We all know what stress feels like. And you can probably tell when your human family members are feeling anxious, too. But, how do you know when your dog is stressed?
As a pet owner, you are your dog’s best defense when it comes to defeating stress, so it’s important to be able to identify when he might be stressed and to know how to help relax.
Here’s how to know if your dog is stressed, and what to do about it.
Reasons Dogs Get Stressed
Dogs can become stressed for a variety of reasons. According to experts, the three likely reasons your dog may become anxious are:
- Confusion and memory loss associated with getting older.
- Fear of loud noises, new environments, large or strange objects. and big groups of people.
- Separation from people or other animals.
Additionally, recent studies indicate that your own emotional health and stress levels could impact your dog’s stress. According to recent studies, “dogs, to a great extent, mirror the stress level of their owners.”
Signs That Your Dog is Stressed
According to experts, there are a number of ways your dog may display their stress, including:
- Destroying objects in your home
- Peeing or pooping inside despite being housebroken
- Sudden aggression
- Repetitive behaviors
- Pacing or restlessness
How to Help Your Dog Relax
There are a number of ways you can help prevent your dog’s anxiety and help an already stressed out dog:
- Feed them healthy meals and give them plenty of exercise: Much like people, exercise and a healthy diet are great ways to combat stress.
- Consistent Training: Proper and consistent training reassures help an anxious dog to know what’s expected of him and reduces anxiety.
- Avoid bringing them into stressful situations: For some dogs, certain situations will always be too overwhelming to handle. If you know your dog responds poorly to loud noises, for example, don’t bring them anywhere where loud music will be playing and keep music at a comfortable volume at home.
- Keep your own stress levels under control: Science has spoken; your own moods and mental health affect your pup’s. Ensure that you’re able to manage the stressors in your own life so you can be fully present for your dog.
It’s true — dogs can get anxious and stressed, just like people! But thankfully, there’s a lot you can do help. By paying attention to his behavior, you can identify the signs and causes of their stress and help your dog calm down.