We all understand stress on a personal level with many of us experiencing stress to some degree on a daily basis. Stress can be caused by a new job, work pressures, a change in routine and many other situations that can trigger anxiety. It’s not just us that experience feelings of stress, however, as our dog’s do too! Without the ability to voice their feelings it’s important to be able to identify the signs of stress in our furry companions. Below, we will take you through the common indicators to look out for, and, how to help alleviate stress in your dog. How can I tell if my dog is stressed? The telltale signs: Here are the different stress-related behaviors to keep an eye on, from subtle changes to more obvious behaviours. Yawning – You may think your canine companion is simply just tired after a late night but yawning can actually tell us a different story. Yes, dogs do yawn when tired but if you notice your dog excessively yawning then this could actually be a sign he or she is uncomfortable and stressed. A stress yawn tends to be prolonged so it can be easier to identify this against a regular tired yawn Licking their lips – Another common behavior that could also be a sign of stress is lip licking. Again it can be tricky to differentiate between regular ‘normal’ lip licking and stress but if your dog is licking their lips a lot when there are no treats or food around, then this can be a good indication that it’s stress-related and not preparation for a tasty snack. Change in toilet habits – Have you ever felt the urge to go for a nervous wee before a job interview or stressful event? Our dogs feel the same! Stress can trigger a change in bodily functions, just like humans, so you may find your dog urine marking and even doing their toilet in the house. An upset tummy can also be a product of stress so if your dog’s stools are regularly loose and diarrhea-like it might not actually be their food that’s causing this. Panting – Dogs tend to pant in three situations; when they’re excited, tired or stressed. If you find your dog panting and it’s not from a result of exercise, keep a close eye on them and what could be triggering this. Hunched body posture – Another sign of stress in dog’s that can be more easily identified is a change in body posture. Is your dog hunching, crouching down and with its tail between its legs? This can be a sign that your dog is stressed, anxious and fearful. Whining and barking – Some dogs are naturally more vocal than others but excessive whining and barking can be a major stress signal. This can be triggered by separation, meeting other dog’s or simply just a cry for attention. How to help your dog with stress If you’ve identified one or more of the above then you might be looking for solutions to support your dog. None of us want a stressed out pup but the good news is that it’s usually very manageable. Here’s how you can help… Understand your dog – If you’re reading this post then there’s a good chance you’re already very aware of your dog’s usual behaviours but it’s also important to familiarise yourself with your dog’s regular demeanor. That way you can easily tell whether your dog is just licking their lips or if it’s a stress signal. Remain calm – When your dog gets stressed and displays abnormal behaviour such as urinating indoors, it’s important to remember that they’re not doing this to simply annoy you, they’re reacting to their emotions. Remain calm as shouting at them and telling them off will only increase their stress levels – and yours! Consider natural calming supplements – If your dog is sensitive to stress and anxiety then a natural calming supplement is definitely an option worth considering. Whether it’s meeting new dogs, loud noises, a change in routine, separation or vet trips that trigger stress in your pup, our range of high-quality calming supplements can help! Calming Room Spray – our Calming Room Spray has been specially designed to help provide a feeling of calm and reassurance. The special blend of fragrance extracts simulates pheromones and may help your dog to feel at ease during periods of unsettlement. Whippet puppy, Martha, struggled to settle when left alone but our spray has helped her to feel comforted when her parents leave the house. Calming Soft Chews – Our Relaxing Moments Chews for Dogs are ideal for on-the-go and can be given daily either as a treat or crumbled into food. Featuring natural ingredients including ginger and chamomile, both known for their stomach settling qualities, these chews may help your dog to feel reassured during a change of routine. They have worked especially well for Florence, a once nervous dog who struggled to cope in busy environments, who, with the help of our chews, now feels at ease. Relax and Calm Care – Our Relax and Calm Care capsules are suitable for both dogs and cats and has been created to support stress and worry related problems. This veterinary formulated calming aid features natural ingredients including L-Tryptophan, Valerian Root Powder, Vitamins B1, B3, B6, B9, B12. This natural blend works to calm, soothe and de-stress as well as promote an overall feeling of wellbeing! Don’t forget – you can subscribe to our newsletter and receive 30% off your first order! Provide a safe space – Alongside a calming supplement, providing a safe, quiet place for your dog to hide is also important. Whether it’s under the stairs, under a table or in a blanket-covered crate, creating a safe environment for your pup to hide out when feeling overwhelmed and stressed can really help to calm their nerves. Stick to a routine – Many dogs thrive off routine and this can particularly help dogs with anxiety and stress issues. When it comes to sleeping, eating, playtime and walkies try to stick to the same time schedule so your pup knows what’s coming and isn’t stressed out by a change in their daily schedule! The sooner you notice these signs of stress in your dog the easier it will be to get on top of and successfully manage them. If they’re still in puppyhood then getting to the bottom of their stress before it escalates and they reach adulthood is key, so always be on the lookout for telltale signs. Some dogs may develop stress and anxiety as they grow older, so your usually confident dog may start to show abnormal behaviour. Therefore it is still important to monitor your dog’s demeanor and reactions during all stages of their life. Notice the triggers, understand the reaction and support your canine companion accordingly! We hope you find these tips useful but if your dog is still struggling with stress after you’ve tried all of these, it may be best to seek some professional help from a behaviourist or vet – all Broadreach members have access to free veterinary advice 24/7. If you have any questions about our calming range or any of our other products, you can also contact us by calling 01223 855857 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.