Having a pet works wonders in providing stress-relief for us humans, but it’s important that as pet owners we take into account how our pets are feeling. We don’t want our loved furry companions to feel stressed or upset, but how can we tell? The signs of stress in dogs vary as each dog is unique with their own triggers and coping mechanisms.
However, here are some dog stress symptoms to watch out for and a few ideas on how you can support them to bounce back to their healthy and happy selves.
Signs your dog is stressed
- Lip-licking when there is no food around
- Excessive yawning
- Unusual toilet habits
- Loss in appetite
- Destructive behaviour
- Turning head from side to side
- Hunching down
- Unusual aggression
Causes of stress in dogs
Similar to humans, stress can be triggered in pets through a change in routine, additional noise and inconsistency in interaction. For example, going back to work and leaving your pet home alone when they are used to you being around can cause anxiety and confusion.
How to support your pet
All pets are unique and you’ll find that they are comforted by different things. As lack of consistency and routine can cause stress, implementing a set routine with regular exercise can be really effective in keeping your pet comfortable. Making them feel safe is key, and if you are leaving them alone for a long period of time, reassure them that you will be back. Make sure they are comfortable with toys to play with, lights on and maybe even the radio playing so they can listen to human voices in the background.
If you think your pet may be suffering from separation anxiety, visiting a veterinary behaviour specialist is the best way to get advice on how best to support your pet.
Keeping our pets healthy and happy can be tricky at times, but having pet insurance can take the worry away from your wallet, so you can focus on looking after your pet. Have a look at M&S Pet Insurance, for three different levels of cover to choose from so you can find the right plan for you and your pet.
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