The last month our world has been turned upside down! Our daily routines are completely shaken up and the uncertainty is stressing us. But have you ever thought about how your dog copes with this crisis?
Every dog needs structure, this gives him confidence and confidence in you as a handler. So if our structure completely disappears due to circumstances, their daily routines will also be shaken up. In stress-sensitive dogs, this can mean that they experience more stress.
How do you recognize stress in dogs?
Stress is a very broad concept and usually has a negative connotation, while a dog can also experience stress in the positive sense, for example, think how your dog reacts when you take the leash to walk or when you take a ball to play.
Stress is a reaction to a certain stimulus or situation in which physiological and chemical reactions occur in the body as a result of this and can, therefore, as described above, be both negative and positive. Dogs communicate largely through their body position and language. You can recognize the degree of stress on the basis of different communication signals.
With light stress, your dog will first consciously use calming signals, which are positive, conflict-avoiding signals.
Which are the dog calming signals?
- Tongues (lick nose)
- Show whites of the eyes
- Close the eyes
- Look away with the eyes or turn the entire head away
- Suddenly start sniffing
- Suddenly start scratching
- Moves slowly
If the calming signals are not recognized or understood, your dog may show stress signals, which occur unconsciously through frustration or conflict. Through these signals, your dog can release tension and regain control of his emotions.
Which are the dog stress signals?
- Looking around restlessly
- Looking at you repeatedly
- Shake off repeatedly
- Barking or squeaking
- Take something in the mouth and chew or walk around with it
What can you do if your dog is stressed during this period?
If you notice that your dog is experiencing extra stress during this period, you can start drawing up an adapted structure. Find out which routines you had before this crisis period and try to draw up an adapted daily schedule or schedule based on that.
Record this when you take the time to be active together, but also provide moments when the dog can rest. The latter is very important to de-stress.
You can use those moments of rest to give your dog extra support by means of touches. Touch and massage have a stress-reducing effect on your dog. Through soft touches on the skin and the underlying connective tissue, stimuli are passed through the sensory nerves to the nervous system, making the dog more aware of its own body.
From the nervous system, impulses are then sent to the muscles via the motor nerves, causing relaxation in various tissues. In addition, the hormone system is activated, which releases many hormones and neurotransmitters in the body to rebalance it.
By touching or massaging your dog regularly, you will also ensure that the effects of this continue to work longer and you can prevent stress from settling in your dog’s body. In addition, touches provide a deeper bond with your dog.