Is your dog stressed out?

Photo © Willee Cole

Dogs have issues too, you know

Is your dog isolating himself from other dogs and family members? Do you see him sleeping more than usual? If you said yes, it could be that your dog is stressed out.

Dogs can be just like their human counterparts and get stressed out by daily living. Sometimes it's the commotion of the kids or the cat next door, or maybe you brought a new pet home and your older dog just isn't coping well with the changes. 

Daily stress can create havoc with your dog’s internal system. You may want to watch for some of these signs that your dog is just not coping well with daily life.

Isolation is a key that something is going on. Everybody needs a little alone time, your dog included, but if you see your dog isolating himself more often, he could be suffering from anxiety or an underlying health condition. Usually when dogs are sick they will isolate. Your vet can help you with clues on how to treat this behavior.

Lack of appetite is another clue that something is not right in paradise. Dogs don’t put themselves on diets, otherwise we wouldn’t have a dog obesity epidemic. One thing a dog can do is behave as if they have anorexia. It is very similar to a human’s condition, but a dog may vomit out of nerves and then want to eat again afterwards. It also is a way to control the situation if they are not happy about something. Your dog will lose weight and you will need to see a vet to understand how to get your pup back on track.

Clock just not ticking Their body clock isn’t quite working properly and they are vomiting or have diarrhea. Both of those things can be attributed to many things but they also can be traced back to anxiety and stress. Speak to your veterinarian if the diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive issue is abnormally severe, especially if it has lasted longer than 24 hours or if the diarrhea is bloody. 

Lethargy Sleeping instead of wanting to play and go for daily walks isn't normal. Lethargy can be caused by many illnesses but also by stress.

Aggression is also one of those signs you have a dog with some problems. Many signs of aggressive may be accompanied by a fearful body posture and facial expression, and with submissive behavior. Treatment for aggression focuses behavior management techniques to assist the dog with its anxiety and anger. 

Obviously you want to take your dog to the vet if these signs persist. Spending more time with your dog may be the best and surest cure in many cases. A long walk, a run or some time at the park may be all that's needed to get things back in sync. 

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