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How To Know If Your Dog Is Stressed

About today’s guest writer: Annette Masse (aka “Betty Bulldog”) helps offer some effective solutions to pet owners who may have pets suffering from stress and anxiety.

The canine species is a sophisticated species. They communicate with each other and with their owners in subtle ways. Saying this, canines also have the same feelings we humans do. They feel happy, loved, excited, pleased, sad, lonely and stressed. These emotions they show through their body language.

As in humans, stress is not healthy for your canine companion. Watch their body language: Some things to watch for are:

  • Head and Tail drooping and held lower than normal (tail tucked between the legs).
  • Twitches in the skin and muscles
  • Body held stiff
  • Whining, excessive barking
  • Excessive drooling or licking of the lips
  • Circling
  • Digging
  • Destructive chewing
  • Refusing to eat
  • Urinary marking

Watch for anything that is out of the normal daily routine for your dog. Many things can cause stress in dogs. A change in their environment, a change in your work schedule, lack of exercise and attention, separation anxiety, boredom, noise intolerance such as the sound of firecrackers, frustration, fear of other animals and humans, new family or new family member, trauma and even in their jobs such as police K-9’s. Stray dogs suffer from stress more because of the fear they are homeless; lack of food and love. Your dog can also pick up on your own stress. It is important to recognize excitement versus stress.

What To Do When Your Dog Is Stressed

Dogs basically take care of them selves when they are stressed. Licking their paws and lips as well as panting helps them to naturally relieve stress. However, there are times when the human factor has to come into play. Sit with your dog in a quiet place with no distractions. Talk softly and gently stroking him at the same time. Give him a daily massage to relax his muscles. Play a game of catch the ball. Let your dog run and ‘blow off steam’. Arrange play dates with your dog or a doggie daycare center if you are going to be gone for several days. Provide chew toys; a Kong with a treat placed inside will keep him busy and his mind focused. Provide him a ‘safe place’ such as a den. Keep your dog quiet and give him lots of attention. Be patient with your dog. If you have to change your daily routine and will be coming home late or leaving early, have a friend or professional dog walker come in and check on your dog. Dogs are pack animals.

In other words, they do best when they are not alone. Turn on the television or a radio (I use Animal Planet) when I’m going to be gone all day. I’ve even caught them watching the TV when I come home. If things don’t improve within a couple of days or if your dogs signs of stress worsen please do not hesitate to see your veterinarian as there may be an underlying physical cause for your dogs’ stress.

Annette Masse, also known as “Betty Bulldog” has been loving and respecting dogs for 25 years. Sign up for a FREE dog owner mini course called “Love your DogZ” at the link below. Teaching you about your dog. Do it for your dog. http://dogZdogZ.com. Keep those tails waggin! – Betty Bulldog (Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2927278)

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2 Responses

  1. My dog has HIS tobyoxMy Baby has HER tobyoxToys are kept separate.Baby is only allowed to play with her toys.. if she has a dog toy, I remove it from her and give her one of HER toysDog is only allowed to play with his toys.. if he has a baby toy, I remove it and give him one of HIS toys.Eventually the toys will have their individual scent and your dog should be able to recognize which are his and which belong to the baby.Baby toys are also put away when she’s done playing.. they are not left laying anywhere. Most of her toys are kept in the living room, which is baby gated off- the dog has limited access to that room.The best solution is to just supervise, and make sure that baby toys are put away when the baby is not playing with them. Your child can learn at a young age to keep her toys picked up, or they may become chewed up.

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