Dogs have been keeping us company for thousands of years now. There is still no one true theory that tells us how we domesticated dogs. One of the main theories is that when people started to have a steady supply of food, they would give the rest of their meat to wolves. Wolves started to follow humans as they expected more meat around them. They did not do this job for free, though, they were pretty good at hunting themselves. And when humans and wolves combine, they can hunt prey even more efficiently. 

Through this symbiotic relation, wolves came in closer contact with humans. The ones who were friendlier towards humans got more food and thus were able to breed more often. Thus, we got ourselves cute furry companions that got our back. As they are out there for us, we should definitely be out there for them. Dogs, and many other animals, can feel stressed out too, and when that happens, we are the ones who should help them out to feel better.

What is stress?

Stress in dogs is pretty similar to stress in humans. Anything that affects the homeostasis on a physical or mental level in a negative way can have adverse effects on everything else. And yes, you saw it correctly, stress does not need to be on a physical level to induce other negative effects. It can be on the mental level, even though it is not the same in humans, such as depression, dogs can also feel anxious about certain situations. Some kinds of stress are easier to treat than others, and remedies that can help out are the same as with humans. 

For example, dogs are scared of loud noises such as fireworks and explosions. You probably saw how your dog gets scared around when there are fireworks outside for New Year’s Eve, and later they go back to regular activities. One of the remedies that can help them feel calm during these situations where there are many loud noises is CBD for dogs, which is pretty similar to CBD oils that people can use. This natural oil is perfectly legal to use in many states, as it does not contain any THC that can drug your dog.

Other stressful situations

Besides loud noises, there are other situations that can make your dog feel anxious. Traveling can be one of these situations, as some dogs are okay with this and some are not. Going to a veterinarian can also be stressful as they can remember the past experience. These experiences are usually short but still stress-inducing for the dog while it is happening.

Therefore, it is totally fine to have something natural that can help them out to soothe their worries. That way, they will feel safer and can even get used to these situations over time. They can not get addicted to these substances, as long as you do give them anything illegal.

Signs of stress

Sometimes the dog may be stressed out, and you may not even know it. One of the signs that your dog may not be feeling good is excessive panting. Panting is usually associated when a dog gets excited, it does not always mean that. If you ever felt like you were choking when you felt stressed and your breathing was faster, you can know that the dog can have the exact reaction. That is when panting comes in as they need to breathe through their mouth because of the faster breathing rate.

Another common sign is avoidance and hiding in closed-off spots. If you see your dog hiding away somewhere, that is probably because they are not feeling safe around. Usually, in the places where they hide, they will also show other symptoms of stress, such as panting. If they can not hide somewhere, they will probably walk around and squeal and whine.

How can you help them?

In order to perfectly help your dog out, you need to know their normal behavior. Every dog is different, and there is no one guide that can suit every single dog’s unique personality. There are still some general guidelines that you can follow to assess the situation correctly. The most straightforward approach would be to remove whatever the cause of stress may be. If it is fireworks, try to find a place that is quieter and place your dog there until the fireworks are done.

Sometimes, you just can not change the fact that there is a thunderstorm outside, and you can not remove it. In those situations, you also need to watch out not to overreact. For example, you may want to hug your dog to show him that he is safe. But some dogs may not like to be hugged, as they can feel claustrophobic in those situations. You can sit around them and pet them, so they know that you are there. 

When to see a vet?

If you see signs of stress on a daily basis, you may want to visit a vet. There may be another, more deeply rooted problem or a physical one that can induce stress. In those situations, you can only know what to do further if a professional checks what is going on. This is for the same reason as it was mentioned earlier, every dog is unique and feels things differently.

Dogs are much more to us than just pets, they are friends and companions. Everyone who has experience with them can relate to that statement. Thus, it is important to take care of their well-being and not just give them food and occasionally walk them. It is a much deeper task than that, the same as with any friendship with another person.

As long as you know your furry friend well, you will be able to assess any stressful situation correctly. Knowing them and what is safe for them is always the best way to get through anything. Keep track of their usual behavior and activities so that you can notice a difference if they are not acting the usual way. If the problem does appear to be a chronic condition, you will need some more help, and that is perfectly fine.