When you’re stressed out, you might have difficulty eating, sleeping, and doing your normal routine. Your dog is no different! Dogs aren’t just man’s best friend; many of their stress symptoms mirror how people manifest anxiety as well.
Wondering how to spot signs of stress in dogs? We’ve compiled a list of 5 common signs of canine stress below. Read on to learn how to determine if your pup is anxious and how you can calm him down.
5 common signs of stress in dogs
1. Gastrointestinal issues
Pay attention to any changes in your dog’s appetite or stool. Diarrhea, constipation, and a loss of appetite are common signs of stress. If any of these symptoms persist for a few days or you spot blood in your dog’s stool, contact a vet right away.
2. Retreating from usual habits
Take note if your dog’s behavior changes dramatically. If your dog typically loves going on walks or lounging on the couch with you but has suddenly started hiding, something’s up. Isolation and seclusion can signify that he’s anxious.
You’re likely very familiar with your pup’s sleeping habits. You know his favorite nap spot and when he likes to get his ZZZ’s in. If you notice that your dog is sleeping more than usual or seems lethargic, this can be a sign of stress.
4. Unusual vocalization
Listen for any sounds of stress. Growling, whimpering, whining, barking, or excessive panting can all point to anxiety.
5. Out-of-the-ordinary body language
You know your dog best. If you notice that your dog has pinned-back ears and a tail between the legs or has been shedding, drooling, scratching, and yawning more than usual, he may be overwhelmed.
Why is your dog stressed?
This can be caused by a variety of factors, from a disrupted routine like moving or getting a new addition to the family to noisy environments.
Take note of when your dog exhibits signs of stress and try to connect them to different situations. If symptoms persist, this could be an indication of a bigger issue like illness. Don’t hesitate to contact your vet to ask about any dramatic changes in behavior.
How to calm a stressed dog
First and foremost, it’s important to identify the cause and try to resolve it.
Of course, some things—like thunderstorms, travel, or vet visits—can’t be avoided. When you need to calm down your dog, try giving him extra attention and cuddle time, going for a walk, or giving him a beloved toy and treat.
Bonus points if you give Fido a treat specially made with holistic, natural ingredients intended to support your dog through any stressful situation.