Photo by Pexels
How to help your dog overcome stress
These days, even sparrows on the branch know that dogs are emotional beings. They love, suffer, get angry … just like their two-legged friends. Most dog owners are aware of the fact that their pets suffer from anxiety if they stay home alone for too long. However, there are many other factors and everyday situations that annoy dogs. Take a closer look at your dog behavior to map some patterns that are related to stress. Your pet’s personality plays a significant role in how he or she reacts to different situations. It is really important to identify these behaviors to help eliminate the causes as soon as possible.
These are stress-related behaviors:
- Destructive behavior, biting of furniture and other things;
- Excessive barking both inside and outside the home;
- Pooing and urinating at home
- Sudden growl and even bite of family members to whom the dog is attached;
- Physical signs of the disease, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, skin allergies, excessive licking and tufting of the fur;
- Violent reactions when visiting a veterinarian.
The causes of stress vary. There is no doubt that your dog is stressed if he/she is lonely at home for too long. The dog views his boss as the leader of a pack, an alpha male. That is why all his anxiety and fear strongly reflect on the dog as a lower pack member. When the owner leaves the house, the dog is left alone, exposed to an enormous amount of stress. Those dogs that are too attached to their master are particularly sensitive to this type of situation. What happens then? The dog first begins to howl and bark, and then destroys every object in its environment. If the owner of such a dog leaves his pet to a friend, the situation becomes even more complicated. The dog may then experience a complete loss of appetite, bloody stool, and visible depression. This is because of the dog’s over-emotional attachment to the master, or lack of independence as an important prerequisite for normal dog development. After leaving the kennel (usually between 8 and 12 weeks), the puppy binds to the new owner, ie. for the person who feeds him and pays the most attention to him. This creates an affective bond that develops even more while the puppy is growing up. To avoid such, most mildly unpleasant situations, the owner needs to get his puppy used to being alone. A trained dog will develop a better defense system against stress.
However, there are other stress-related triggers. Disturbing harmony in the family (pack) due to the departure of one of its members (the death of another animal, child going to school, divorce of spouses, death in the family, etc.) is a common cause of stress in dogs. The most extreme case is the master’s death. Many dogs then become deeply depressed, often to the extent that they die of grieving for the owner. In practice, there are many cases when a dog settles on the owner’s grave and don’t want to leave, refusing food and starving to death. Stress in the dog also causes the arrival of a new member of the family. However, this can be easily handled. It is enough for the dog to spend some time in the infant-ready room before smothering the baby; to sniff toys, bedding, and baby clothes. One diaper should be taken from the maternity ward and given to the dog to smell it so that the baby smells familiar to him.
If the owner is stressed, the dogs notice it and become depressed and scared too. Most dogs are scared of the weather, especially the thunderstorms, to the point where they can try to jump out of the closed window when the rattles. However, with training, this type of stress can very effectively be alleviated or eliminated. A routine disorder is another trigger of stress in dogs. Young, healthy dogs can tolerate changes in the daily schedule of activities. However, old dogs have problems with changing the feeding time and the menu itself, visiting strangers, not taking walks in normal times, and similar situations.
Just like humans, daily exercise will help your dog relieve stress. Try to establish a daily walking routine. If you need to move to a new home, it is important to re-establish this routine as quickly as possible to make it easier for your dog to adjust to the new situation. It is also important that the dog has a place, a favorite blanket, and toys to cope with stress as comfortably as possible. Of course, you should always consult your veterinarian if you recognize any signs of stress in your dog. With a little patience and a lot of love, your pet will overcome this condition.
Paula Anderson is a pet lover and blogger. She loves coffee and writing about pets. She has a saluki and 5 kittens. Check her latest article about Best Deshedding Shampoo.