Not unlike human babies, our fur babies cannot talk to us and let us know how they are feeling so it is up to us to monitor their behaviours to make sure that they are not suffering in silence. Like humans, stress and anxiety can affect their quality of life, and cause them to behave in ways that are unusual or are a cause for concern. Some symptoms of stress in pets include:
When human beings are stressed or upset they will often display aggressive or defensive behaviours, which are good indicators that there is a problem, even if they are not talking about what is happening for them. Dogs do not have the ability to tell us if they are feeling stressed but you may notice that they are behaving aggressively towards yourself or others and destroying furniture and other items in the home. Taking the time to identify what may have happened (or is still happening) to cause them to feel stressed, and making changes where needed will usually help to alleviate the symptoms of the problem.
Diarrhoea or Constipation
Like humans, if animals are feeling anxious then there will often be physiological changes that accompany the behaviour changes. One area where this can occur is in their digestive system. If your dog is suffering from diarrhoea or constipation it is a sign that something is wrong, which could either be stress related or due to a physical issue such as an illness. Seek veterinary expertise if you are unable to work out what might be wrong, as it could be an indicator that treatment is needed.
You may have heard of the human hair shedding disease, alopecia, which is often caused by stress but have been unaware that it can occur in animals too. If your dog is feeling stressed, especially for a long period of time, it may start to shed more hair than usual. Working out what the issue is, and seeking the appropriate change or treatment, will help to get it back on track and allow for its hair to grow back.
Decrease in Appetite
If your dog is not eating as much as it usually does (for any length of time) then it is likely that it is suffering with some sort of discomfort, whether it be stress or illness. It is important to be aware that if you are stressed then your fur baby will likely pick up on this. Similarly, stress occurs if there have been big changes to your lifestyle such as moving house or introducing a new pet to the family.
Dogs are very sociable animals so if they are isolating themselves and not being as involved as they usually are, it is a good indicator that they are feeling stressed, sick or unhappy. If there are obvious reasons for their behaviour, it can be rectified but if you are unsure, it is best to seek veterinary assistance to be sure that there is not a physical issue that needs to be treated. At Durack Pet Motel, we get to know your fur baby so that we are able to provide the best care possible during its stay.