. Take it away from the crowd and make sure to stay with it or to let it with familiar persons. Once you’re alone, distract it with some simple commands. You can, for example, order it to sit, to search for a ball or to roll. Generally, performing an activity will distract the dog and will reduce its stress. You will see that sit, down or hell will comfort the dog. After, you can pamper it with petting or treats.
But if the stress becomes permanent with your pet, make sure to see the veterinarian. It is the only person who can help you to determine the basis of its behavior. After the first check-up, he may refer you to a trainer or even to a veterinary behaviorist. These specialists will determinate the stress-related issues. In order to go beyond it, the specialist may prescribe an anxiety-reducing drug.
Along with the medications, make sure to regularly exercise your pet. In fact, as for humans, physical exercises and activities such as walking or playing fetch may release your dog’s tension in a natural way. When you bring it home, you should also make sure to leave it alone for some period of time, at least until the end of the treatment. Everyone always needs to rest in a calm place, especially if you have kids at home, even dogs.