After learning that dogs do feel a certain level of stress too, it is time to find out how to read signs that your dogs might be feeling stressed out. There are actually a variety of behavioral changes that the dogs may show. Again, these are simple signs that may indicate stress or an illness, so it is always important to check with your veterinarian and consult your dogs’ condition.
1. Holding his tail down.
Dogs are energetic and playful beings. And most dogs do have tails (for those who are not very knowledgeable with the many breeds, there are dogs with little tails and it’s a bit hard to tell if it’s wagging or not), a tail that is wagging signifies joy. When the dogs are excited they wag their tails. If their tail is down, it might be that he is threatened or feeling not so well.
2. Barking excessively.
Excessive barking or whining is also something you will notice about your dogs. All of a sudden, he barks at every passer-by. He cries at night and calls out for attention; and when you do notice him, he becomes restless or on the contrary, dormant.
3. Shaking his body.
When the dogs get wet or when we give them a bath, they usually shake their entire body to dry off. But if he keeps on shaking his body even if he’s dry, then it might be a sign that he is trying to take something out from his body. It may be tension, fatigue or just shaking it to pump up some blood.
4. Having teary eyes.
Have you ever heard of the saying that the eyes are a window to the soul? This is true when dealing with dogs as well. A dog’s eyes are expressive: you’ll notice how their eyes glisten when they are excited about something and you can notice as well when they’re sad whenever you scold them.
A stressed out dog will also show his feelings through his eyes. One may also notice that their eyes may seem to have dark circles around it (eye bags as people will call it) but not as apparent; but it is noticeable. Teary eyes can also be a sign of sadness, discomfort or just an over-all feeling of depression. Be sure to always look your dogs in their eyes to check if something’s wrong; talking to them and observing their reactions may also be a way to check on them.
5. Sniffing or licking too much.
Sniffing the ground almost all the time, licking their noses just too much and even too much panting are also evident signs that your dog may be stressing. Loss of appetite may be noticed but not always. But since these signs are actually the same symptoms you will notice when the dog is ill, it is hard to tell if he is just stressed or feeling sick.
6. Being overly aggressive.
There are actually other signs that owners may notice on their dogs that is attention-seeking in nature. Some dogs tend to be overly aggressive. Yes, there are actually dogs who are more snarly and vicious; but if your dog is friendly before; it may be a sign of stress.
Dogs can also turn destructive when they are stressed. One day, the owner comes home to shredded doormats and chewed pillows. This surprised the owner since this is the first time it happened. It turned out that the owner may have been too busy the past weeks that he barely had time for his little guy. And when he does, it’s always just enough for feeding and poop. This is not something the dog is familiar with and as a result, he will try to grab his master’s attention.
7. Loss of interest and laziness.
Then, there’s another sign that your dog may be feeling sad and unloved. One day, the owner comes home, steps inside the house and strangely, everything’s quiet and still. He moves around the house checking for his dog but his buddy wasn’t around.
This is actually a strange scenario, for most dog owners, they know that whenever they leave the house and come back, a happy and lively dog will surely welcome their arrival. As the owner looks for his dog, he will find him just lying down in the middle of the living room without even lifting his head. The owner will call out his name, but instead he will just face the other way.
Is this something very strange and yet familiar? Some dog owners experienced this, once or twice in their lifetime with dogs. And because this is fairly weird, the owner might take his dog to the veterinarian to have him checked out. But after all the tests, nothing seems to be off with the dog.
This loss of interest or laziness is a sign that your dog may be feeling stressed. His laziness will keep him from activities like going for a walk or playing. He will simply slump and sleep most of the day. Eventually, he will refuse to eat or drink and get under the weather. Then the owner will take him to the veterinarian again, just to find out that this time, his dog is really unwell.
Know Your Dog
There are actually many cases wherein the dogs get stressed out and eventually, get ill. Just like human beings, stress can really do much damage to a person’s or a dog’s life. It is important that dog owners are familiar with how they dogs normally behave, this way, he is able to notice even a slight change that might need some intervention.
The question now is how? There are a lot of ways on how to de-stress your so-called best friends. There are actually many choices; in fact, there are pet wellness programs that one can enroll their pets into. Pet spa, restaurants and even hotels are available nowadays, all for the sake of the dogs, and other pets as well.
But de-stressing your dogs need not be expensive at all. In the next posts, you will see the different techniques that some dogs owners will share to give their dogs some TLC. It is just a matter of spending a few time and effort for the sake of your buddy’s welfare.