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Stress in dogs is distressing for both dogs and owners. While people can tell you if they’re feeling anxious or unsettled, a dog can’t. Stress in dogs can cause negative long-term health problems. So, knowing the signs of stress to look out for will help you identify and solve the problem quickly.
Look out for changes in how your dog behaves and interacts with you, and other people and pets in the home. This is one of the biggest indicators of stress in dogs. If your usually social and playful dog is withdrawn, this could be because something is making them feel stressed or anxious.
If your dog continues acting differently long after you believe you’ve removed any stress factors, contact your vet.
Chewing can be annoying for an owner but it is a natural part of being a dog. Just as 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. Just like when humans get stressed and bite their fingernails, a sign of stress in dogs is chewing things and other destructive behaviour.
Barking is a natural part of being a dog, it’s one of the ways they communicate. If your dog is barking more than usual, something could be scaring them. The excessive barking is their way of communicating this to you.
Just like a person, you can tell a lot about a dog from the way they’re standing. A dog with a lowered body position, tail down and ears back could be stressed. When dogs get stressed they may also pant more rapidly. This can lead to dehydration. Keep an eye on your dog's water bowl and make sure it’s topped up.
If your dog doesn’t normally soil 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. Soiling in the home can be a sign of a more serious health problem.
Like people, stress in dogs may impact other parts of their health.
Constantly grooming themselves in the same place can be a sign of stress in dogs, which can lead to bald patches.
Dogs generally love food. If your dog is refusing their favourite treats something may be bothering them. Similarly, your dog may suffer from disturbed sleep.
If your dog’s unusual grooming, eating or sleeping habits continue after you’ve removed any stress factors, contact your vet for further advice.
If your dog is showing signs of stress, first you should try to remove the cause. Some stressful situations, such as a new home or addition to the family, can’t be removed. But, there are dog calming products available to help reduce stress in dogs.
The Beaphar CaniComfort® Calming Range is a simple and effective solution to reducing destructive behaviour in dogs. Beaphar CaniComfort® uses a synthetic replica of the Dog Appeasing Pheromone. Dog Appeasing Pheromones provide dogs with a comforting message, allowing them to feel safe and reassured. This in turn can help reduce problem behaviour and stress in dogs. You can find out more about how these pheromones work here.
The Beaphar CaniComfort® Calming Diffuser is a complete starter kit containing a dog calming plug in and one refill. It is ideal for use around the home, helping to reduce general anxiety and problem behaviour associated with stress in dogs. The easy-to-use pheromone plug in can be used anywhere in the home, allowing you to provide continuous reassurance for your dog. Each refill lasts for 30 days. When empty, replace with a NEW Beaphar CaniComfort® 30 Day Refill.
For reducing problem behaviour in targeted areas around the home, why not try Beaphar CaniComfort® Calming Spray? Use this dog calming spray on your dog's bed to help them feel settled, or in areas where problem behaviour is occurring. This dog calming spray is pocket-sized; ideal for travelling and kennel or vet visits. Spray inside your dog's empty crate or the car 15 minutes before trips to help your dog feel more at ease during the journey.
Find out more about the complete Beaphar Comfort Range here.