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The Most Common Causes Of Stress In Dogs

Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels

Humans understand what it’s like to experience stress. After all, most of us deal with it regularly, usually on a daily basis. However, we sometimes forget that we’re not the only animals who go through such mental suffering.

Dogs are just as capable of experiencing stress as the rest of us, and it can have quite a negative impact on their lives. Naturally, that’s not something you want for your pet, which is why it’s useful to understand what can stress them out. These are four of the most common causes you’ll want to keep in mind.

Separation Anxiety

Owners provide their dogs with food, love, and exercise, so it’s only natural that these animals become dependent on humans. Unfortunately, this isn’t always a good thing.

If a dog is too reliant on their owner, they don’t know what to do with themselves when they’re alone. This is referred to as learned helpless and can cause significant distress whenever you leave the house. It manifests into separation anxiety, with the pet stressing themselves out worrying about how long they’re going to be on their own for. Even if you’re only gone for five minutes, the experience can be detrimental to your pet’s mental wellbeing.

It’s worth trying to teach your dog to act independently whenever possible to combat this. The RSPCA also has some suggestions on training your pet to cope with loneliness if separation anxiety has already set in.

Lack Of Proper Care

Looking after a dog requires a lot of dedication, more so than many people realise. While you might be doing your best and not intentionally trying to deprive your pet pooch, it’s possible you could still be missing the mark.

All dogs require nutritious meals and plenty of exercise every day. However, different breeds have different needs, which is why it’s important to check whether you’re doing enough for your pet. If they’re not well fed or are confined to the house for too long, they’re bound to be stressed out.

Thankfully, it’s easy to combat these problems. Just take your dog out for at least one decent walk a day and always feed them well at mealtimes. If you struggle with meal plans, it might help to buy your food via this dog food subscription service. Bella & Duke identify what meals will suit your dog then deliver them regularly to your door. The meals arrive frozen, so all you have to do is defrost them before feeding time.

When you consider the benefits of naturally-sourced food, combined with the convenience of a dog food subscription service, this could be a perfect solution to some of your troubles.

Big Life Changes

You can’t put your life on hold because your dog gets stressed. However, it’s important to remember that your pet is a member of your family, so when big changes happen, they’re bound to be affected.

Things like home remodelling or moving somewhere new can have a significant impact on your dog’s wellbeing. The latter can be particularly detrimental because not only do they have to adjust to new surroundings, but they also lose the familiarity of the neighbourhood dogs. 

So, if you know a big change like this is coming, it’s essential to give your pet as much love and attention as possible. That might be tricky if you’re moving, but the more you reassure your dog, the better they’ll be able to cope with what’s going on.

Losing or gaining a family member, whether they be human or another dog, can also cause stress. Obviously, this isn’t something you always have control over, but again, love and attention is the key to coping.

They’re Scared

Some dogs scare fairly easily. Whether they’re freaked out by loud noises or other animals, the experience is understandably quite upsetting for pets. Unfortunately, the more it happens, the more stress it can cause.

In some cases, dogs can become scared of almost everything, which naturally leads them to deal with a lot of mental anguish. The reason why this happens can vary, with these explanations usually the main offenders. Whatever the reason, though, it’s important to combat it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the constant stress may hinder your pet’s quality of life, and that’s not what you want for them.

Even if your dog isn’t scared of everything, if there’s something that frightens them, you should still do what you can to help remove the stressor. Not only will it make them happier, but it will also give you some peace of mind too.

As anyone who’s dealt with it a lot in their lives knows, stress isn’t a nice thing to experience. With any luck, now that you understand the most common causes of it in dogs, you’ll be able to save your pet from such unpleasantness in the future.

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