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Dog stress – what it causes

6 minutes

Dogs, like people, can get stressed over various things. For your four-legged friend, the feeling of stress is certainly not pleasant. Therefore, I would like to tell you how you can recognize that a given situation is stressful for your pet. This way, you'll know what to avoid.
the dog waits for a guardian in his checkered bed

What you will learn from this article:

• The dog may feel stressed

• If possible, help your four-legged friend avoid stress

• The presence of another dog or human can be stressful for your dog

Dog stress

We all have bad days when we are in a bad mood, nervous and stressed. Your dog also experiences all these emotions, but usually in a slightly different way. Your dog’s stress is a regular part of his canine life. However, do you know what makes your four-legged friend feel this emotion?

There are many reasons your pet feels stressed—precisely the same as in your case. Various situations and events can cause you to become stressed.

Stress is not a pleasant feeling for anyone, including your pet. Therefore, if possible, you should protect your dog from stress. I guarantee you that your four-legged friend will be very grateful for it. I don’t think any of us enjoy the stress of everyday life.

Dog stress symptoms

I think that, in the first place, it is worth focusing on what will tell you that your four-legged friend is feeling stressed at the moment. Each dog will indeed show his emotions in a slightly different way. However, in many cases, dogs similarly show that a situation causes them stress.

Why is it so important to know how your dog shows stress? Because thanks to this, you know what situations cause negative emotions in him. It is easier for you to protect your pet from stimuli that cause stress.

Oversee your dog daily to catch any changes in his behaviour when stressed. What signals does his body send, then? I will show you the most common ways dogs show that a situation is stressful.

The dog is cowering

A dog cowering can show that he gets stressed about something. If your four-legged friend has his tail between his legs and tries to hide inside, something may be wrong. The dog feels uncomfortable.

Very often, another sign of stress is that your dog lies ears. While in this posture, the dog often tries to hide in the corner of the room or tries to get under some piece of furniture, e.g. a table.

The dog brushes itself off

The fact that your four-legged friend shakes his body when he comes out of the water is normal and does not mean he feels stressed about anything.

However, when the dog starts to shake off in a situation unrelated to water, it is a sign that something is wrong. We can often observe such a situation that the dog starts to shake off after a stranger strokes it. That means that it was a very stressful experience for your pet.

The dog looks away

When your dog is nervous, he will try to look away. Very often, he is an ostentatious turning of the head. For dogs, eye contact is significant. Turning his head away in a stressful situation, the dog tries to avoid confrontation.

That applies to both looking away from other dogs and people.

The dog growls. A sign of stress in dogs you are undoubtedly familiar with is barking. When a dog makes growling noises and snaps his mouth, it should signal you that something is wrong. Your four-legged friend’s behaviour may indicate that he is currently experiencing stress.

It is worth mentioning that growling combined with a snapping of the mouth is a symptom of very intense stress in the dog. Therefore, if you notice this behaviour in your dog, you should immediately intervene.

pooch playing on graphite cushion for dog

What are the causes of dog stress?

I have presented you with the most common ways your four-legged friend shows that he is currently stressed.

Now let’s move on to situations that evoke such emotions in dogs. Knowing this can help you prevent many unpleasant events for your dog. If we have the opportunity to limit stressful situations in a dog’s life, I think that we should be inclined to do so.

The presence of another dog

For some canines, the presence of another unfamiliar dog can be very stressful, especially when your dog is naturally shy.

If you know your dog reacts badly to meeting a new dog, do not put him in a stressful situation. Do not expect he will start playing with your friend’s newly completed pet from the very first moment. Give him time, and if you feel he does not want to make new friends, let him fully decide for himself.

In susceptible dogs, the presence of a dog your pup already knows can cause stress. The fact that one day he played happily with a quadruped does not mean that the other will not feel stressed by such a meeting.

A lot depends on your dog’s mood on a particular day. His attitude can change, and this is perfectly normal.

Contact of a dog with a stranger

The cause of stress for your four-legged friend may be meeting an unfamiliar person. For dogs, the close presence of a human is something significant. If your pet can’t cope with making new contacts, an attempt to pet him by an unknown person can be very uncomfortable.

That is why they say you should not stroke a newly met dog. You can read more about it in my other post, which you can find here: how to pet a dog?

Unknown place

New places excite me and make me step out of my comfort zone. Your dog may feel less comfortable staying in a new, unfamiliar space. He may then feel a loss of security and, as a result, cause a feeling of stress.

That’s why whenever I take my four-legged friend to a new, unfamiliar place, I take something close to him. It can be a dog blanket. Thanks to the fact that the dog smells a familiar scent, he feels more confident and good.

Unseen before items

Even a tiny object that your dog has never seen before can cause stress in your dog. We can never fully predict our dog’s reaction in a given situation.

A dog in a stressful situation – how to help him?

I don’t think any of us like stress. It is a powerful emotion that has a massive impact on our well-being. You already know what can cause stress in your dog. Try to help him avoid such situations. That will have a direct effect on the health and happiness of your four-legged friend. I’m sure your pup will be very grateful for it.

What is causing your dog stress? Is it one of the things I mentioned above, or is it something else? Please write me your answer in the comment below.

If you have any questions or want me to discuss a topic in the next post, share it in the comments section.

Zdjęcie Klaudii

Author: Klaudia, author and a great dog lover
The doggy by my side teaches me to enjoy every moment and see each new day as a chance for a new, wonderful adventure. Searching for my soul mate, I found her in dogs' wise eyes.

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