Dogs experience stress just like people do. In fact, many dogs tend to experience stress when their owners do and tend to mirror the stress of people. Have you been stressed lately? Chances are that your pup is stressed for you, too.
Luckily, there are numerous ways to help relieve your pup’s stress! If you suspect that your four-legged friend is in need of some relaxation, look no further, we’ve got you covered.
Is My Dog Experiencing Stress?
Because our canine companions can’t speak with us directly to let us know that we’re stressed, we need to be able to observe them and identify the signs that they’re stressed. Stress negatively impacts dogs in some of the same ways that it does people.
Some of the signs are similar, though they may be presented slightly differently. Here are a few ways to tell if your pooch is currently undergoing a stressful time.
Dogs tend to show that they’re stressed out by communicating it with the world around them. This communication can come in any number of forms, like growling, barking, or whining. Stress can be triggered by your pup feeling threatened, leading to unusual behavior that can be aggressive at times, hence the growling.
Whining is one of the dead giveaways of a pooch experiencing stress, and dogs often can’t control it when they’re feeling very stressed.
If your dog can’t seem to sit still and paces back and forth incessantly, there’s a good chance they’re stressed out. Typically, this behavior occurs outside of normal events that could trigger it, like mealtimes. When related to stress, pacing also tends to last for a longer period of time. If your dog paces for short amounts of time, there may be a physical cause for their restlessness.
Freezing or Cowering
One of the sure signs of an upset dog is a tail tucked between their legs. This normally lets us know that something is wrong with our pup, and it’s affecting them heavily. In addition to this tail tucking behavior, shivering or cowering may be present.
If the stress your dog is experiencing is severe enough, they may even freeze, a sign that they’re shutting down due to the stress they’re undergoing. Dogs can become aggressive in this state, so it’s best to comfort them from a distance to start.
What Can I Give My Dog for Stress?
If your dog is exhibiting any of the symptoms listed, then it’s entirely likely that they’re stressed out. If that’s the case, there are a number of things we can give our pups to help alleviate some of that stress. They deserve stress relief, just like we do.
Try any of the following options when trying to help your pooch relax.
When trying to help your pup relax, giving them a calming supplement or treat is a great idea. Most calming supplements, also known as soothing supplements or calming treats, are made from natural ingredients that promote a relaxing effect.
These ingredients are typically similar to the ones found in stress relief products made for people, like lavender, chamomile, ginger, and passionfruit. These supplements are often very effective and relax your pup in no time.
It should be mentioned that in most cases, calming supplements for dogs need to be used according to the manufacturer’s label. There is a recommended dosage based on weight when giving your four-legged friend calming supplements. This dosage should not be exceeded as it can have adverse effects on your pup.
A Soothing Bath
Similar to calming supplements, there are grooming products available on the market that provide soothing effects for your pooch. These shampoos are made from ingredients that have been shown to have an effect on your pooch’s mental state and well-being, like eucalyptus, lavender, and mint. Giving your dog a relaxing bath is a fantastic way to wash the stress away.
If you’re considering this option to help relieve your four-legged friend’s stress, consider giving them an entire doggie spa day, complete with nail trimming, a luxurious bath and grooming session, as well as delicious treats. Spending time with your dog in this way is sure to help them achieve a calm demeanor.
If your dog seems stressed out more than usual, sometimes it’s a good idea to take them outside and get them some good old-fashioned playtime. Physical exercise is a great way to help them get rid of some of the pent-up energy they may have. In all likelihood, this helps them by removing them from the location that they were feeling the stress in.
The benefits of having a long play session that tuckers your pooch out extend beyond their stress levels, though. Dogs that are regularly provided exercise and playtime live more enriched lives, making them happier and healthier overall.
Boredom can be a trigger for stress as well. Dogs that experience boredom are more likely to act out and display destructive behaviors. To help prevent boredom, it’s important to give your dog mental stimulation.
This stimulation can come from a puzzle toy that makes them work for a treat or even by feeding them with a slow feeder occasionally. Mental stimulation can also include teaching them new tricks or providing them with some new training, especially if they’re a working dog breed.
A Comforting Toy or Blanket
Sometimes to relieve stress, it’s best just to let your pup lay down with you and a comforting chew toy or blanket. Much like we need a break from things sometimes, your dog may need a break, too. Sitting and relaxing with your pooch, giving them a toy to chew on and a blanket to cuddle up with next to you can make a world of difference.
Give Your Pup Your Time
Ultimately, to help relieve your dog’s stress, giving them your time in some way, shape, or form is the best solution. A dog that’s experiencing stress needs their owner’s attention before, during, and after they’ve experienced it.
By giving your dog this attention, you can help to identify their triggers and hopefully reduce stress in their lives so that they don’t have to suffer from it frequently. You can also learn their stress patterns and provide relief before the stress they’re experiencing gets out of hand. Giving your four-legged friend your time and attention is the best way to relieve their stress overall.
Stress is just as big an issue for dogs as it is for people. Though they show it differently than we do, it can be observed that dogs experience stress just like their owners do and often will experience it for their owners if they pick up on it.
Relieving this stress is important for their mental and physical health, and there are a number of ways to do it. Dogs can be given calming supplements, be groomed with soothing shampoos, or be taken outside to exercise until they’re less stressed.
No matter how you look at it, the most important thing to give your pup when they’re feeling stressed is your time. They’ll thank you for it in the long run.
How To Tell If Your Dog Is Stressed: Body Language And Warning Signs | American Kennel Club
Signs Your Dog is Stressed and How to Relieve It | VCA Hospitals
The smell of lavender is relaxing, science confirms | Science Daily