Why could your dog be stressed?
Especially in the current situation, did you know that your dog can feel stress as we can?
Without being too “woowoo”, the upheavals we are all experiencing on a global level at the moment could be impacting on our dog’s mental wellbeing too. There is a change in the atmosphere and balance of the world and this can affect dogs more than us as they are feeling beings, plus they have the biggest heart per body mass of any animal!
Also if we are feeling any stress, our dogs pick up on that, so even if we do not think we are showing symptoms our dogs know better – and they react to our inner feelings.
What about a change in routine? This can throw them out of sync. Have you changed working hours, are you working from home, are the kids running riot or anything from the norm happening?
Whilst at first outwards signs are happy for our furry friends, symptoms could show later and you may find they need some extra space and rest time-especially if they usually nap for 5 plus hours when you leave for work!!
Consider any changes in the environment, have you set up a home office? Is your new temporary working environment where they usually nap? Are you are attending video/conference calls? This may confuse/upset them, the same with extra kids toys or technology in the house.
Something else that is well worth considering is your own mental wellbeing. Dogs are highly sensitive to the emotions and anxieties of their owners, so any stress and upset that you’ve been feeling can be easily picked up by your pooch.
In these testing times, it can be hard for us all to keep our cool, so if you’re feeling the tension, you can bet that your dog has picked up on it to a certain extent and this can have an impact on their behaviour.
Would you know how to recognise stress in your dog?
Stress can show in many different ways, your dog may display one or a couple of these:
- excessive/unusual barking (if they didn’t before)
- any new behaviours
- clingy or neediness
- destruction (where they didn’t before) and maybe unusual patterns of destruction, ie items they have had a while and not damaged before
- accidents in the house, this is commonly stress-related
- collecting items and/ or nesting,
- a general down/miserable demeanor
- refusing food
What can you do to help them relax?
Take calm relaxed walks with extra sniffing time
Use a snuffle box/mat (this is a great one for kids to help with)
Play scent games, these can be as easy or as hard as you want to make them, and played indoor or outside, the Hide The Treats Game is one of my personal favourites
If your feeling creative you can always have a go at Making your own game for your dog.
Providing safe long lasting chews and giving them some time out, chewing can help to release stress and anxieties
Relaxing scents, try lavender or varium (remember your dog is an individual so see what they like)
Why not try a meditation technique with your dog, we highly recommend personal friend of Friends and Canines, Caroline at https://canineflow.com/ sign up to her newsletter for some free techniques to try
Do you need some professional one on one advice on how to help your dog through this unsettling time? Then speak to Sarah at http://www.dogskool.co.uk/! All 5 of the Friends and Canines pupsters have attended and we still do fun classes, and she is offering telephone/ skype and online advice aswell as in-person to help keep your dog calm, entertained and happy.
We are still dispatching orders daily, with tracking numbers so you can keep an eye on your order. Please add any comments in the special instructions at checkout, eg. leave on doorstep, in greenhouse, etc and we will be happy to leave your order somewhere safe.
While you’re at it, why not check out some of our pupster’s favourites in the bulk buys area? A nice little stash of yummy natural treats is the perfect way of relaxing your beloved dog and you won’t need to worry about nipping out to the shops and spending money on sugar-laden treats!