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.

Remember complementary therapies can also be really helpful in promoting relaxation. Find out more here at Taranet.

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.

How Taurine Deficiency and Diet Can Lead To Dilated Cardiomyopathy In Cats and Dogs

Taurine, Dcm, And Grain-free Diet Issues In Dogs And Cats

by Dr. Hannah Godfrey BVetMed MRCVS of The Vets

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a condition that affects the heart in both dogs and cats. In DCM, the walls of the heart do not contract much and therefore struggle to squeeze the blood out of the heart chambers, around the body, and to the lungs. But what causes DCM? And can it sometimes be prevented?

Causes of Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Veterinarians have long been aware of the link between certain breeds of dogs and the condition Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Some breeds which appear to be more prone to DCM include Cocker Spaniels, Dobermanns, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, German Shepherds, and Newfoundlands. Initially, the link was considered primarily genetic, however, more recently it has become clear that there are other factors.

Genetic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dog breeds that are genetically predisposed to DCM tend to be large or giant breeds and include Dobermanns, Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, and Boxers. However, Boxers commonly get an atypical form involving Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy, also known as ‘Boxer cardiomyopathy’. Predisposed breeds can now be screened for DCM, to start treatment before signs occur and reduce the use of affected dogs for breeding.

Taurine deficiency

Taurine is an amino acid that most dogs will receive within their diet, as long as the diet is nutritionally complete. They can also make taurine in their body, from other amino acids, if needed. A lack of taurine or sufficient amino acids within the diet can lead to taurine deficiency, which is a cause of DCM in dogs.

Although certain breeds, like Cocker Spaniels, are predisposed to developing DCM due to taurine deficiency, many cases of DCM in other breeds have also been found to have low taurine. Therefore, even without a predisposition to developing DCM, dogs with a nutritionally incomplete diet may develop DCM due to low taurine levels. Supplementation with taurine has been shown to improve heart function in some dogs with DCM related to taurine deficiency.

L-carnitine deficiency

Carnitine is made within the body from two amino acids, lysine and methionine. Up to 40% of dogs with cardiomyopathy could have low carnitine, although it doesn't always show up on blood testing. This is because the heart cells may not have sufficient carnitine even if the overall level of carnitine in the blood is normal. Boxers appear to be especially prone to carnitine deficiency, but other dogs with DCM have incidentally been found to have low carnitine, and have responded to carnitine supplementation.

Causes of Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Cats

In cats, taurine is an essential amino acid, meaning that they cannot make it within their bodies from other amino acids and it must be provided within their diet. Without a diet containing sufficient taurine, cats will also develop DCM.

What diets might put your dog or cat at risk of DCM?

Since we now know that taurine deficiency and carnitine deficiency are factors in the development of DCM, we can conclude that diet is very important. Various diets have been investigated recently to determine if there is a link between them and DCM. Although it is not yet proven that grain-free diets lead to an increased risk of DCM, there are concerns about a potential link.

Grain-free, homemade, and boutique diets

Any diet that is not a commercial, certified complete pet food runs the risk of not containing the correct balance of vital nutrients that your pet needs and sadly this can have serious consequences. The risk with grain-free diets is that they contain a higher proportion of leguminous vegetables that may replace other more nutritionally valuable ingredients, making your pet more prone to deficiencies. Data suggests that some dogs with DCM who were not otherwise predisposed had been fed a grain-free diet, although the true link is not yet clear.

For the same reasons, deficiencies are also a concern with vegetarian, vegan, home-formulated, or unregulated boutique diets, since they may not provide the levels of taurine, other amino acids, and other nutrients that your pet needs to stay healthy. More information on the potential links between these diets and DCM can be found here.

So, what can I do to try to reduce my pet’s risk of DCM?

The first and most important thing that you can do to keep your dog or cat as healthy as possible is to feed them a regulated, nutritionally complete pet food that is formulated for their species. For a pet food to be complete it should be formulated according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ standards, as well as following the Global Nutrition Guidelines set out by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Feeding your pet a complete diet won’t just reduce their risk of DCM caused by deficiencies, but it will help ensure their overall health.

It is also sensible to ensure your pet is booked in for a regular, routine health check with your veterinarian. Ideally, this would be once a year at least and it can be performed during their vaccination appointment. If your veterinarian discovers a heart murmur or has other concerns during the examination, they may recommend a heart scan, blood test, or other investigation to determine whether medication is needed.

Finally, if your dog is a breed that is predisposed to DCM, screening can be performed every six to twelve months. Dogs with DCM often show no symptoms until the condition has become life-threatening, so screening allows it to be picked up early, as well as reducing the use of affected dogs for breeding.

By following the above advice, you will ensure that you are not inadvertently increasing your pet’s risk of developing DCM, or another nutritional condition.

About The Author
Dr Hannah Godfrey graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. She has worked solely with pets since 2014, and has gained a wealth of experience in that time! Aside from writing for The Vets and being a vet, Hannah enjoys running, baking, and spending time with her cats – Poppy and Ashton Kutcher.

How To Pick The Best Supplement For Your Laminitic Horse

How Can Feed Supplements Help Your Horse, Pony or Donkey With Laminitis?

