6 signs your dog is stressed

Dogs are widely considered to be man’s best friend, so naturally you get to know your furry companion pretty well. But while a human can tell you if they’re feeling unhappy or unsettled a dog can’t, so learning how to read your dog is essential to figuring out how to help them, and preventing any negative long-term effects.
If your dog starts behaving differently to how they normally would, and particularly if they start showing any of the following signs, they may be stressed.

If your dog starts behaving differently to how they normally would, and particularly if they start showing any of the following signs, they may be stressed.

Signs your dog is stressed

1. Changes in interaction with people/animals/environment

As stated above, any changes in how you dog acts is the biggest indicator that they may not be feeling themselves. Look out for changes in how your dog behaves and interacts with you, other people in the household and other pets. If your usually social and playful dog is withdrawn, this could be an indicator that something is causing them to feel uncomfortable or anxious.

If your dog continues acting differently long after you believe you’ve removed any stress factors, then it is important to consult your vet.

2. Excessive barking

Barking is a natural part of being a dog, it’s one of the ways they communicate. If you feel your dog is barking more than normal it could be because something is scaring them and they are trying to communicate this to you.

3. Stance and posture

Just like a human, you can tell a lot about a dog from the way they’re standing. If your dog has a lowered body position, their tail down and their ears back, then they could be feeling stressed. When dogs get stressed they can also begin to pant more rapidly – this can lead to dehydration, so keep an eye on their water bowl and make sure it’s topped up.

4. Soiling in the home

If your dog doesn’t normally mess in the home, it is a sign that something is wrong. When a dog becomes stressed or anxious, the unsettled feeling can cause them to have an accident. However, if you have any serious concerns you should consult your vet, as toileting in the home could also a be a sign of a more serious health problem.

5. Destructive behaviour

Chewing can be annoying for an owner but it is a natural part of being a dog. Like babies need to chew when they’re teething so do puppies. In older dogs, while it can be for fun or to explore their environment, it can also be due to stress factors. Just like when humans get stressed and bite their fingernails, a dog will display their stress by chewing things and other destructive behaviour.

6. Changes in eating, sleeping and grooming

Stress disrupts a human’s habits, and it can have the same effect on your dog. Dogs generally love food, so if your dog is refusing their favourite treats it’s probable that something is bothering them. Similarly, your dog may suffer from disturbed sleep and appear to be grooming the same place constantly. This can lead to bald patches, so keep an eye out for them too. 

If your dog’s unusual eating, sleeping and grooming habits continue after you believe you’ve removed any stress factors, you should contact your vet for further advice.



Owners know their dogs best. You live with them on a daily basis, and know their characteristics and habits. Alongside identifying and removing anything you believe could be causing your dog stress, you could consider using a product from the Beaphar Calming Range.

Developed using herbal ingredients, some of which are also used by humans to manage stress, our Calming Range effectively helps calm pets. The Beaphar Calming Spot On contains Valerian extract, a herbal supplement known for its calming properties. Our Spot On’s micro-encapsulated formulation means that a single application can last up to one week.

Meanwhile, the Beaphar Calming Collar for dogs is effective for up to six weeks. Also containing Valerian as well as Lavender, both of which are often used by humans to manage stress, Calming Collars begin to relax your dog within approximately one hour once fitted.

Find out more about the other products in the Beaphar Calming Range here.

Beaphar Calming Range

  pet types : Dog

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