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How to recognize stress in dogs and reduce it

Dogs not only fill our lives, but are also our daily companions. They follow us at every turn and thus experience the everyday life of humans very closely. But what we often forget is that animals perceive and react to many situations differently. Quite mundane things can be very stressful for dogs. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to the reactions of the four-legged friend and to avoid certain circumstances in order to cope with everyday life with him in a relaxed and stress-free manner.

What is stress

Stress can have many different triggers and is the body's reaction to a particular situation. Thereby one is divided into Alert because one perceives certain stimuli as stresses or strains and wants to resist them. A distinction is also made between between positive stressThis is a combination of stress, which thanks to the release of adrenaline can lead to top performances, and negative stress, which has health consequences, especially if it lasts for a long time. 

Stress triggers

Through so-called Stressors can cause stress in dogs. These can be quite everyday things on which the four-legged friend with Anxiety, nervousness, restlessness or insecurity reacts. For the owner it is not always comprehensible or recognizable what the dog is afraid of and what makes him feel stressed. 

At home

Even at home, animals are exposed to many stress factors. Often the fear, especially of objects, can also be related to a traumatic experience. Especially in puppyhood, dogs are very curious. Through constant exploration, they can respond to unexpected situations or reactions bump into and associate this experience with a bad experience, with which anxiety and stress are triggered in the future. Examples can include vacuum cleaners and rustling things. Loud noises, such as the doorbell ringing or television, can cause the dog to become frightened and engage in tense behavior. Another typical example is fireworks on New Year's Eve, as this is also an unusual and unfamiliar situation. 

On the road

Especially dogs, which are usually only at home in their familiar environment, feel very stressed during trips to the city or in people-filled streets. Dogs perceive their environment much louder than humans. Therefore, especially many passing vehicles, large gatherings of people or rescue sirens are typical stressors. 

Tip: Begin the dog already in the puppy age slowly to such circumstances to get used, by making short excursions into such situations again and again and increasing over time. 

Signs of stress

Since every dog reacts differently to stress, there are very different signs. As an owner it is very important to pay attention to the sent body signals of the animal to pay attention and learn to understand what the dog responds to. In this way, causes can be filtered out and avoided. Prolonged stress can also lead to health consequences. Diarrhea, Joint pain, stomach upset and loss of appetite would be examples. Other signs would be:

  • Tucked rod
  • Whimper
  • Increased panting
  • Increased salivation
  • Stooped posture
  • Raising the hairs on the back of the neck
  • Increased barking

In bad cases of stress, the dog may even engage in unknown aggressive behaviors, break objects, and engage in self-injurious behavior. However, one must be careful not to always immediately blame certain signs of the dog on stress. For example, tremors may be a reaction to this but there may be other causes as well.

Measures against stress

If persistent behavioral changes are noticed in the dog, it is best to see a veterinarian first so that you can Exclude physical diseases can. There is also the possibility to visit an online veterinarian who can answer questions and help rule out diseases. Stress management suggestions can give. In many cases help Sedative drops. Common here are especially valerian, Bach flowers or St. John's wort. If the stress triggers are known, the dog can become familiar with the certain situation step by step through training. However, this requires Time and patience.

It is extremely important as an owner to give the four-legged friend the feeling of Security and trust to convey. If this does not help, it is best to avoid these stressors as much as possible. A safe and quiet retreat is also very essential for stress relief. It is important to know that the character of the dog also plays an important role in this, as some are more susceptible to stress than others. 


A dog encounters enough stressful situations during a day. To relieve his anxiety and ease such circumstances can be Precautions such as avoidance, calming drops or training can be applied. Therefore, always pay attention to the environment and the emerging reactions of the dog to help and understand him in the best possible way.