How You Can Know If Your Puppy Is Stressed

What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Puppy Stress

Dogs are a lot like people, which means they too can become stressed, and no one wants their puppy pal to be unhappy. That’s why it’s so important to learn what causes your dog to feel stress as well as how you can avoid them feeling that way in the future.

Causes of Puppy Stress

Some of the most common causes are things like being home alone, being around strange animals or people, traveling in vehicles, and loud noises like fireworks. Dogs are creatures of habit, so sometimes all it takes is a small change to their daily routine to trigger a puppy’s stress response. For example, moving to a new home or a family member passing away can both be common triggers that can make dogs feel quite uneasy and stressed.

Because most dogs are very social animals who require constant company, so they can get scared and feel very lonely. They can then develop into a strong fear of abandonment, very easily causing them to become stressed whenever they’re left alone for extended periods of time.

Dog’s also have sensitive hearing, so other situations that can cause them stress include loud music, alarming sounds, and even travelling in a vehicle. There’s plenty of other things that can cause your four-legged friend to feel stressed, so being aware of the warning signs is key.

Symptoms of Puppy Stress

While there are some excellent dog grooming courses available that will teach you all about how to look after your puppy, it’s just as important to learn about how your dog reacts to stress. Because while you might think your dog’s behavior is a normal reaction or a personality quirk, it may actually be a negative reaction to stress. Remember that if you’re unsure about whether your puppy is experiencing stress or not, you should always take them to see your vet.

Some of the most common signs your dog is currently feeling stressed include tail between their legs, ears pinned back, hiding behaviour, avoiding eye contact, overly sweaty paws, or changed body posture, as well as excessive panting, barking, whining, howling, licking, drooling, fidgeting, or yawning.

You should also be aware of decreased appetite, increased sleep, excessive shedding, as well as bowel issues like diarrhoea or constipation, as they are all signs of a major ongoing stressful situation in their life.

Treatment of Puppy Stress

The first thing to remember when treating your dog is not to create more stress in the situation by pushing him too far or hard. The best possible method of treating your dog’s stress is by getting rid of whatever is causing the anxiety. Thankfully, the cause of stress in most dogs is pretty easy to work out, so once it’s been identified, you can start dealing with treatment and management.

Another important thing to understand is that dogs are very smart animals who can often sense your emotions. They can very easily become anxious or stressed because they’re reacting to how you’re feeling, so you should always be aware of how you’re feeling whenever your dog seems stressed. Simply by calming yourself down in a stressful situation, you might be able to automatically calm your puppy down too.

Another way you can help reduce puppy stress is by desensitising them to whatever has been triggering it in the first place.

Start by giving them a treat or something else they like whenever the loud noise or situation triggers them. This slowly teaches them to start seeing the triggering stressors of the situation as a positive thing rather than something negative.

Final thoughts

Finally, it’s important not to get frustrated if your dog starts acting out whenever they feel stressed. Remember that they aren’t behaving this way on purpose. Your puppy is just expressing their fears or anxieties in the only ways that they know, so it’s certainly not their fault! Just make sure you’re always paying attention to what your dog is trying to tell you, so you can both live a happy life together.

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About The Author
Suzanne Harris is an equestrian and canine entrepreneurial coach and consultant to veterinarians who want to help prevent animals being affected by domestic abuse.