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Signs Your Puppy Is Stressed & What To Do

Signs Your Puppy Is Stressed & What To Do
As the old saying goes, the only certainties in life are death and taxes. But stress comes in at a close third. When we experience stress, it's our body's way of reacting to particular situations or circumstances we find difficult. Stress triggers what's known as the flight-or-fight response, which might see our heart rate rise, our breathing becomes more rapid, our muscles become tight, and our blood pressure spike. Our body is readying itself to protect us from danger - and your puppy's body is no different. Many puppy owners don't realise their dog is stressed and overlook the signs. So to help, we've put together this guide on how to know if your puppy is stressed.

How to know if your puppy is stressed

It might surprise you, but stress in a pup can mirror our own stress symptoms. If your puppy is often stressed, or their anxiety isn't resolved, they can face significant mental health issues and physical ailments, including heart problems, obesity, skin and hair problems, and gastro concerns.
But what do you look out for? Here are the common signs your pup might be stressed:
  • Pacing and shaking: Shaking, in particular, can be connected to serious health conditions, so if you notice it, make sure you bring it up with your vet.
  • Growling and aggression: Dogs growl when they're experiencing discomforts such as threats or pain. They might also growl when they feel a compromise of their territory or space. You might be stressed yourself hearing your puppy growl, so it's important you detect the source.
  • Whining or barking: Your puppy will often not be able to control whining or barking, especially when they're stressed. They might also whine or bark to get your attention.
  • Yawning: This is a common stress symptom which might indicate discomfort or nerves. It also suggests confusion and not knowing what's next - particularly during a training session.
  • Body language: Look out for "whale eye" (revealing the whites of the eyes), tucked ears and tail, lip licking, avoidance of eye contact, and panting. These can all be signs of stress.
  • Freezing: A tense, frozen puppy could be going through tension and stress. Be careful - a tense pup can easily bite. - Hiding or escaping: They might redirect their attention or try to physically hide from the stress.
  • Loss of bodily functions: In extreme stress, your puppy might refuse to eat or lose bladder or bowel control.
  • Hair loss: Shedding hair can be a sign of stress.

How do I know it's stress and not something else?

To start with, you need to consider your puppy's normal behaviour. Doing so will help you recognise potential situations that make your puppy feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Observe their behaviour to give you the best assessment and encourage a good response.

How do I help my puppy with stress?

Stress can be caused by many different things - and puppies often feel stressed when they're tired or restless. To help your pup, you might try:
  • Removing the stressor: If possible, put your puppy in a quiet or safe place to reconnect. You might also consider rewarding them with a treat after they've followed a command, helping them to feel things are getting back to normal.
  • Providing a safe space: A neutral, safe zone is helpful for stress relief. Consider a blanket or a crate separate from the activity and other family members.
  • Seek expert help: A chronically stressed puppy should be checked out by a vet or an experienced dog trainer. Vets can assess your pup's overall health, while a trainer might be able to pinpoint undetected triggers in your home or training methods.

Looking for natural stress relief for your furry friend? Choose Bubble Pawz

If you only want to give your puppy the best, Bubble Pawz is here for you. We're a family-owned and run pet supply company providing cat and dog owners with the finest natural and organic ingredients in every product. Whether it's shampoos, soaps or bath bombs you're after, we've truly got it all. All our products contain natural, organic essential oils and bases that repel nasty pests and fleas and keep your pet feeling great.

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