At one time or another, as people, we have all experienced levels of stress. What you might not realize, your dog can experience stress as well. By blowing it off, you are not helping your dog you are simply allowing it to go on. You might even force your pet to go for a walk when he or she cannot deal with the stress they are currently under.
Thankfully, more and more people are realizing we are not the only ones living in stress. We love our dogs and cherish how much calm they bring into our lives. Many dogs suffer from weather conditions and if they are left alone it can be very difficult for them to deal with. They will suffer from anxiety and in many cases become nervous and even depressed.
Some of the leading signs your dog is suffering from stress
Constant Panting –
If your dog has not gone on its usual walk but is panting almost out of control, your four-legged friend might be under a great deal of stress.
Shaking And Pacing –
Dogs will shake and try to run away when it’s time for a bath. Although this is perfectly natural, what if he or she is shaking and pacing because they are trying to deal with stress?
When it’s time to visit the vet, chances are your friend will be suffering from stress. Just like people, they don’t enjoy going to the vet being poked and prodded, let alone get a shot! Dogs, just like people, will pace around the examination room waiting for their doctor to appear. Usually, when all is said and done, they will brush it off and be on their merry way.
How About Licking, Drooling, or Constantly Yawning
You might notice your dog’s eyes are dilated and continually blinking. Again this is stress! They might show more white in their eyes than usual or have a look that something is startling them.
Their Ears Are Drooping Or Pinned back
If your dog’s ears are pinned back or lying very low along their face, they are probably scared and of course, stressed.
Dogs Will Cry Or Bark Under Stress
Just like people, dogs will vocalize their fears and stress. Whining or crying is a definite sign they are not having a very good time. When dogs bark, they are trying to get your attention to help them out or trying to soothe their own stress.
Dogs will reveal their stress by shedding abnormally. The next time you are at the vet’s, take a look at your dog, your buddy is shedding because they are suffering from anxiety. Not all shedding is caused by hot weather!
Is Your Dog Hiding Or Trying To Escape?
This is a sign your dog is trying to avoid a situation or a feeling. They might try to hide behind you because they know you will protect them. In many cases, a dog will nudge their owner in hopes you can both move away from an uncomfortable situation. In other cases, they might hide behind a tree or building or continually dig. This is not a sign of relaxed and calm this is anxiety and stress.
Suggestions For Relieving Your Dog’s Stress
Give Them Physical Contact –
There is very little that will please your dog more than physical contact. Dogs find their owner’s touch very soothing and relaxing. You really need to pay closer attention to signals from your dog and pick up their emotional issues caused by stress and anxiety. Giving them a moment of cuddling or petting will alleviate anxiety and stress. A nice doggy treat wouldn’t hurt either!
A Nice Walk or Needed Workout Will Do The Trick –
Above and beyond all else, when your dog is stressed, do not leave them alone, they need you in the here and now. A great walk or playtime for added exercise will do wonders and help create that magical moment of bonding. A good workout will help them drain their excess energy and just relax.
Play Music –
Paraphrasing William Congreve, music hath charms to soothe the savage breast. Music can be the cure-all for stress and tension. Play some calming music for your dog and watch him become totally relaxed. The power of music is amazing whether you have a dog or not. Music blocks many annoying sounds like sounds from the street or other noises that drive your dog crazy.
Research has proven that classical music can create a calming, relaxed moment for both people and dogs.
A Comfy Blanket or Oversized Shirt –
Placing an oversized shirt or comfy blanket over your dog’s back will serve as a blanket on a baby. They will feel surrounded by protection and start to generate calm. Many vets know that dogs suffering from anxiety and stress will become so much calmer with familiar smells and a nice blanket to help them feel secure and safe.
Many of the new hurricane coats or blankets on the market offer great relief for pups who are frightened by hurricanes. These coats and blankets will calm them down and give them peace of mind. Best yet, just pay attention to the signals your dog is sending your way, you might just learn how to speak doggy!