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Unfortunately, stress is an everyday part of life – and not just human life either. Even the cutest puppy you get from Pawrade can get worked up occasionally. However, the question is – what do you do when it starts happening regularly?

Like humans, stress levels in dogs can vary wildly – as do their stress triggers and responses to stress. Some dogs just kind of “roll with it” when they’re in a stressful situation, while other doggos are quick to launch into panic mode.

However, the fact that your dog isn’t panicking in stressful situations doesn’t mean they’re not experiencing stress – making their stress easier to miss or ignore. And if you let it go on for a while, you’ll find that chronic stress isn’t good, especially for younger puppies.

Why is that, and how can you help your dogs manage stress? We’ll explore those questions in-depth right here!

Consequences of Stress for Dogs

You don’t need to be a psychologist or a veterinarian to figure out that constant stress isn’t the healthiest thing for your pup. Sometimes, acute, temporary stress can be good – especially in genuinely stressful situations. It’s a sign that your dog is healthy and properly reacting to certain situations. And it means they’ve got the instincts they need to keep them safe.

However, constant, chronic stress is the exact opposite. It has a detrimental effect on a dog’s well-being, including their:

  • Digestive systems;
  • Immune responses;
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Sleep.

It’s also important to note that, in the long run, the stress levels of owners and their dogs tend to synchronize – colloquially speaking, dogs pick up on your vibe. So, besides becoming better at handling your own stress, what can you do about this?

Well, you can learn to recognize when your pooch is particularly stressed-out. Sure, most dog owners know the most common ones – trembling, increased growling and barking, or diarrhea.

However, there are some others you should know about:

  • Excessive shedding
  • Constant yawning, followed by a whine or a squeak
  • Hiding behind you or other household furniture
  • Pacing back and forth
  • Panting and drooling when they’re not actually tired

Okay, so now you have a better idea of how your dog shows that they’re stressed out. But when you do, what can you actually do to help them? Unfortunately, you can’t just talk things through like you would with a human companion – so you need a different way to show them that you’ve got their back and that everything will be okay.

Let’s take a look at some of the main methods experienced dog owners use to calm their pups.

How To Calm Down A Stressed-Out Dog – Three Great Methods

For starters, you need to remember something pretty basic about stress – it always has a source. And if the source isn’t a specific health issue your dog is going through internally, it’s likely an outside source.

In that case, you’ve got two options: remove the source of stress, or remove your pet from the situation. Common stressors are crowded streets, fireworks, and bikes. And the solution is putting some distance between them and your dog – but only temporarily.

The devil lies in the details here – while you may want your dog to feel better in the short term, the solution isn’t to constantly teach him to avoid stressors. Instead, you should plan to train them in the long run; removing stressors only works if it’s short-term, situational management. ]

Apart from that, another thing you can do is to provide them with comfort. Just consider what you’d do if your child or baby were experiencing a lot of stress about something – or crying during a lightning storm. That’s right, you’d coddle them! And as much as you can, you should do the same for your dog.

Finally, consult your veterinarian if you notice your dog is chronically stressed and can’t figure out what to do. They’ll do a thorough check to see if an underlying medical condition isn’t causing all of that stress – and if it isn’t, they could still provide some helpful insights. For instance, they might refer you to a veterinary behaviorist or a trainer that could help. Also, if necessary, they could prescribe medications that reduce anxiety.

And as a bonus fourth tip – you could always help your dog get some exercise. Physical activity is an excellent stress reducer, both for dogs and humans. And playing fetch or going for a brisk walk could be equally beneficial for your dog and yourself.

At the end of the day, it’s crucial to distinguish between temporary and chronic stress. The whole point of fear is to warn us of potentially dangerous environments and situations – so sometimes, stress is our protector. If your dog experiences stress because of a legitimate acute source of anxiety, don’t think too much of it.