Stress is a natural part of life. Dogs experience stress just like we do, but they can’t just tell us like we can. They use body language and knowing the signs of when your dog is stressed can help his overall health.
Signs of stress in pets
When pets are stressed, just like us, they release noradrenaline, adrenaline and cortisol. The result is the famed fight-or-flight response. In reality, there are four responses you might see in pets, says Landsberg—fight, flight, fidget or freeze.
Fight. This is active stress or active fear. The pet may become aggressive to remove the threat in the situation.
Flight. Pets may try to flee the situation. You’ll see signs of avoidance, hiding or a lower body posture.
Fidget. This is a conflict situation—the pet isn’t sure how to react to the situation. You’ll see lip licking, paw raising and other signs of fear.
Freeze. Pets may stay motionless while whatever is happening around them plays out, but what’s going on inside is a different story.
Long-term stress can have harmful effects on your dog so it’s important to recognize the signs. Keep Gresham Animal Hospital in mind next time your dog needs a checkup, shots, vaccines, give us a call at 503.666.1600 or visit our website at: www.greshamanimalhospital.com/