Is My Dog Stressed Out?

Do you know when your pets are stressed?1338135074049

I recently read an article written in Whole Dog Journal; by Turid Rugaas, a Norwegian dog trainer. She explains that stressors compromise the body’s immune system. In the frequent presence of adrenaline, the immune system is inhibited, which can make an animal more susceptible to disease.

Shelley, owner of Hillsboro Dog Walkers shares her personal experience with the STRESSED DOG SYNDROME

Kheeta is a German Shepherd and we all know GSD’s shed a lot!

We moved in the summer and it seemed like she was shedding more than usual.  In addition to the explosion of hair shedding, she was having very loose stools and shaking her head constantly.

My antennas went up and at first I suspected ear mites.  We made a trip to see our veterinary, Dr. Sid.  He explained that stress could cause all these symptoms! I thought she was having a reaction to her food or ear mites. Turns out ALL her ailments were caused by stress. Our recent move literally made her sick.

We adopted Kheeta when she was about 5 years old.  She was never in a shelter but we don’t know her past and she has always been a sensitive girl. It’s been 5 months since we moved and she is now beginning to eat her meals regularly, shedding has slowed down and with the help of ear drops we are getting her inflamed ears feeling better.

5 common stress triggers for dogs?

1. Riding in the cars.

2. Being in the presence of other dogs.

3. Visit to Veterinary (Oh yeah, Kheeta was shaking in her paws)

4. Moving to a new home. (Yep, that’s us!)

5. Most certainly dogs living in shelters for more than 2 weeks have high stress.

For some dogs too much exercise can also be a contributor.

As Turid Rugaas explains, “The 4 F’s of instinctive behavior – flight, fight, faint and fooling around are accompanied by production of adrenaline. Constant activation of adrenaline can deplete the body, create fatigue and eventually lead to muscle atrophy.”

I know. You love your pets and always thought that doggie day care was good for them.  Maybe your dog isn’t enjoying it as much as you think? For some dogs the social interaction with their pet parents and the comfort of home is all they need.

Look for these calming signals in your dog. These are indicators/ emotional responses to stress.

Diarrhea, Vomiting, Panting, Excessive barking, whining, licking, Pacing, Digging, Chewing, Shedding, Dandruff, Sweaty paws, Foam drool, Tense muscles, Excessive tail wagging and Shivering (when it’s not cold).


If you think your dog isn’t enjoying doggie daycare or the car ride to day care, consider hiring Hillsboro Dog Walkers and pet sitting too.  

Your fur baby can enjoy the safety of your home and still get the needed socialization and exercise for a long and happy stress free life.

Speak Your Mind