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THE EFFECTS OF STRESS ON YOUR DOG'S HEALTH: WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Updated: Apr 25


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Dogs get just as stressed as humans, which isn’t too much of a surprise. But what causes stress in dogs? Are they the same things humans stress about? Or are they different? How do you calm your pup while they're stressed? And how can stress affect your dog’s health? Let's talk about the signs of stress, what causes it, how to mitigate symptoms, and finally, how it affects your dog’s overall health.

 








First things first: how to tell when your dog is stressed out. Let’s begin with all the body language cues your pup displays when they feel stressed. These signs include:



 

What Stresses My Dog Out? I think the second most logical place to continue is with: What stresses my dog out? Stressors include: 

  • Loud noises

  • Unfamiliar places

  • A stressed family member

  • Yelling and screaming

  • Meeting new people/pets

  • Strong or unfamiliar scents

  • Being alone

  • Being punished

  • Being in a car 

  • Being in or near water

  • Being caged, cornered or restrained

  • Taking a bath

  • Inconsistent rules

  • Inconsistent routine

  • Not getting enough physical and/mental stimulation

 

How to Calm a Stressed Dog. There are several methods to calm a stressed dog, they include:

  • Recognizing stressors

  • Eliminating/Avoiding stressors

  • Recognizing a safe place

  • Finding a quiet space

  • Getting exercise

  • Petting

  • Playing 

  • Treats 

  • Supplements 

  • Medicine 

 

How can stress affect a dog’s health? As with humans, stress can have a heavy toll on the health of your dog. When your pet gets stressed, they release cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream, triggering the fight and flight response. This can lead to several health concerns, including:

  • Cardiovascular issues

  • Immune system suppression

  • Gastrointestinal issues

  • Eating disorders 

  • Skin issues 

  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure

  • Diabetes

  • Chronic stress

As you might have noticed, these are very similar to how stress affects. Stress, especially chronic stress, is not good for either humans or canines. 

Recognizing whether your dog is anxious is the first step in mitigating their symptoms. Keep in mind that all dogs are different, therefore all dogs will display it in different ways. Start by recognizing both the obvious and subtle signs your dog is anxious. Once you recognize these signs, you can then decipher what the trigger is for your pup. Finally, you can begin to mitigate the symptoms. Being conscious of your dog’s behavior and stressors will help you recognize and mitigate stress. This will also strengthen both your understanding and bond with your pup. We hope you take this post and use it to better understand your canine and lessen their stress. For more informative dog content, please follow New Life K9s blog.

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