It can be challenging to tell if your dog is anxious or if he is just scared. The best way to know the difference is to learn signs of stress in dogs. Here are the most common signs of stress in dogs.
Stress is a commonly used word to describe an uncomfortable feeling of pressure and strain. Causes for stress may vary from person to person and different situations may trigger it. Interestingly, the same applies to lovely canines. Yes, dogs can get stressed as well.
Since you probably know how stress affects yourself and how it makes you feel, you want to help your pet as much as possible, right? Dog’s can’t tell you when something is stressing them, so you have to learn to read signs.
Signs Of A Stressed Dog
Dogs can suffer from stress. Just like humans can suffer from stress, dogs can go through the same phases and emotional reactions. Therefore, it is important to learn the signs so you can know what triggers this emotional occurrence in your dog.
The most common stress triggers include sudden and harsh changes in the dog’s environment, lack of opportunities to demonstrate breed-related behaviors or punishment-based training methods. Although the number of things that actually cause a dog’s stress is outside of the owner’s control, there are many things you can actually do to reduce stressors in your canine’s everyday life.
But, before you learn the ‘how’ of dog’s stress, you should learn the ‘why’ that implies the most common triggers and signs of stress.
Top Ten Common Sings Of A Stressed Dog
Stress can affect a dog’s life in numerous ways. Moreover, it may have negative effects on health and even on the lifespan of the dog.
For example: When your furry friend is under stress, his body will instantly release an excessive amount of norepinephrine, known as flight hormone, which can alert gut bacteria and furthermore interfere with GI tract motility. Moreover, some dogs can experience short-lived stress, while others will have to deal with chronic stress.
1. Shaking And Pacing
You have probably seen your dog shake after a bath, rainy walk, or a roll in the grass, right? And there is nothing unusual about it. It’s a normal doggy reaction, even need. That whole body shaking movement is adorable and amusing, unless it’s a result of a stressful situation.
For example, some dogs will shake during the entire 4th of July, while others just can’t cope with veterinarian check-ups and visits. So, if you see your dog shaking without any obvious reason to you, he is going through some kind of stress.
2. Barking or Whining
Both barking and whining are a form of dog’s way to communicate with the world around him. Moreover, vocalization is a normal form of a dog’s self-expression.
Dogs that are afraid or tense may whine or even bark often to get your attention or to self-calm.
3. Licking, Drooling, And Yawning
Yes, dogs yawn a lot, especially when they are bored or tired. But, did you know that they tend to yawn when they are stressed as well? Luckily, there is a difference here: a sleepy yawn is calm and short, while a stressful yawn is more intense and prolonged.
Also, some dogs tend to lick and drool excessively when they are nervous.
4. Eyes And Ears Changes
Just like in humans, a lot can be seen in the dog’s eyes. Therefore, stressed dogs just like stressed people may have dilated pupils and blink rapidly. Also, they may even open their eyes wide and show more white (sclera ) than usual.
In relaxed and happy dogs, ears are usually relaxed or alert, while when in stress they can be more alert and pinned back.
5. Changes In Body Posture
In general, dogs bear even weight on all four legs. So, if your dog is healthy and he had no recent injury recently, but he shifts his weight to his rear legs or cowers, he might be going through some stressful situation. Also, dogs tend to become quite rigid when stressful or they may tuck their tails.
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