As any dog owner will tell you: dogs don’t hesitate to show their emotions. Most times it’s involuntary, because they can’t help letting the world know how happy and excited they are. Crazy barks and insane tail-wagging when you get home from work or school, a dropped head of shame when they know they’ve done something wrong – dogs will let you know how they feel. When they feel stressed, you will naturally want to help them, and here’s how.
5 Things That Cause Stress in Dogs
On July 4th, men, women, and children look forward to the fireworks, but for dogs this day isn’t a holiday, but a nightmare. Dogs are terrified of loud noises such as thunder and fireworks, and they are under severe stress that day. Your dog will probably run to hide in their favorite spot, and you should make sure they have pillows and blankets, since these help dampen the noise, and that they’re comfortable. Keep the curtains and blinds closed and play soft, classical music to soothe them. This should help on New Year’s Eve as well, and in case of thunderstorms.
Going to the groomer’s
Even though grooming isn’t painful, there are dogs who just don’t like being manipulated and touched by strangers while restrained. In order for a groomer to do a good job, he has to touch your dog’s sensitive body areas, shampoo them, brush them, and trim their nails, and all this can be really unpleasant for your dog. If you notice that your dog has a hard time at the groomer’s, talk to the groomer and ask them what can be done to help alleviate your dog’s stress levels. If you don’t like the way they are treating your dog, feel free to find another groomer which both you and your dog will like more.
Lonely dogs can behave strangely, especially when they can’t cope with your absence and being left alone. They can bark and howl for a very long time, and whine from the moment family members leave. Loneliness can also lead to elimination indoors, even if they’ve been outside just moments before, or even destruction. You need to consult a veterinarian and ask for a behavioral modification plan. You need to be patient, as this situation can take months to resolve, depending on the severity of the distress.
Travelling in a car can be very stressful for your dog, and they can have a hard time going even short distance with you. You should take your time and help your dog adjust to being in a car. First, teach them to sit calmly in a parked car. Give them treats and praise them every time they behave right, and your dog will soon learn that the car is associated with good things. When your dog gets comfortable being in the car, take them on short trips, and slowly prolong the sessions.
Going to a boarding kennel
A boarding kennel sounds like a good plan when you have to travel, but it can be very stressful for your dog. Not only will they be separated from you, but they will sleep in a new place, surrounded by plenty of dogs and new people, and they’ll eat different food. If you don’t want to put your dog through that, there are people who are looking for pet sitting jobs, and who will gladly take care of your dogs, feed them, and take them out for walks.
Sometimes, stress can be good for your dog: it helps them learn and cope with new things, and it helps them adjust to new situations. On the other hand, stress can also make them physically ill, aggressive, or even depressed, and once that happens, it takes a lot of time and effort for things to get back to how they were before. Be careful, patient, and gentle with your dog, and always show how much you love them, your love will help them cope with anything.