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Stress in dogs: symptoms, treatment, drugs

Dogs, perhaps, are one of the most emotional pets. They are always very happy with the arrival of the hosts, even if they are away for five minutes, are delighted with every walk, react violently to the arrival of strangers and in many situations show a storm of emotions. Most owners are precisely these traits of character and are attracted to dogs. However, this medal has a downside - the pet can experience, get upset, experience a serious emotional shock. How is stress manifested in dogs and how can one fight it?

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Treatment of stress in a dog

Stress in a dog

Any dog ​​owner will confirm that their pet is not only an animal run by instincts, but also a family member capable of displaying different feelings, emotions and even empathy. Naturally, having such qualities is not surprising that pets often suffer from stress. React to the dog can do anything - on objects, actions, smells, noises and stuff.

In the host's power to help the dog cope with this difficult situation. There are two options:

  • Remove the irritant causing the reaction of the pet (it is not always possible to do this);
  • help the animal to adapt to the existing irritant, and teach them to coexist with it.

Since stress is primarily a physical condition, it negatively affects many body systems. During this period, the pet significantly decreases immunity, there is a decrease in the thymus gland and an increase in the adrenal cortex. In the organs of the gastrointestinal system, capillaries burst and mucous membranes are damaged. The consequences of stress is the deterioration of the general condition, a decrease in the body's protective reactions to various infections, exacerbation of chronic ailments.

Signs of stress in a dog

It can be a short-term stressful situation, for example, when a pet visited a crowded place, underwent unpleasant or painful medical procedures, etc. In this case, the main signs are refusal to eat , low activity, lethargy, the pet looks away and refuses to perform commands or does it with reluctance.

The chronic form of stress arises from prolonged exposure to the stimulus or the presence of the animal in unusual conditions. It can be a change of residence, new owners, the appearance of another pet in the house, etc. The signs of this state are more obvious.

The dog refuses to eat under stress

The dog eats little, without hunting, most of the time lies or moves along the same trajectory. Often and with frenzy lick one area of ​​the body, more often it is a paw or tail at the base, in the places of licking, bald spots are formed.

The pet can show disobedience and harm - start to crap in the wrong places , gnaw things and furniture. This is not the whim of the animal, but a way to attract attention, a kind of cry for help. Sometimes, experiencing stress, the dog can be overly aggressive.

Stress is accompanied by two states - agitation and apathy, which succeed each other. The dog can run for a while, jump, loudly, without any reason barking, scraping the floors, there is a ground on the ground, and without reacting to the owner. At the moment of apathy, the animal changes its behavior to the opposite - for a long time it can lie in one pose without sleep, plaintively whimper, tremble. Some pets try to hide from the person at this moment, others, on the contrary, are huddled to their feet, put their heads on their knees, their ears and tail are pressed to the body at that moment.

A single standard of clinical symptoms of stress in dogs does not exist, each animal experiences it in its own way. But the owner can notice that the pet has behaved differently, this is the main sign of stress. If it is not possible to determine what caused the reaction in the dog, it is better to consult with a specialist on this matter.

Common stressful situations

Situations causing stress in dogs

Most irritants are more or less clear. But often the dog reacts oddly to quite ordinary things - a rain knock on the glass or roof, a trip to the forest, a change of the leash, etc. If the fact that in normal life the dog pleases or does not cause any emotions of the pet excites, then, most likely, it is a negative experience that provoked the development of fear - phobia. A doctor-zoopsychologist can help in this problem.

But most often stressful situations are more commonplace:

  • Stress after visiting groom or home haircuts. In this case, you can accustom your pet to the procedure, periodically including a typewriter, learn to do a haircut yourself with scissors or before the procedure to give a pet a sedative plant.
  • The dog experiences stress while riding in transport. You can encourage the pet before the event to create positive emotions associated with the trip. Some time to carry exclusively for entertainment purposes - to nature, a playground, to visit people whom the pet likes.
  • Deep shock after the change of the owner. A difficult situation, requiring a "sea" of patience and boundless love. In such a situation, one should not show pity. It's best to behave as if a dog came into the house from the street. A good attitude, lots of walks, communication with other friendly dogs are able to bring the animal out of the spleen and bring joy to life. In some, the situation can last several days, others may last for months. But with an adequate approach, the pet will cease to worry, and life will enter the usual course.
  • The pet was stressed out because of the move. Dogs are acutely worried when they are torn from their usual conditions. But nevertheless, the joint resettlement is better than the annex in connection with the move. As in the previous case, attention, positive emotions will help to survive the change. It is worth taking care of that in a new place the things familiar to the pet - toys, bedding , cups, have got. Also, it is not worthwhile to introduce innovations in this period - to put on new ammunition, to change the schedule, the ration. At first the pet can be confused and frightened, mark the territory, spoil things. But you can not punish the pet, as this will only exacerbate the situation. The dog will be enough if the owner expresses displeasure with gestures and gaze. If you walk a lot, play with an animal, encourage its activity, then its behavior will soon return to normal.
  • Visiting a veterinarian is an ordinary stressful situation. Rarely, what kind of dog tolerates this event, most of them show all sorts of emotions - they do not want to go into the door, start to rush into the foyer, can loudly bark and tear off the leash. It should be borne in mind that dogs have all the senses exacerbated, but from any hospital, including the veterinary, it breathes with fear and pain. In this situation it is important for the owner to show absolute calm and behave as if nothing had happened. Pity will take pity, lamentation, empathy, as a direct confirmation of all fears. In most cases, treatment involves unpleasant moments, so it is important to choose a veterinarian with experience and high responsibility. Such a specialist will not rush and use force to finish the procedure as soon as possible and accept the following patients. He will show tact and try to establish contact with the animal. Having entered into trust, the doctor can easily carry out all manipulations without causing additional stress in the pet. If there is a possibility, it is better to begin acquaintance of the dog with the doctor at home, having made a call on the house. In the future, the animal, even in the clinic, will perceive the veterinarian as an old acquaintance.

How to eliminate the chronic form of stress in a dog

There are three main methods that can save a pet from stress. You can apply them all, and looking at the reaction of the pet, give preference to the most effective. The reaction of the dog will let you know what works best:

  1. Occupational therapy. Increased physical activity - long walks, sports, training , active jogging, all this can lead the animal out of a protracted crisis. Actions should only take place with the approval of the pet, accompanied by communication and compulsory encouragement.
  2. Adding novelty. Any positive emotions - new buddies, toys, goodies, affect the condition of the pet, cause a response and help to distract. The dog will gradually start to forget about the troubles.
  3. Reception of drugs with mild sedative effect. Some situations do not allow long-term therapy, when you need to calm the animal here and now. There is an urgent trip, the conclusion "in people", just about to begin the New Year fireworks, or trauma requires an urgent visit to the vet clinic. Situations are different and it is important to help the dog in time to survive the coming excitement. Before using the funds, it is better to consult a veterinarian and in no case to give a sedative from your own first aid kit, since some substances are capable of giving the opposite effect.

Doctors warn that pills or drops will not solve the problem, but only postpone it, so long-term therapy will still be required. The main thing is to love your pet, then any stress will pass quickly and not noticeably.

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