Dogs are such wonderful creatures. They are companions, protectors and
members of the family. No wonder we feel an extraordinary bond with them. They
are experts at reading body language, so they know our emotions and feel them along with us. We know when our dogs are happy by watching their tails wag, or sad because they hang their head, whine or show us their puppy dog eyes.
Sometimes our stress can be transferred to our pets; many dogs actually suffer from the human stress around them. Over time, stress can lead to bad behavior and even damage your animal’s nervous system.
Causes of stress in dogs:
- Hunger and thirst
- Loud noises (thunder, fireworks, music)
- A change of residence – Pain or discomfort
- Vet visits
- A change in domestic life such as a new baby or pet owner stress
Signs of stress in dogs:
- Glazed eyes
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Restless behavior
- Barking or whining for no apparent reason
- Extra naughty behavior
Easy and natural solutions for dog stress
One of the most important things you can do to help calm your dog is to first calm down yourself. Take a deep breath, listen to soothing music and show him you are relaxed. Remember, your dog looks to you for cues that suggest when it’s time to worry and when it’s time to relax.
Make sure your dog is comfortable. Is he warm enough? Does he have a cozy place to sleep? Is he bothered by loud excessive noise or music that you could control?
Research has shown that exercise and fresh air are among the best stress reducers and mood enhancers for humans and animals. Take your dog for a nice walk every day. You will both benefit.
A favorite stress reducing remedy for humans and pets is Bach Flower Rescue Remedy.
This combination of five flower essences is a must have for pets and owners.
It is excellent to give before taking the pet to the vet, after a trauma, when the pet is not quite well or after an accident or sudden stress.
Acupressure and Chinese herbal medicine for stress due to pain
Acupressure is an ancient practice that originated in China more than 4,000 years ago. It works through helping the body heal itself.
The basic principles of acupressure are the same in animals as in humans. Chinese medical theory states that disease is the result of a blockage in energy flow (Qi) along pathways in the body. Massaging acupressure points on these pathways unblocks the energy and restores health. Acupressure in animals was first used in China on livestock and horses to ensure survival.
There is a considerable body of research supporting the effectiveness of traditional Chinese medicine in the treatment of a wide range of canine health issues.
Warning: Chinese herbal medicine should be given only under the advice of a licensed therapist. Not every Chinese herb that is good for humans is good for your dog, and some are harmful if used incorrectly.
Of course, the best thing you can do for your dog is to show him or her your love.
Give lots of praise, kisses, ear rubs and tell him what a good boy he is.
Jeanie Mossa has been treating dogs and humans with holistic medicine for more than 25 years and is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, author and the owner of Four Paws Healing in Alexandria. She is now accepting new dog patients at Frolick Dogs. Visit www.fourpawshealing.com for more information.