Like humans, dogs also get stressed. Even a calm breed, like a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or Shibu Inu puppy, can feel anxious at times. Unfortunately, a pooch has to bear with the mental or emotional pressure on its own and in silence because it can’t speak. This is why a pet parent needs to be able to identify when their puppy is suffering so that they can help it relax.
Signs and Symptoms of Puppy Stress
Hostile behaviour is one way of telling that a dog may be stressed. If your pooch growls, howls, or incessantly barks at people or animals, take it as a sign that it may be feeling uncomfortable, afraid, or threatened. Excessive vocalisation is a pup’s way of communicating its displeasure, so make sure to pay attention and try to find and eliminate the trigger.
It is natural for dogs to shake from time to time, especially when they are enthusiastic or feeling cold. However, trembling can also be a sign that a pooch is stressed. Given that it is difficult to tell apart an excited shaking from an anxious shaking or panicking, it is recommended that dog owners see a vet to find out whether the tremors are caused by stress or health issues.
Just like humans, dogs pace back and forth when something is making them anxious or upset. Because they can’t get themselves to settle down, they are likely to walk around the house or yard aimlessly and repeatedly. They may even look out the window every now and then with a fearful facial expression or a poor body posture.
If the pacing occurs for only a short period, it may not be something to worry about. But if the walking persists for hours, it may be a sign of stress. Try to detect the cause of the anxiety so you can help your pooch calm down.
4. Drooling and Licking
While it is normal for pups to sometimes drool, excessive drooling and licking around their nose and lips are not. This is because a dog produces more saliva when it is in an unnerving situation. If the drooling and licking carry on, it is suggested to consult with a veterinarian.
Vocalisation is one of the ways puppies self-soothe when feeling uncomfortable. This is why whining or whimpering comes automatically to them when their stress level intensifies and becomes uncontrollable.
If the sound your canine makes becomes louder and tenser, it is its way of communicating with you. Make your pup feel at ease by identifying the stressor and finding a quiet place for it to relax.
6. Hiding or Escaping
Distressed puppies are no different from many people who suffer from anxiety. They are not likely to confront whatever it is that is making them uneasy, but rather avoid it. They do this by hiding, not making eye contact, freezing in place, or refusing to follow commands. They may even try to escape from the trigger by going around in circles or digging their way out of the place where they feel uncomfortable.
As a dog parent, what you can do is to distance yourself and figure out what is causing your pooch’s unusual behaviour. This way, you may help minimise, if not eliminate, whatever it is that is making your pup agitated.
Dogs yawn, especially when they are tired and bored. This is why many canine parents do not recognise yawning as a sign of stress. One way to tell the difference between a sleepy yawn and an anxious yawn is its length and intensity. If you feel that the cause of your dog’s yawning is uneasiness, distract it with routine commands rather than comforting it. This way, you provide it with a sense of normalcy.
A strong leg rub behind the ear is normal, and we all know that sight, but if you notice it happening way too often, and accompanied by self bites and chewing on bellies, hips, and other parts of the body, then you might have a case of fleas. Get a magnifying glass if you have to and thoroughly inspect your furry friend for signs of the pesky little bloodsuckers and act accordingly.
Stress in dogs may seem harmless, but it can lead to health issues and behavioural problems when left ignored, especially in dogs known to be more aggressive like different kinds of Pit bulls. If your canine seems to be disturbed consistently, it is recommended that you see your vet right away. A vet will be able to tell you if the cause of your puppy’s uneasiness is medical-based or anxiety-related.