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Top ten signs your dog is stressed and how to help - petpawz.com.au

Top ten signs your dog is stressed and how to help

When you first get a dog, it is all happiness and confusion. You both try to work out how to live with each other. If you have a problem with a family member or housemate, you can tell them. โ€œClean those dishes.โ€ โ€œTurn down the tv.โ€ It is much simpler with people.

It is not so easy with dogs, cats, and any other pets. Is your dog at the door because they want to go to the toilet or chase the rabbit they saw? Are they stealing food because they are hungry, or they have nothing better to do? Are they licking to annoy us or are they trying to tell us something?

It is hard to understand dog behaviours. Luckily for you there are many professionals who understand dogs. Dogs feel anxiety just like people do and it is sometimes hard to understand the signs.

What are the symptoms?

Each dog is unique but there are often certain behaviours that are a good sign that your dog is anxious. If your dog displays the following behaviours, it may not be anxiety. Speak to a professional if you need more help with your puppy or dog.

BARKING

Barking is a way for dogs to communicate. Unexplainable barking can be a big sign that your dog is anxious. Even if you donโ€™t know why your puppy is barking, that doesnโ€™t make the barking wrong.

You can try distracting your dog with noise. Speak to them or leave the radio on low volume when you are out. Try creating a relaxing environment for your dog. You could try getting them a calming dog bedย they can call home and sleep in.



DRIBBLING PEE

Fight or flight. Have you ever been that anxious that you had to run to the bathroom? Happens to the best of us. Dogs are just like us. If you scare a dog, they may well soil your carpets right there. If your dog is anxious a big sign can be them dribbling pee inside.

Getting our puppy padsย can help with the pee but wonโ€™t resolve the underlying cause. Instead, be calm. Donโ€™t overreact and yell at them. You donโ€™t want to make your dog even more anxious than they already are.

DESTRUCTION

Dogs chew, scratch, tear and destroy but never without reason. Imagine if you got left in an empty room all day until your friends got home. After a while you would start to get anxious as your friends leave every morning.

Anxiety from boredom can lead your dog to destroy. Get your dog some chew toys, a bone, or other toys. Even better,ย try out the heavy duty calming bed that will put your pup to rest in the blink of an eye

PACING

Try telling your wife to sit still when she is agitated. After you get back from the hospital perhaps consider that movement signals something. Your dog might be bored and need to burn some energy. Your dog might also be anxious and trying to work off that nervous energy.

Spend some special time with your dog and take them out for a walk. Head on down to their favourite park and tire them out. Burn off that nervous energy. Even better, you will get fit too.

TAIL THUMPING

Who doesnโ€™t love it when a dog bounds up to them with its tail wagging? It is such a fun and friendly thing. You can see that dog is having a good time. But not all tail wags are made equal.

You will learn the difference with your dog. A happy tail wag is often quite fast. An anxious tail thump can be slower and often comes with a submissive grin.

You might soon realise that the cure for a lot of anxious behaviour is simple. Play with your dog and remove anxiety causing situations.

ESCAPING

If your dog is trying to escape, you have big problems. Your home is an oasis of safety but there are many dangers for your dog outside your home. Escaping can be a big sign of anxiety. They want to escape the problem by running elsewhere.

You can try placing a dog gateย or dog fence in the path of where your dog might escape. A dog gate can even help to stop your dog rush outside to see the new visitor.

YAWNING AND LIP LICKING

Isnโ€™t it cute that your dog is yawning and licking their lips? Perhaps they are just sleepy. If your dog yawns as they enter a vet clinic, that can be a sure sign they are stressed and anxious.

Your dog can get anxious by a stranger approaching them or a child hugging them or a loud argument. That yawn can even convey stress signals to other dogs.

A stressed dog could be yawning or licking their lips. They could be tucking their tail between their legs or bowing their head. If a dog is showing stress signs, seek to remove the stressor from their environment.

SHAKING AND TREMBLING

Yawning might be hard to mistake but you canโ€™t miss if your dog is shaking and trembling. If your dog looks freaked out, it almost definitely is.

Perhaps they are hearing thunder outside. That one is easy. Sometimes you need to bring in the professionals to help diagnose your dogโ€™s anxiety.

HIDING

When a five-year old gets in trouble. They often try and hide. They usually do a pretty poor job of it. They are anxious and want to escape punishment.

Dogs are similar. If your dog is leaving the room or hiding between your legs they might be anxious. If they are pulling away on their leash they might be trying to escape an anxious situation.

If your dog gets in an anxious situation like that, try helping your dog to get out of that place. If you need to be in that with hiding behaviour, seek help from a dog trainer.

UNUSUAL BEHAVIOUR

You know your dog. They behave in a certain way. Maybe they run to the food bowl and wait. Maybe the sound of a bicycle bell sets them off. Perhaps they love to lick your feet. If your dog stops behaving normally, it is worth working out why.

Perhaps your dog is sick go see a vet. Or perhaps there is a stressor in their environment. Maybe something has changed and is stressing your dog and causing them anxiety.

OTHER REASONS

These ten reasons are not the only reasons your dog might be anxious. Your dog might be ok with one stressful event but too many close together can cause trigger stacking. Stacking stressful events may turn your dog from being bold and courageous to stressed and anxious.

Each do is unique and what causes them joy and sadness will change. What works for one dog may not work for another dog.

ALWAYS REMEMBER -

Owning a dog is a privilege. Look after them as you would look after yourself and they will bring you years of joy and companionship.

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