They say that all diseases are from nerves, and it is difficult to disagree with this. Even when it’s not about people, but about pets. They are much more like us than we think. Just like us, our pets have the ability to worry, worry and be sad, and just like us, we are affected by stress. And our task with you, as responsible owners, is to help the pet survive the difficult period so that it passes without consequences for its health. We will talk about how to do this in our article.
What is stress?
Stress is changes in the body at the psychological or physiological level in response to environmental influences. Such a reaction can be short-term or long-lasting – and even go to the chronic stage.
And if short-term stress does not pose a significant danger to the body, then frequent and prolonged significantly reduces immunity and increases the risk of developing cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and other diseases. Therefore, stress should be avoided, and in which case be able to resist it.
Symptoms of stress in dogs
Interestingly, many gaps in dog behavior are often associated with stress. A pet that is in a state of nervous tension can be hyperactive or, conversely, very lethargic. He can go to the toilet in the wrong places, whine loudly and intrusively, bite household items and personal belongings of his household, and even show aggression. Thus, the dog tries to deal with stress, and you can not punish it for this.
Along with changes in behavior, signs of stress include refusal to eat and communicate, ignoring teams, weight loss with prolonged stress, loss of general tone, etc.
Symptoms of short-term stress, as a rule, disappear within a day, while prolonged nervous overstrain for a long time leaves its imprint on the behavior and well-being of the pet.
Causes of stress
It is impossible to determine the causes of stress at once for all dogs. Each pet is an individual, and each has its own perception of environmental factors, its own level of stress resistance. For example, if one dog is terribly afraid of traveling by train, then the other can calmly endure moving, but get very nervous even from a short separation from the owner.
Most often, psychological factors such as fear, loneliness, etc. lead to nervous strain. Physical factors (sudden changes in the diet, changes in conditions of detention, etc.) can also provoke stress, but this happens much less often.
It is important to understand that whatever the cause of the stress — emotional or physical — severe overstrain always negatively affects the body, making it vulnerable to chronic diseases and infections.
The most common causes of stress in dogs are:
– transportation (for example, to the veterinary clinic),
– examination by a veterinarian,
– bathing, haircut or other manipulations with the dog,
– noisy celebration / arrival of guests,
– “showdown” with other dogs,
– loud noise: explosion of firecrackers, thunder, etc.
If the above items are repeated frequently in a dog’s life, this can lead to chronic stress. Long-term separation from the owner or change of owner, the appearance of a new family member in the house, i.e. categorical and continuous factors.
Stress Prevention and Treatment
The main way to deal with stress is to eliminate its causes. If possible, of course. In cases where stress is caused by a change of owner and other similar changes in the dog’s life, attention and care will help her survive the stress. Give your pet more time, get a variety of toys for him, drive him more often for walks and do not forget about balanced feeding.
To reduce the load on the nervous system and the degree of stress effects on the body, replenish your first-aid kit with special means (for example, Mexidol-Vet). Particularly suspicious pets are prescribed sedatives. A veterinarian will help you choose them.
If you have planned a trip, a noisy holiday is approaching, or another event that may cause your pet stress, start giving the dog a drug in advance. It will help prepare the nervous system for an “emergency” situation and eliminate increased irritability.
Sometimes there are cases when stress management is impossible without the intervention of a veterinarian and other specialists. Usually, in this case we are talking about phobias, with which the owner will not be able to cope on his own. To eliminate the phobia, teamwork of several people will be required: a veterinarian, a zoopsychologist, a trainer, and, of course, the owner of the dog, which will be her main support and support.
Take care of your four-legged friends. We wish that in your life all the excitement was only pleasant.