There are a lot of emotions and feelings that animals, especially dogs, can experience. And those are not only the happy ones. Just as much as you can be when you have a pile of work, dogs can be stressed too! And you probably don’t want that for your pup. 

This is why it is vital to recognize when your dog might be stressed out, so you can make it feel better ASAP. 

Luckily, there are some signs of stress in dogs that you can look out for in your canine friend that act as great pointers to whether they are stressed out or not. Stress in dogs can actually cause physiologic changes, so it is important to react quickly to the matter. These dog stress signs can really help you make sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible.

Critical Signs of Stress in a Dog

You may be looking for how to tell if your dog is stressed, and if that is the case, then this is the perfect place you’ve found yourself! This article will let you know a lot about dogs and stress, as well as many of the most prominent dog stress symptoms.

Dog panting a lot

Dogs pant when they are hot and tired or when they are energetic and excited. But here’s what you probably didn’t know that they pant when they are stressed out, too. If you notice your dog is panting in a potentially stressful situation and it is not hot and they don’t seem to be excited, it is very likely a sign of a stressed dog.

Dog drools when nervous

Some breeds drool more than others. When you’ve had your pet for long enough, you’ll know how much it drools. But let’s say your pup is aching. And you’ve tried all the remedies to relieve that dog tooth pain. You’d probably take your pup to a vet and you suddenly notice your dog’s mouth-watering and drool dripping down, even when you’re not holding a juicy steak in front of them, there could be a deeper problem. That is a sign of a stressed dog, and you may notice the waterworks going when you find yourself in the vet’s office. This is the most commonplace for a dog to really get stressed out. But hey, you can’t blame them! It’s the same way a lot of people feel anxious when going to the doctor!

Dog yawning

As humans, we tend to yawn when we are tired. If you’ve ever observed an animal long enough, you know that they yawn too! While science is yet to find an exact reason we yawn, we know that tiredness can cause it in humans, and it is one of the signs of dog stress. The yawns might look identical, but stressed dogs tend to do it a bit more often than a sleepy pup.

Dog pacing

When someone is trying to think or find a solution to a problem, they may pace continuously around a room. When it comes to stressed dog behavior, this is one of the signs that you may see. Pacing is one of those facets of stressed dog body language that you may have never noticed previously, but now it is starting to make sense. You might see your pup walking back and forth, or around and around when you’re in the vet’s office. That is because it knows what’s coming. Unfortunately, this dog stress can’t be helped. It’s for its own good!

Nervous shaking

This is one sign that doesn’t need much analysis. While dogs shake off to clean themselves or ‘wipe’ dry, you’ll know when their shaking seems out of place. Shaking is one of those signs of dog stress that we might subconsciously push aside. Still, if you notice it shaking in instances where it usually wouldn’t do that, then there’s likely a cause for it. Dogs and stress are not a pairing you should indulge, so don’t hesitate to find the reason.

Dog nervous licking

Stressed dogs might lick themselves or you excessively, and that’s one of the dog stress symptoms that should stick out if it’s out of place. We all love when our furry pal gives us a sloppy kiss, but don’t let that distract you. Do you notice it happening more than it usually does? Does it seem strange how frequently your dog is blessing you with its big wet tongue? Or perhaps you might be noticing them licking themselves way more than often. This is just another one of those big dog stress signs that you shouldn’t miss!

Dog shaking and hiding

This one sign that you should alarm you the moment you see it. Do you notice that your dog is physically shaking and showing off avoidant behavior, such as hiding behind you or objects? Not only is this a sign of stress in dogs, but it can point to the presence of a specific stressor, like an animal or person who the dog is afraid of. You must get to the bottom of the things when stressed dog behavior like this manifest.

Can dogs lose hair from stress?

When a person is extremely anxious about something, they can sometimes be said to be ‘pulling their hair out,’ or they might talk about how their hair is falling out. Just like this, hair loss or heavier shedding can occur as a sign of stress in dogs or when they are very anxious. It may be harder to notice this when outdoors or unless enough hair comes out to leave a patch, but you may start to see a lot of hair strewn around the.

This reaction is said to be due to increased adrenaline levels in the bloodstream, which increases when anxious. This then causes the hair to fall out. Dog stress symptoms like this should be concerning, as patchy hair loss is something to worry about in most cases.

How to de-stress a dog?

There are many ways that you can relax your pet when you notice stressed dog body language. And the sooner you get started making it feel more comfortable, the better. There are also many tips and tricks to help a stressed dog. For instance, taking it out for a walk every day and playing with it. Check our guide for more tips for relieving the dog stress


About the Author: John Green has profound experience in the veterinary field with years of experience. Now he handles content at Pet Health Hospital.  In fact, John pays close attention to sharing vital information about pets to most pet parents across the United States. Certainly, John loves and cherishes animals, and owns two dogs Marty and Lou.