Your Dogs Health Do You Know the Signs of Stress In Your Dog

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Your Dogs Health Do You Know the Signs of Stress In Your Dog

by Sandra Bailey

This is the time of year when there is a lot of activity around your home. Getting ready for the holiday season, shopping, visitors in and out of the house, and cooking, sometimes in the hectic pace, you may overlook your dog. Your dog can become stressed because things are different from the normal pace, and he knows that something ?is up.?

He can begin to worry or become fearful because he doesn?t understand what is going on. This can produce stress that causes the nervous system to release adrenaline and other chemicals into the bloodstream. That causes the lungs, heart and blood pressure to increase and can deplete the body of its natural chemicals that help your dog to relax and calm down. This constant action can cause physical and mental fatigue.

So, what are the signs of stress? The physical signs are panting, diarrhea, drooling, vomiting, red eyes, dilated pupils, shivering, drinking too much water, and even sweating paws. The behavioral signs can be excessive tail wagging, jumping on people, pacing, barking, digging, and biting his leash.

How can you help your dog calm down?
1) The most important thing is for you to breath deeply and reduce your own stress.
2) Be sure that you are feeding a diet that does not contain grains. Low carbohydrates

help to slow him down.
3) Don?t react, just respond. Whatever he has done, respond to it in a calm manner.
4) Give him things to do. Use toys that contain food, play some search games with him.

Help him use his energy in different ways.
5) Encourage and reward his calmness. Let him know that you want more of the same

by rewarding him with a treat, acknowledge him in a calm voice, but do not make

eye contact with him. He will learn that if he relaxes, he will get your attention.

One of the best things that you can do for your dog is to learn her body language. She communicates with you all the time, and probably wonders why you just aren?t getting what she is saying.

Some calming behaviors that have been seen in dogs are sniffing the ground, tongue licking, yawning, eye blinks, averting their eyes, ignoring you, shaking themselves out like they are wet, and scratching themselves. What your dog is really saying is, ?I?m uncomfortable with this? or ?I?m trying to understand what is happening.?

The next time you see your dog exhibit one of these behaviors, try doing something that would calm you down. Yawn several times (don?t talk to or touch her) and you well see her yawn and begin to settle down. Another thing that you can do, which we all like, is to touch her gently. This will lower her stress level because her body will start producing serotonin, dopamine and beta-endorphins.

By being able to recognize stress in your dog and to use stress reducing methods, your dog will be healthier and live longer. And it will bring you closer. Now who wouldn?t want that?

Sandra Bailey, who has raised dogs for over 50 years, is the author of ?Real Dogs Don?t Eat Kibble!? She has shown Papillons for 20 years, is a member of the National Center for Homeopathy and a Professional Member of the Animal Wellness Association.

She is the owner of the website and blog

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