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Recognizing Signs of Stress in Your Dog

April is National Stress Awareness Month. And it’s not only people who suffer from stress, our pets do too.

And as with people, your dog’s personality will determine how he relates to different situation. Some dogs are really destructive. Others make themselves ill, vomiting and even pulling their fur out.

Here are signs that can be stress-related:

  • Excessive barking both inside the house and outside
  • Peeing and pooping around the house
  • Sudden displays or growing, snarling from a normally affectionate dog
  • Snapping and even biting family members Physical signs of illness such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, skin allergies, excessive licking and pulling out clumps of fur.
  • Destructive behavior such as chewing furniture and other items in the home.

Stress in dogs (and cats) can be caused by many things.  Being left home alone from long periods can cause a dog to get very anxious and that anxiety builds over time. A new home and even a new baby or a new pet that has not been properly introduced into the home. Loud music played constantly as well as noisy repairs and maintenance being done around the house.

Keeping your own daily routine as constant as possible will certainly help your dog understand that you go out and come back.  Giving him lots of attention when you walk in the door and even a walk will help him establish his routine. Dogs also have a denning instinct and having a crate and crate training your pooch will give him a safe place to hang out and feel secure. Soft cuddly toys are a great comfort to dogs. It’s always a good idea to ensure he has a special toy to carry around and sleep alongside.

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