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.
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.
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.