Stressed Dogs

Stressed Dogs

Monday, October 12, 2015 | NHS Behavior Department

Modern companion animals live longer lives surrounded by love and comfort, but modern living can also create stress for dogs. They are restricted in space and often live with other dogs, cats and human family members. Companion dogs may have fewer opportunities to engage in natural behavior or get the mental and physical stimulation that they need. Recognizing signs of stress and finding out ways to help them cope with modern day stressors will ensure a long and happy life. 

Signs of Stress

  • A change in eating habits
  • Destructive behaviors such as chewing, scratching and digging
  • Inappropriate elimination
  • Excessive licking
  • Panting, trembling, and hiding
  • Overreaction to new things

On-going stress can also lead to medical concerns, such as:

  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Poor body condition (obese or underweight)  
  • Physical injury 

If your dog displays any of these signs, make an appointment with your vet to rule out any medical concerns.

How to help

  • Set up a routine to help your dog feel secure with his environment.
  • Fresh water, food and a comfortable resting spot are all important to a dog.
  • Provide physical and metal exercise, such as going for walks, playing fetch, puzzle feeders, and toys.
  • Training can help teach the skills needed to live a happy life with you.


  • Using Adaptil® can help stressed-out dogs and reduce unwanted behaviors, such as barking house soiling and destructive chewing or scratching.
  • Adaptil® is available as a collar, spray, wipe, or diffuser for use in a variety of situations.
  • Try using Adaptil® for situations such as bringing home a new puppy or dog, traveling or boarding, being left home alone, thunderstorms or fireworks, and when introducing a new family member (human or animal).   

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