Has Your Dog Become a Stressed-Out Pooch?

Your retriever mix Sammy seems like two dogs in one lovable package. His affinity for brisk walks and dog park visits makes him an ideal workout partner. Sammy also takes time to relax, snoozing on his bed or rolling over for belly rubs. Lately, however, your fun-loving canine housemate has engaged in some unusual antics. Although an underlying medical problem could be at fault, you wonder if your dog might suffer from stress. Tomorrow, your Southeast Denver veterinarian will give your pooch a thorough physical exam and expert behavioral counseling.

Decreased Appetite

Your five-year-old dog has an almost-legendary appetite. He can scarf down his kibbles in mere seconds, rivaling some State Fair hotdog-eating contestants. However, he doesn’t stop there, as he frequently inhales the cat’s meals for dessert. Recently, though, your often-ravenous dog just fidgets with his food while hardly consuming any of it. You’re concerned about malnutrition, and you also think stress could play a part.

Sleep and Socialization Changes

At least twice daily, your four-legged exercise fanatic hounds you for a brisk walk or dog park trip. He also loves visiting his canine buddies, and he never wants to come home before dark. However, that energetic companion has taken a hiatus, replaced by a furry couch potato who wants to sleep and watch dog videos all day. Something has changed; and you wonder if stress is the culprit.

Unusual Aggression

Your good-natured pooch gets along with everyone. Among his friends, he counts humans, dogs, and even several cats. However, yesterday your canine housemate showed his teeth to his favorite dog park buddies. Today, he growled at you in response to your “Down” command. If the vet doesn’t find any medical issues, maybe stress has spurred his mood change.

Add More Exercise

To reduce your dog’s stress, give him more one-on-one attention and exercise. If your vet thinks Sammy can handle especially vigorous workouts, introduce him to canine agility, fly-ball, or another high-energy sport.

Calming Canine Refuge

Your canine companion might be disturbed by rowdy parties, fireworks, thunderstorms, or other loud noises. Create a secluded, quiet refuge where he can relax with his favorite toys and blanket. Stay with him until he calms down.

Your Southeast Denver veterinarian can create a stress management program for your anxious pooch. If your dog seems to experience stress, contact us for expert advice.

Leave a Reply