What Are Signs Of Dog Stress And How To Avoid Stressful Situations?

What are Signs of Dog Stress And How to Avoid Stressful Situations?

When it comes to humans, we can get stressed out over something insignificant. Stress is a state of mind that billions of people live under because of their everyday life. For those who are dog owners, you might find it hard to wrap your head around the fact that your dog could get stressed out too.

We always see dog’s as being such happy creatures that finding out that a dog can get stressed probably made you sad. There are ways for you to prevent your dog from being stressed, and we have all the information about that below.

What Is Dog Stress?

You can't assume that a dog processes the world the same way you do, so a dog's stress triggers vary from that of humans. Many people find it hard to believe that a dog can get stressed because they seem so happy all the time, but scientific studies show otherwise.

In fact, one study states that living in constant stress can negatively impact your dog’s health in the long run.

Dog Stress

Keep in mind that this only applies if your dog is a domestic one. The ones that are allowed to roam around rarely develop stress because they have enough distractions in the outside world.

If you've noticed any drastic changes in your dog's overall mood, then it would be wise for you to continue reading since we will be getting further to the root of the problem regarding dog stress.

What Are The Common Causes Of Dog Stress?

Whenever you take your dog out for a walk, we guarantee you that it will get stressed out at a certain point of the walk. Dog’s hate being kept on leashes and in the course of their walk running into other dog’s since they can’t greet each other in regular dog manner.

While this may cause stress in your dog, owners cause some of the most stress in a dog's life because they simply aren't aware that they are doing something wrong. Most owners don't fully understand dog body language, so they don't read much into it.

Getting down to the basics of it, stress in dogs is caused by a hormone that their bodies release after they endure a stressful situation. The hormone that is being released goes by the name norepinephrine. This hormone is responsible for your dog's fight or flight survival instinct.

Dog Stress Hormones

An excessive amount of this hormone will change the composition of the bacteria present in its gut, which will interfere with its gastrointestinal tract function.  As a result, your dog ends up dealing with diarrhea, which only further increases both of your stress levels.

Most dog’s deal with stress in small chunks but there are dog’s out there who endure chronic stress.

The only way you can ensure that your dog is living a stress-free life is that you figure out what triggers stress in your dog. Once you find out how your dog behaves when it is stressed, it'll be easy for you to respond to the situation at hand.

There are some actions that you may take towards your dog that will cause stress.

Shaking & Pointing Finger

For instance, pointing and shaking your finger at your dog is known to be a universal stress trigger. This proves to be true of humans as well. No one takes kindly to having someone shake their finger at them.

Pointing at Dog

When you do this to your dog as a means of discipline, you are in fact causing it to stress out. Dog’s don’t feel safe when you are standing over them in a menacing position. You also need to watch your tone because a dog can sense when you are displeased with it.

The guilty dog look we see in cute animal videos online is actually a dog being stressed out.

Letting Strangers Hug & Kiss Your Dog

When a dog is around an unfamiliar scent, it will not react kindly to it. Dog owners let their friends hug and kiss their dogs, and they assume it is alright. What they are actually causing their dog to stress out.

Your dog will most likely begin to bark and try to remove itself from the restraint of the stranger.

Other than barking, there are other symptoms to look out for to tell if your dog is stressed or not.

List Of Dog Stress Symptoms

  • ​Diarrhea
  • ​Constipation
  • ​Barking
  • Digestive Issues
  • Snarling
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Isolation
  • Overly Aggressive

​​​​​​​​Difference Between Stress And Anxiety

Stress in dogs is normally caused by an external factor that forces the dog to go into an aggressive survival mode. On the other hand, anxiety is when a dog is feeling constant waves of fear.

Signs Of Stress In Dogs

  • ​Isolation
  • ​Diarrhea
  • ​Barking
  • Alternate Arrow Square Right
    Increased Sleeping

​​​​Signs Of Anxiety In Dogs

  • ​Trembling
  • ​Withdrawal
  • ​Tucked Tail
  • Diarrhea
  • ​Random dangerous behavior

​​​​​How To Avoid Stressful Situations?

After you figure out what behavior your dog displays when it is stressed, then you'll be able to help it out in the future. You could go out of your way to create an extremely comfortable place for your dog at home, so it doesn't feel stressed at any time.

Regularly Play with Your Dog

When you take your dog out for an hour a day for playing fetch or walking around the block, you would significantly reduce its stress levels. Dogs hate it when they stay inside all day, so by taking it out you’re making it happy.

Dog Playings

Feed Your Dog High-End Food

What your dog eats affects its overall well-being. By having a poor diet, your dog would be more prone to getting sick, which isn’t really a stress reducer. Feeding your dog organic dog food that has plenty of vitamins and minerals is the way to do it.


The only thing you could do at this point is to keep a look out for when your dog gets in a stressful situation and make a note of its reaction. If he or she displays on of the symptoms listed above, then you’ll know the next steps to take to calm it down.

As long as your dog is living a happy and healthy life, you will not run into any issues with it being stressed or anxious.

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