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Is Your Dog Suffering From Stress?

June 1 2015

Your Labrador retriever Archie could win the “Mr. Congeniality” award. His twice-daily neighborhood walks become extended social events, as your super-friendly pooch visits with canine and human buddies along the way. Lately, however, your boisterously happy housemate has been acting strangely. Although he could be suffering from a medical problem, you wonder if stress could be the culprit. Tomorrow, your Myrtle Beach vet will examine Archie and give him nutritional and behavioral counseling.

Lackluster Appetite

You continually marvel at Archie’s appetite. He inhales his kibbles with lightning speed, and he often snatches the cat’s leftovers. Twice, you’ve caught him trolling the kitchen counters for freshly baked cookies. Recently, however, your healthy-eating dog just picks at his meals, but hardly consumes anything before turning away. You’re concerned about poor nutrition, and you’d like to know if stress has affected his food consumption.

Antisocial Canine Slug

Archie has always been the most active dog in the neighborhood. He trots briskly on his daily walks, and he’s always ready for an energetic fetch game or hike. However, recently your canine workout partner won’t leave the house. When you push him out for potty walks, he quickly completes his business and heads home for another long snooze. You’re puzzled by his antisocial antics, and you wonder if stress is to blame.

Unusual Aggression

Your dog’s naturally friendly nature, and always-tolerant attitude, make him popular with dogs, humans, and even most cats. You can’t imagine him showing hostility toward anyone. However, this week he snapped and growled at his best dog park buddy; and he even bared his teeth toward you. If the vet determines he’s healthy, ask if stress has soured your canine companion’s mood.

Beneficial Exercise Program

By providing your healthy pooch with more exercise, you might help to knock down his stress level. Give him more of his favorite activities; and ask the vet if your companion can physically handle more vigorous sports.

Comforting Canine Refuge

Perhaps normally laid-back Archie becomes unnerved by loud parties, fireworks, thunderstorms, or other obnoxious noises. Give him a quiet refuge, such as a small room or closet. Include his favorite blanket and toys; and stay with him until he seems calmer. Your Myrtle Beach vet can provide you with additional stress reduction guidance. If your dog shows possible stress symptoms, contact us for expert advice.

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