So often, we hear that a dog just bit someone “out of nowhere.” The truth is, dogs rarely bite with no warning.
Dogs primarily communicate using body language, so it’s important for humans to understand what they are trying to tell us. Learning our dogs’ special ways of communication can reduce their anxiety and prevent potentially dangerous situations from happening. There are several warning signs to look for to help tell if your dog is stressed.
How to tell if your pet is stressed?
Change in routine like shifting to a new home can bring out a lot of stress for pets. Dogs become accustomed to a routine, and change in the same increases their stress levels even if the change is for their own betterment. However, if the change is an improvement in the dog’s situation, the body’s stress response will return to its normal status sooner or later. Some other common stress factors may include loud noises (thunderstorms, fireworks, construction), boarding or kenneling, and even travel. Meeting new family members (whether people or animals) can also cause stress in pets. As per recent studies, Homeopathic Veterinary Medicines may help your pet to deal with stressful situations in a quick and effective way.
If the dog is stressed out for a longer period, changes are evident in his health condition or behavior, which can lead to serious problems if not addressed timely. Here are the six ways to show how stress can affect a dog’s health.
Stress usually comes out as aggression in dogs. There can be no doubt that pain or illness can cause stress. They may be irritated, frustrated, and even angry. Behavioral changes such as lethargy, hiding in quiet spots, appetite, vomiting, and other related signs show that our dog is not well. Common ailments such as hip dysplasia may result in aggression even in a homely pet. Subsequently, they may behave aggressively towards anything that gets associated with their pain or discomfort. The dog may only be temporarily stressed due to illness, but the lifestyle impact continues for a long period of time. For instance, a puppy that has spent time in a veterinary clinic due to disease or illness may start disliking the veterinary staff who are associated with its discomfort. Even this can become a reason for their stress when they revisit the veterinary hospital again.
Any type of stress can cause loss of appetite, but prolonged stress can cause weight loss from decreased food intake. In addition, some dogs suffering from stress may start chewing or even eating inanimate objects. This can include obsessively chewing toys, doors, and window sills or licking themselves, even to the point of injury.
Weakened Immune System
When dogs are stressed, the body releases the hormone cortisol as a part of the fight-or-flight mechanism. Cortisol helps the body to respond to a stressful event—for example, by directing the blood flow to the muscles. But, when stress becomes a chronic problem, cortisol also causes problems, such as weakening the immune system. With stress and immune suppression, fighting off infections or diseases becomes highly difficult for dogs. So, it’s important to minimize the dog`s stress levels; otherwise, over time, even a mild problem can potentially become a major issue. A good example of this is demodectic mange, a skin disease caused by mites. Demodectic mites live on the skin of almost every dog without causing any harm. However, when the body becomes immune-stressed, the mites multiply in certain parts of the skin, causing an obvious infection. Demodectic mange is a commonly diagnosed condition in puppies due to their immaturely developed immune systems.
In stress, the body releases adrenaline, another fight-or-flight hormone. Like cortisol, adrenaline can help a dog survive an immediate threat. For example, adrenaline increases heart rate and blood pressure, but these temporary benefits also come with downsides. Adrenaline causes a decrease in blood flow to the intestines and stomach, which can result in diarrhea in many dogs. Stress-induced diarrhea occurs suddenly and is typically not accompanied by any other symptoms (no fever, no vomiting).
Issues with Urination
Stress very often causes inappropriate urination in pets. A clear example of this is urination which occurs in response to fear. The immediate release of stress hormones will relax the bladder sphincters, and urination will occur suddenly. The same stress may even cause sudden defecation by relaxing the anal sphincter. Ways to relieve stress in dogs depend upon the underlying physiological cause. Conditions such as brain tumors and thyroid dysfunctionalities can only be diagnosed and treated with the help of a veterinarian’s guidance. Aggressive behavior in dogs needs to be managed safely and effectively. Dogs that display aggressive behavior, either due to medical or behavioral reasons, may benefit from the following homeopathy remedy.
Homeopathic Remedy for Stress in Pets
Bakson Veterinary’s Distress Drops are a combination Kali phosphoricum, Belladonna, Glonoinum 8x, Aconite napellus, Natrum muriaticum, Natrum cabonicum, Arsenicum album 8x. It helps relieve your pet’s anxiety, circling, red eyes, watering of eyes & running nose. It also helps pets struggling with stress or separation anxiety.