Recognising the signs of stress in your dog and understanding your dog's behaviour is an important part of dog ownership and they have a number of ways to let you know if things aren't quite right.
Read through our list of spotting signs of stress in your dog and what you can do to help.
Recognising the signs of stress in your dog...
There's always a lesson to learn from your dog's behaviour; understanding when your dog is giving you the message they're stressed or unhappy is a vital part in keeping your pooch healthy & content. After all, there's been numerous studies showing that dogs frequently living with stress and anxiety suffer numerous negative health effects which can reduce the lifespan of the average dog.
Luckily, we've included some handy pictures so you can see some of the most common signs of stress in your dog...
What causes stress in dogs?
Dogs are just like us, they can get stressed for loads of different reasons - the frustrating thing for them is communicating what's causing them to be so upset! Luckily, we've included some causes of stress in this guide to help you understand what might be causing your dog issues...
1. Novelty & excitement
Changes in the dog's daily environment can be really exciting, but it can also be super stressful - exposure to new things/items in the house, strangers and new animals can have a significant impact on your dogs stress levels.
2. Loud noise & jump scares
Remember, dogs have hearing which is up to four times more sensitive than ours - noises that are loud to us are REALLY loud to your dog. Loud bangs and jumps from things like bangs, thunder and fireworks are really loud and really frightening to your four-legged friend.
3. Your pooch doesn't like change
Changes in your dog's environment, be it objects or people lead to stress; this could be moving house, new bedding or a new pet, family member, friend or any type of change to daily routines can be really upsetting.
4. Punishment & fear
Here at MyPamperedPup, we're strongly against any type of cruel animal punishment, but these types of training methods are very serious for your dog's stress levels. Getting physical with you dog is not only very ineffective for long-term training, but shock & prong collars, physical violence & shouting cause unnecessary stress and serious harm to your dog's well-being.
5. Keep their personal space
Dogs love your cuddles, but you need to remember that it has to be on their terms too. Getting in your dog's personal space and disturbing them whilst they're eating, resting or sleeping isn't good. It's also never a good idea to pin or restrain your dog as they get them wound up, which leads to heightened stress.
Treating and minimising stress in your dog
It's important to understand and recognise the signs of your dog showing you that their experiencing stress or discomfort - knowing these signs can help you act quickly to soothe and calm stressful situations!
1. Have a calming smell nearby
Nothing brings a sense of calm to a stressed or anxious dog like the soothing small of a loving owner. If you're planning on leaving your dog for a period of time, be sure to leave your dog with an article of clothing, or blanket, with your scent on it - this works wonders to calm your dog as the familiar smell helps them feel at ease.
2. Keep their mind occupied
Treat-release toys are the ideal leave-behind to keep an anxious dog busy and take their mind off stressful thoughts. These types of toys focus your dog's mind on figuring out the puzzle of unleashing the tasty treats contained within!
If you want to step this up a notch, you can even have multiple treat-release toys set-up around your house their your dog to discover as they wander around.
3. Turn on some music or the radio
OK, this is one is probably not new news to you guys - everyone knows that leaving the radio on is a great idea as dogs find comfort in hearing human voices chattering away. But, did you know that calming music can also be soothing for your dog? Tune in to a calming station, or pop-on your favourite chill playlist, and let your dog enjoy the soothing tunes...
4. Give plenty of TLC
The reality is that much like keeping a familiar smell of yourself near your dog, nothing is going to have a calming effect like, well, you! Ensure that you give your pooch plenty of TLC, exercise, play, mental stimulation and affection. Your dog is comforted by your presence and this calms your dog by making them feel safe and secure.
Understanding your dog's behaviour is a key part of ownership. Your dog is always going to experience stress and anxiety at some point during their life and anything that you can do to calm them builds on your already strong bond.
In this post, we've explored how you can recognise the signs of stress in your dog some of the best and proven ways to help calm them, especially if they're the type of dog that experiences anxiety when left alone.
Remember to check back to the MyPamperedPup Blog to learn all the very best hints and tips for caring your pampered pup!