Is Your Pooch Stressed Out?

Your pet may be your best stress-buster but there are times when the dog, too, goes through bouts of stress. Our expert veterinarians offer some solution for doggie distress.

In dealing with anxiety in your pets you have to first determine the cause, watch for the symptoms and then develop a course of treatment.

Stress factors

There are a number of things that can stress out your best friend. Has your pet been in any of the following situations:

  • separation from his owner (you!)
  • relocation
  • travel
  • illness such as the flu or parasites
  • breeding
  • addition or loss of a family member including a new pet
  • loneliness, inadequate socialization with other people or dogs.

Symptoms

Watch for the following stress symptoms in your dog:

  • Little interest in food, chewing food slowly and eating less, result is weight loss.
  • Restless behaviour and destruction of  household items in your absence.
  • Constant licking of the wrist or ankle creating a sore or ulcerated condition called “lick granuloma.”
  • Biting or attacking people, excessive trembling, moving about with tail tucked between legs.

How you can help

Ask your vet for advice on the best course of action for your dog. Every dog responds differently to treatment plans.Here’s some good suggestions to start with:

  • Provide a better shelter. If he’s confined to a veranda corner or stairwell that can make your dog anxious.
  • Play and keep him active. Take him walking at least twice daily.
  • Find different routes or take up jogging with him.
  • Bathe and comb him regularly. Talk often and groom him yourself.
  • See a vet immediately, if he’s developed lick granulomas or tends to attack others.
  • See a vet also if he suffers from separation anxiety. You’ll know that if he follows you from room to room all the while or can’t spend time playing outdoors alone. Medication and behaviour therapy can lessen the stress.
  • Don’t yell or beat your dog. It only increases anxiety.

And-this is important-if you are stressed out, your dog will sense it and become stressed out too.

 

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