A wide variety of things can cause stress in dogs, which in turn can cause a wide range of medical conditions and health complications. We all assume that stress is a mental thing, but the increase in adrenaline and other stress-related hormones in the body goes far beyond just making you feel run-down, and the same goes for your pampered pooch.
Stop Googling – Ask a Real Vet
Dogs, cats, humans, and other animals are designed to deal with a certain amount of stress and strife, but continual stress seriously disrupts hormone production in the body.
- Can Stress Cause Diarrhea in Dogs
- Can Dogs Get Colitis from Stress
- Can Dogs Vomit from Stress
- Can Stress Cause Bloodshot Eyes in Dogs
- Can Dogs Yawn from Stress
- How to Reduce Stress in Dogs
Can Stress Cause Diarrhea in Dogs
Yes, stress can cause diarrhea in dogs, along with more frequent pooping, a lack of interest in food and water, and shivering even though your house or outside isn’t cold at all. Those are just a few of the physiological changes your pet will experience when stressed or anxious.
Stress can often come with behavioral changes as well as physiological ones. Your pet might seem overly fearful of you for no reason, backing away when you walk into a room and cowering when you attempt any form of physical affection. It’s also not uncommon for dogs to get snappy and aggressive when they’re sick or to pace from one room to another with seemingly no motive.
Can Dogs Get Colitis from Stress
An increase in stress in dogs can upset the gastrointestinal system, leading to a variety of appetite and digestive issues.
- Not letting you touch the stomach due to pain;
- Lack of interest in food and/or water;
- Excess gas;
- Foul-smelling poop and/or gas;
- Weight loss as a result;
When dogs get stressed, and particularly when they are repeatedly subjected to stressful situations, their bodies start to produce more of the following hormones:
In turn, these cause a range of other issues, including increasing aggressive responses, disrupting the cardiological system, reducing the efficiency of the immune system, and even altering the way blood fuels concentration.
Can Dogs Vomit from Stress
Vomiting is a common sign of stress in dogs, particularly in jumpy or shocking situations. Fireworks, for example, are common sources of stress for dogs, cats, and other pets. They come out of the blue, loudly and unpredictably, much in the same way as loud thunderstorms.
Several things have the potential to cause stress in dogs, and all dogs are different. What worries one person will not necessarily bother another.
Typical triggers are often:
- Loud noises: storms, fireworks, loud movies, and music;
- Unfamiliar people and animals;
- Sensing the owner’s stress or upset;
- Separation anxiety;
- Vet trips;
- Traveling in cars;
- Disruption to regular routines;
- Boredom and loneliness;
- Lack of mental stimulation;
- Being rehomed or put in a shelter;
- Losing a pet parent;
- Unresolved medical issues.
Can Stress Cause Bloodshot Eyes in Dogs
Have you ever found yourself unable to sleep because your mind was too busy stressing about other things? The same thing can happen with dogs and other pets. This, in turn, can lead to bloodshot, red, and tired-looking eyes.
Stress also disrupts blood pressure, often increasing it. Large increases or even minor increases over a long time can cause blood vessels to struggle under the strain and eventually start leaking. This can cause red and bloodshot eyes in dogs (and people).
Can Dogs Yawn from Stress
Yawning is a common, albeit relatively newly discovered, side effect of stress in humans, and it’s also common in cats, dogs, birds, fish, and reptiles. Most experts believe yawning when stressed is due to an increase in levels of cortisol, while others understand it to be the brain’s way of keeping its temperature regulated and cool.
Although the reasoning isn’t understood, the link has been made. Stress causes dogs to yawn even when they’re not tired.
How to Reduce Stress in Dogs
You must pay attention to your pets and recognize the signs when they’re not comfortable or might feel stressed out. In turn, you will learn what upsets and triggers them, allowing you to avoid the situation in the future.
Is your dog easily upset by the doorbell? Get a camera-style doorbell that sends notifications to your phone, so you can avoid the noise entirely. Alternatively, purchase a doorbell that lights up and makes noise when someone presses the button.
Does your dog have enough enrichment and stimulation? Bored dogs quickly and easily get stressed, causing them to be destructive and aggressive. Dog treat dispensers that double up as puzzles will keep the brain entertained, and dog sitters or walkers are available when you can’t be at home.
Petcube Play 2 is an interactive camera that also houses a laser toy, two-way audio, and a 160° view. Make use of Petcube Care, and you’ll also be able to rewind and playback footage, giving you plenty of evidence to show a vet exactly what you mean when your pet has problems.
Certain stressful situations can’t be avoided, such as fireworks down the street on a random Wednesday night. They can be managed, though. Calming pet products, classical music, compressing body garments, love and affection, and pet puzzles are all great for keeping pups occupied. Your vet may also prescribe calming, pet-safe medications for chronic cases that threaten your health.
The Humane Society recommends creating a “safe place” for your dog that is confined. This limits the amount of damage they can do to your house as well as themselves. An item of clothing worn by you that still carries your scent should be left for your pet to feel close to you, too.
Everyone’s stressed these days, I know that. Stress is a killer, though, so perhaps it’s very unwise for us to take it so lightly – for both us and our furry, four-legged friends.
If you believe your pet might be stressed or has been upset and anxious a lot recently, perhaps it’s time to get a checkup. With potential repercussions that could lead to serious illness and even death, a simple half-hour slot of your time might just be the thing that saves your dog’s life… without you even realizing it!