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Moving houses, meeting new pets/people, or changes in a regular routine are a few examples of ways that can cause your dog to be stressed. If you notice that your dogs behavior seems off or much different than usual, they may be showing you those signs. The best way you can help them is to know the signs in your dog so that you may work on making them feel better.
Excessive Panting, Yawning, Or Licking
Dogs yawn when they are bored just like humans, but they also yawn as a sign of stress. Along with yawning, they can do other things more than usual like panting or licking certain areas on their fur.
Ears Pulled Back
It depends on your specific dog and their normal behaviors, but many dogs pull their ears back or they appear “pinned back” meaning laying flat when they are stressed. For others, being stressed may cause their ears to stick straight up. Learning & recognizing your dogs normal ear reactions to situations also helps you understand when those reactions are not normal and something is wrong.
Reduced Appetite/Digestion Issues
If you are more stressed than usual, you are less likely to worry about eating when meal time comes around. You may also notice that due to this you experience more digestion issues like diarrhea or constipation. The same goes for dogs. If you notice your dog is not eating as much as they usually do, or they look like they are losing weight, be sure to take a step back and notice if there are any excessive stressors in their life recently.
Trembling, Pacing, Or Shaking
Many dogs use shaking as a reaction to “shake it off” when they do something they find unpleasant like taking a bath, seeing the vet, or getting a haircut. If you notice that they are shaking or trembling much more than normal, or they seem to be pacing – it may be due to stress or agitation (much like humans when we are agitated). They can also shake when scared by storms, loud noises, or anything out of the ordinary that causes them stress.
Making more noise than usual like whining or howling is a way your dog can get your attention. It is also a way they are communicating that something is wrong. It may make them feel better to make those noises and warn you.
Tail Tucked Or Lowered
Just like recognizing a change in the way your pups ears are sitting, the way their tail sits can signal when they are feeling stressed. If their tail normally moves vigorously when they are excited, start to take note of wether or not it is not moving as much, or moving a lot more than usual.