Otterhound puppy scratching behind ear Dog training 27.11.2023

Dog stress: How to calm a dog under stress

These reasons can stress your dog and you can help him to reduce this stress.

Calming stressed dogs is an important issue for every dog owner. Stress in dogs can be caused by various factors and manifests itself in different symptoms. It is crucial to recognize the signs of stress in dogs and use effective methods to calm them down. In this article, we'll look at five common causes of stress in dogs and their symptoms, followed by practical tips to calm them down.

How to recognize stress in dogs

Dogs, like humans, experience stress in a variety of situations. This condition can have a negative impact on their well-being and health. In order to act as a responsible dog owner, it is important to understand the causes and symptoms of stress in dogs and to be able to take appropriate measures to calm them down.

Stress in dogs can be caused by environmental changes, health problems, lack of mental and physical stimulation or even bad experiences. Dogs are very sensitive to the mood of their owners and the environment, which makes them susceptible to stress. Long-term stress can lead to behavioral problems, anxiety and health problems.

However, it is not always easy to recognize stress in dogs as they cannot express their feelings in words. Instead, they communicate through behavioral changes, body language and sometimes physical symptoms. An attentive dog owner can recognize these signs and respond appropriately.

Untersuchung eines kranken Hundes mit infizierten, verkrusteten Augen. Inspektion, Blepharitis. Nahaufnahme von Rötung und Beule im Auge eines Hundes. Bindehautentzündung Augen des Hundes Depositphotos / Hugo1313

Recognizing stress in dogs requires attention and understanding of their behavior and body language. Here are some common signs and behaviors that may indicate a dog is stressed:

  1. Changed behavior: A dog that suddenly behaves differently than usual could be stressed. This can manifest itself in increased anxiety, aggression or withdrawal from social interactions.
  2. Body language: Dogs communicate a lot through their body language. Signs of stress can include intimidated posture, tucked tails, pinned ears, dilated pupils or trembling.
  3. Changed habits: Changes in eating or sleeping habits can indicate stress. A stressed dog may eat less, show a loss of appetite or have difficulty sleeping.
  4. Excessive barking or howling: While barking and yowling are normal forms of communication for dogs, excessive or unusual barking can be a sign of stress.
  5. Destructive behavior: Some dogs respond to stress by destroying furniture, chewing on things they would normally ignore, or even engaging in self-injurious behavior such as excessive licking or biting of their own bodies.
  6. Uncleanliness: Sudden uncleanliness or urination in the house can be a sign of stress, especially if the dog was previously house-trained.
  7. Avoidance behavior: A stressed dog may avoid contact with people or other animals or try to hide.
  8. Excessive panting or salivation: Although panting is normal in dogs, especially after exercise or in the heat, excessive panting can be a sign of stress. Similarly, increased salivation can be a sign of anxiety or stress.
  9. Frequent yawning or licking of the lips: These behaviors can occur in dogs when they feel uncomfortable or stressed.
Süßer sibirischer Husky-Welpe kratzt auf grünem Gras Depositphotos / lufimorgan

Below we will look at five common causes of stress in dogs, identify their symptoms and suggest effective calming methods. This information should help to make the lives of our four-legged friends more comfortable and stress-free.

5 reasons for stress in dogs and their symptoms

  1. Changes in environment: Moving house, new family members or pets can be stressful for dogs. Symptoms can include restlessness, changes in sleep patterns and increased barking or howling.
  2. Separation anxiety: Many dogs experience stress when they are separated from their owners. Symptoms include destruction of objects, uncleanliness or excessive barking.
  3. Lack of social and physical stimulation: Dogs need regular exercise and social interaction. Lack of this can lead to stress, recognizable by lethargy, aggression or excessive licking.
  4. Noise phobia: Noise, such as thunderstorms, fireworks or loud noises, can cause stress in dogs. Trembling, hiding and escape behavior are common symptoms.
  5. Negative experiences: Traumatic experiences, such as poor treatment or accidents, can cause long-lasting stress. Symptoms include anxiety, withdrawal and aggression.

Calming tips for stressed dogs

To calm a stressed dog, it is important to understand their needs and act accordingly. Every dog is unique, and what works for one may not necessarily work for another. However, there are general guidelines that can help reduce your dog's stress levels. These tips are intended to play a supportive role in improving the well-being of your four-legged friend. It is always advisable to be vigilant and seek professional help if necessary.

  • Maintain routines: A fixed daily routine gives the dog security and reduces stress.
  • Calming interaction: Petting, gentle talking and calm behavior can help to calm the dog.
  • Create safe retreats: A quiet, cozy place where the dog can be undisturbed is important.
  • Sufficient exercise and play: Regular walks and playtime help to reduce stress.
  • Professional help: If stress is persistent or severe, it may be useful to consult a vet or dog trainer.
Banner: Depositphotos / Madrabothair
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