Dog Stress Symptoms

Canines may be affected by stress just as humans. Common causes of stress include an environmental change, loud noises, separation from an owner or a new family member. The dog stress symptoms may be subtle or more visible, but in any case they shouldn’t be ignored.

Symptoms of Stress

Stress may manifest through different symptoms in canines. You may see your dog hiding and being quieter than usual, while other dogs may develop obsessive behaviors such as chewing and biting.

Hiding Behavior

If the dog is stressed by a noise such as fire alarms or firecrackers, he is likely to hide in different areas of the house he feels safer. You may also find your dog coming to hide in between your legs searching for a safe place.

Shaking or Trembling

Stressed dogs may be found shaking or trembling. This symptom may be visible immediately after the exposure to the stressors such as loud noises, alarms or fireworks.

Irritability or Aggressiveness

Depending on the dog’s personality, your dog may not hide but act out when stressed. He may be very irritable and turn aggressive. He may even bite you or your family for no reason at all.

Excessive Biting and Scratching

A stressed dog may develop obsessive behaviors such as self scratching or biting. This is not healthy, as the dog may cause deep wounds and secondary skin infections or even hair loss.

Marking of Territory

Some dogs may mark their territory when stressed. This is more usual with dogs that have changed owners or have been moved into a new home or a new room.

The dog marks his territory to ensure he integrates in that territory and also to make sure he will be accepted by the new owner.

In some cases, a stressed dog may also defecate indoors even if properly housetrained before.

Lack of Appetite

A dog that is extremely stressed may refuse to eat for several days in a row. Monitor your dog’s behavior and see if he refuses to eat. The lack of appetite may be symptomatic for other health conditions as well, but it may also indicate stress.

Other dogs may start eating more when stressed.

Nervousness and Restlessness

A stress dog may show nervousness and this is visible when the dog gets startled often or is very active and jumpy. The dog may get startled by any tiny noise or person and his behavior changes.

On the other hand, some dogs may display a different behavior; some dogs may not react at all when stressed being more lethargic or even frozen, not being able to move. Some dogs may experience depression.

Skin Problems

Dogs that have been stressed for a longer time may also display some skin problems. Dry skin with frequent infections may be common, as the immune system is weaker in dogs affected by stress. The dandruff production will be also increased if the dog is stressed.