5 Signs Your Dog is Stressed and 4 Ways to Help Him

Is your dog acting unusual? Perhaps he or she seems overly anxious or depressed. Stress is more common in dogs than you may think. Even worse, stress can negatively impact your dog’s health. Here are five common signs of stress in dogs to help you identify it and seek help quickly.

Sad-bulldog

1. DIARRHEA, CONSTIPATION, OR OTHER DIGESTIVE ISSUE

Although they are more commonly attributed to disease or food intolerance,gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and constipation can also be brought on by stress. Speak to your veterinarian if the diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive issue is abnormally severe, especially if it has lasted longer than 24 hours or if the diarrhea is bloody.

2. DECREASE IN APPETITE

Dogs don’t go on fasts or diets like we do so it’s important to consult a veterinarian if your pet suddenly loses interest in food or stops eating altogether. It could be due to stress or to an underlying health condition.

3. ISOLATION

Some dogs like some alone time now and then. However, a dog that is constantly isolating him or herself from other pets or people may be suffering from stress or a sickness. Your veterinarian can help you identify the cause of this strange behavior.

4. INCREASED SLEEPING

By now you will have become accustomed to your dog’s sleeping schedule. Speak with your veterinarian if your dog is sleeping more than usual or seems overly lethargic.

5. AGGRESSION TOWARD PEOPLE OR OTHER ANIMALS

Aggressive actions toward animals or people can be a sign of a stressed or sick dog. Consult your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist before the problem gets worse

HOW TO HELP A STRESSED OUT DOG?

If your dog’s behavior changes suddenly in any way, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she can rule out any underlying medical issues as well as make recommendations to help lower your dog’s stress level. Here are some tips for helping to alleviate stress in your dog:

Play/exercise with your dog regularly – Physical activities like a game of fetch or a walk around the block are a great stress reducer for dogs.

Create a safe zone – Set apart an area in your home for your dog to escape high-stress events like thunderstorms and parties. Provide your dog with a favorite “security blanket” such as a toy and visit your dog often. If possible, stay with him until the high-stress event has passed. Your presence is a great reassurance to him or her

Choose a high quality dog food – Your dog’s diet is an integral part of his health and wellbeing. Providing your dog with a diet that is not properly balanced for his or her life stage and lifestyle may cause unforeseen repercussions that may lead to anxiety and stress.

Many thanks to PetMD.

 

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Posted by on January 30, 2015. Filed under CRITTER TALK. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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2 Responses to 5 Signs Your Dog is Stressed and 4 Ways to Help Him

  1. James Smith Reply

    January 30, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Last year my older dog suddenly started digging in his water bowl. He would dig in the bowl, scoot it around on the floor, spilling water everywhere.

    Nothing we did would convince him to stop. He knew he was not supposed to do it. When caught in the act, he would stop instantly. I know of no extra stress on him at the time. If it had happened after Dora died, that would have seemed to have been a cause but it was long before that.

    When I caught him, I would scold him and remove the water bowl. I’d put the bowl up at night as he would do it during the night, too.

    About a week ago, he suddenly stopped doing it. I don’t know if he suddenly gave up because of the scoldings and water removal or he decided to stop as abruptly as he started. One day he didn’t dig, the next day he did.

    Then one day he simply didn’t do it any more.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      January 30, 2015 at 10:26 am

      They do strange things our dogs. I had one that did a similar thing with his food dish. It was stainless steel and huge, because she was huge, a Rottweiler. She would push that dish all over the yard and use his nose, and even put his front paws in it so as to get a better push. As long as the dish was available and empty she would push it. Strange girl.

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