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Is Your Dog Stressed Out?

Monday August 23, 2021

Is Your Dog Stressed Out?
  (Source:Paw CBD)

By Cami Cacciatore, Paw CBD

Does your dog hide during thunderstorms? Do trips to the vet make him shake? Does she howl when you leave the house?

These are all signs your dog is stressed. Not only is it upsetting for you and your poor pooch, but the stress can take a toll on their happiness and health. They can't tell us what's wrong, so it's our job to know when they need our help!

Causes of Stress

Every pet is different, and you might be surprised at what can stress them out. Common stress triggers include noise, strangers, travel, visits to the veterinarian, and changes in their usual routine.

Noise
If you've ever tried to calm your terrified canine companion during a thunderstorm or fireworks, you know how stressful it is for both of you. Even everyday noises like construction, loud music, a car backfiring, or a banging door can set your poor doggo shaking, whining, or hiding in fear.

Strangers and Crowds
If your dog shies away from a stranger, tucking their tail or cowering, or gets agitated around a crowd, they're telling you they're anxious. Dogs can experience "stranger danger," too, either showing fear or trying to protect you in these situations. Even if your dog is usually chill, a party or crowd can be overwhelming.

Travel
While most dogs love a car ride, travel can be stressful. Even a short drive to their favorite dog park can upset them, which is difficult for both of you since it's supposed to be fun. If your dog resists getting in the car or hunkers down in the backseat looking miserable, then they are definitely not enjoying the ride.

Vet Visits
You know regular veterinary care is important to keep your dog healthy and happy. Unfortunately, it's hard to help your poor pupper understand that if they don't like those vet visits. Whether it's the waiting room full of strange animals or the overwhelming scents and sounds, some dogs get super stressed in that environment.

Changes in Routine
While most dogs are easygoing, anything new or out of the ordinary can disrupt their routine and cause stress. From big things like moving house, a new person in your life, or the loss of another pet, to more minor disruptions like rearranging the furniture or changing your work schedule, dogs can get stressed about changes in their daily lives.

Signs of Stress

Signs of Stress
(Source: Paw CBD)

While every dog is different, some common signs of stress include:

  • Tucked ears and tail
  • Raised hackles
  • Pacing or panting
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Whining, barking, or growling
  • Drooling and licking
  • Trouble sleeping or eating
  • Digestive issues
  • Hiding

    Your dog might not display all of these behaviors, but you know your best friend well enough to realize when their behavior changes.

    Critical Signs of Stress

    While you should address the signs of stress above that warrant concern, some are more urgent and can spiral into the critical. Seek immediate care if your dog's stress turns into any of the following and rule out underlying health issues:

    Aggression — Snarling and biting is a critical sign and requires immediate action.

    Refusal to eat — Occasional disinterest in food isn't necessarily worrying, but refusing to eat for any length of time can lead to serious health issues.

    Excessive shedding — While shedding is natural, sudden and excessive fur loss is a sign of critical stress.

    Chewing fur or skin — When excessive chewing leads to broken skin and bleeding, your dog needs help right away.

  • How You Can Help

    How You Can Help
    (Source: Paw CBD)

    A distressed furry family member is hard on both of you. You want to help them feel safe and happy. Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to help your dog when they're feeling stressed.

  • Speak calmly and provide physical comfort
  • Eliminate or lessen the stress
  • Offer play and distraction
  • Give them space or time to adjust
  • Educate others about your dog's triggers

    Consider Paw CBD Calming for Dogs

    While regular CBD oil for dogs is a great part of their daily wellness routine, sometimes they need a little extra comfort and care. If you know your dog struggles with stress, CBD can help! Paw CBD Calming oil offers additional soothing herbal ingredients like valerian root and melatonin. And our Calming chews include chamomile and L-tryptophan to help your dog relax when things get "ruff." Learn more about signs of stress in dogs and how you can help.

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  • Paw CBD

    This story is part of our special report titled Paw CBD. Want to read more? Here's the full list.