Although most puppy parents commonly assume that puppies are always free-spirited and happy-go-lucky, in reality, these fur-babies can feel a whole range of negative emotions, including stress, depression, and anxiety.
If you notice your puppy is stressed out or anxious, it can cause negative effects on your puppy’s health, especially if you’re the unintentional cause of their worries. These 4 signs will help you find out if your puppy is stressed out.
- Your puppy is sleepy all the time. Puppies are typically full of energy and spirit, even if they’re natural introverts. Their curiosity will lead them to explore their surroundings nearly every time. If you’ve had your puppy for a while, you are likely familiar with their sleeping schedule. Now, young puppies are supposed to sleep for at least 16-18 hours a day to help their bodies grow. However, if you notice your puppy acts lethargic while awake, it may be a sign of an underlying condition. Talk to your vet to find the cause of your puppy’s excessive sleepiness.
- Your pup is eating less. There’s no doubt that puppies love to eat. So if you notice your puppy isn’t interested in their yummy treats or food, something is definitely wrong. It can be a telltale sign of stress and/or an undetected health condition. A lack of eating is especially problematic because it can lead to weight loss and other negative consequences. Talk to your vet immediately if you suspect your puppy isn’t eating.
- Your fur-baby has digestive issues. Just like in humans, stress can affect the digestive system in puppies. A puppy with stress can experience diarrhea and constipation. You should consult your vet before making this diagnosis, however. Digestive problems can also mean other conditions like food intolerance.
- Your pooch is aggressive towards others. If your puppy was once friendly and happy but now shows aggression towards you or others, it may mean they’re stressed. Some signs of aggression include growling, snarling, and a defensive body posture. Speak with your vet to determine the cause of your fur-baby’s aggression and how to handle it.
If your vet determines that stress or another mental condition is the cause of your puppy’s behavior, there are ways you can help them deal with their emotions. For example, you can try playing with your furry cutie every time you’re outside. You can also implement an exercise routine or try distracting with puzzles and games. Helping out your puppy calm down and de-stress can further build your bond with them!