Every Monday, I will be sharing with you posts from my favorite canine care author Nicole N S Mackie. She is the author of a great book entitled “Living in Harmony with Your Puppy”. She runs a website about canine care at www.shalvaholistics.com . Check it out! I really enjoyed reading her book, filled with wisdom and just the right information for every canine owner.
Stress can be almost anything that makes our puppies react to a physical, mental or emotional stimulus. What may seem just a small trivial situation to us, may be a very serious or fearful situation to our puppy.
With our fast, modern and urban lifestyles (which are no longer very dog freindly), puppies have had to learn to cope with life and situations that are not natural to them. Puppies can adapt quite well to the routines of our lifestyle, however what one puppy may cope with, another puppy may not and many puppies will not cope with a busy, fast lifestyle which may have adverse short term or long term consequences on his body.
Many people will understand what courses stress in their own lives but not many of us really see what may be causing stress in the lives of our puppies. The adrenal glands are responsible for the hormones caused by stress. The adrenal medulla produces adrenalin and noradrenalin which is released if your puppy is stressed.
Short term stress places the puppies body into a state of ‘fight or flight’ placing the puppy into a heightened state of Anxiety, fear and awareness. Longer term stress causes the adrenal cortex to release the hormone cortisol, which when released over a long period of time, takes it toll on the puppies physical body and emotions which may cause the puppies body to react in many ways.
Symptoms of Stress:
Unbalanced blood sugar levels
Weight gain or weight loss
Increased risk of diseases ending with ‘it is’ such as pancratitis, colitis
Infections, joint pain, headaches
Using a lot of calming signals, body language
Red eyes, whites of eyes showing, weeping eyes, dilated pupils
Fear of people, cowering
Fear of other dogs or animals
Biting or Chewing a lot, ankle biting
Jumping up or pulling at peoples clothes
Digging or scratching at things
Bullying or possessiveness
Growling, grumpy, depressed
Wanting to play continuously
Cannot settle or sleep
More than usual amount of hair fulling out, Alopecia
Pulling hard on lead
Wont take treats
Dry, brittle or greasy coat
Hiding or using barriers or escape routs to get away
Jerky movements, pacing or quick-stepping
Drinking more than usual
Cannot think or learn properly
Urinating or defecating more than usual
High pulse rate, fast heart rate
Rapid breathing, fast panting
Hyperactive as more glucose is released into muscles
Digestive system effected, dihorrea
Poor problem solving ability