Believe it or not, our canine companions get stressed. The circumstances and degrees of this can vary from dog to dog since no two are exactly alike, but it’s still something all dog parents must be wary of.
Also, like humans, dogs can show their stress in different ways. To be a responsible dog parent, you must understand your dog’s signs of distress to ensure that both you and your canine companion can maintain a happy and healthy relationship together.
- Sleep, Or Lack Thereof
If your dog is sleeping less or more than normal, something may be up. Like humans, dogs can suffer disruptions in their sleep schedule when they feel stressed.
Sleeplessness or excessive lethargy might also be a sign of something more severe, so if these issues persist, be sure to take your pup to a vet as soon as possible.
- Digestion Issues
To be fair, the underlying cause of digestion problems can be hard to pinpoint. Because dogs don't usually eat like humans do, digestive issues could signify almost anything.
However, if symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, or other digestion issues last longer than two to three days, it might behoove you and your dog to see if there are external stressors that are factoring into their overall health.
- Sudden Aggression
Aggression is a major issue no matter what, but if it seems to be directed toward a particular person or animal, it may be best to remove the cause until a better solution can be reached.
Dogs can act aggressively when they're stressed, in pain, or facing some medical condition. See your veterinarian to find the cause. You may also need to consider finding a professional trainer if the aggression continues.
- Body Language
You might hear some people say that dogs are unpredictable because they can't communicate with their human family. This isn't totally true. Dogs have their own forms of communicating that experienced and observant dog parents can identify.
Ears, eyes, and position of the tail are key factors for interpreting your dog's state of mind and are just as important for determining whether or not your dog is stressed. However, other signs that you might not notice include things such as itching and scratching, excessive drooling, shaking, shedding, yawning, and licking.
Going potty in the house when your dog is already house-trained can be another major sign of a stressed animal. Once or twice may not be a big deal, but if it becomes a habit, it might be time to investigate further.
Check to see if there's a reason your dog may not want to go outside. Is there a new dog in the area? Or a wild animal? Perhaps a major life change has thrown your pup out of sync.
Remember to always be patient with your dog. They're telling you something is wrong the best way they know how.