First of all, if your equine has laminitis. Or you suspect he or she is ill, please contact your veterinary surgeon! This post provides general advice to help you understand more about using supplements. But it doesn’t replace proper professional veterinary advice. Remember laminitis is serious, and can even be fatal. So don’t delay getting help for your equine. Get more on laminitis here.

There are many ways to help manage laminitis. Managing turnout, ensuring a good surface to exercise/stand on, excellent farriery care are all essential. But diet and the nutrition within all food is also vital. This is where supplementation can help.

So What Ingredients Can Be Used To Help In An Equine Laminitis Supplement?

Here’s some information on ingredients which are often found in specific supplements for laminitis.

  • Biotin is an essential vitamin, meaning it’s essential to help the body function properly. Deficiency can lead to brittle nails in humans, and it’s thought deficiency in horses leads to weak hooves.

Veterinary research has found that biotin produces significant improvement in the growth and hardness of hooves. This research includes:

  • Chromium is an ‘essential’ trace element. Meaning the body needs it to function properly.

Research has taken place suggesting chromium does help increase insulin sensitivity. Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) can lead to laminitis. And insulin resistance (or insensitivity) is a common feature of EMS.

Here's a link to 2020 veterinary research - "Chromium propionate increases insulin sensitivity in horses following oral and intravenous carbohydrate administration"

  • Spirulina Platensis is a microalga which is known as a superfood for people and is increasingly becoming known as helping animals too. Including potentially horses with laminitis.
This is because spirulina platensis helps with increasing insulin sensitivity. Take a look at this veterinary research

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids, these help in maintaining a healthy body - for both us and our horses.

They have been found to help with the inflammatory response. And so have been considered for use in helping equine metabolic syndrome, which as mentioned above can be a precursor to laminitis. Find out more with this research

  • Zinc this is an essential micro element, which is involved in regulating enzyme activity, including with metabolism.

This 2021 research supports this

What Else To Consider In Buying A Supplement For Your Horse?

Choose the best quality! How do you know this? Check out the ingredient list. Some names maybe confusing. But see if it says where the ingredients are sourced from. Is it an organic product? Or are ingredients naturally sourced? Don’t be seduced by marketing - some labels or advertisements may look glossy, but it doesn’t the product is going to be the best!

Remember that what suits one horse, pony or donkey doesn’t mean it will help your horse. Or vice versa. Don’t think something’s not worth trying just because your friend or fellow livery hasn’t found it works. Listen to what your vet suggests. Many larger equine veterinary practices may also produce their own supplement range that is just what you need.

Like help finding a veterinary surgeon or therapist for your animal?
Please email me at info at taranet . co. uk

Please remember that if your horse, dog or other animal is unwell. Or on any kind of medication or other supplement. Then always speak to your Veterinary Surgeon first before using any supplement or therapy. Even natural ones. To avoid any possible issues.

´╗┐And do you know someone who'd find this helpful? Please share, the more we can spread awareness of the benefits of natural therapies the better! :)

Find out more about other natural animal therapies here at Taranet. Or read other articles in this Natural Pet Health Blog. Take a look at the sitemap here to explore!

Exciting News About This Natural Pet HealthCare Blog
It's been selected by Feedspot as one of the Top 10 UK Animal Blogs on the web. Check out this here

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.

How To Help Your Horse With Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine

Brilliant Complementary Therapies Advice For Your Horse's Health

The use of traditional chinese veterinary medicine (TCVM) to help horses is controversial. There are sceptics who say that it doesn't work, and the benefits of using TCVM are unproven. Or that it’s not been used for thousands of years. Despite claims by many that it has.

So is it something you should consider for your horse?

First of all what is the history of TCVM?

If you’re familiar with chinese history. You’ll know that different era’s are named as “dynasty’s”. According to experts, information from the Han dynasty show TCVM being used. This dynasty is the second imperial dynasty of China from 202 BC to 220AD. It’s important to remember too that although TCVM maybe recent to the western world, this doesn’t negate its history and long use in China.

What are the principles of TCVM?

It's holistic. Meaning rather than just looking at the injured part of the body, the whole animal is considered. "Yin" and "Yang" and Five Element Theory are two of the fundamentals.

Read more at this DVM360 article.

What is the research for TCVM?

Research continues, which is starting to show how acupuncture and herbal medicine works to help horse, dog and animal health generally.

This includes:

Why Use TCVM To Help Equine Health?

Horses with a range of ailments can receive TCVM. This includes:

  • Gastrointestinal
  • Lameness
  • Pain
  • Laminitis

How To Get TCVM For Your Horse?

Veterinary Surgeon's can train in chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies offers world-leading education in natural medicine, and trains many veterinary surgeon's.

There are also veterinary acupuncture courses accredited by the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists and International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Find out more about veterinary acupuncture here at my advice page.

Or if you're a veterinary surgeon who wants to train in veterinary acupuncture, check out my training advice page here.

If you need help finding a veterinary surgeon trained in acupuncture or herbal medicine, please email me at info at taranet

Get More Holistic Care Information For Your Horse's Health

Veterinary Acupuncture
Five Element Theory

About the Author

Suzanne Harris is founder of this Taranet website at, and also provides business coaching to horse and dog care and veterinary professionals.