Everyone at one point in their life has experienced stress in one form or another. In that, it’s safe to say, we are all well aware of the numerous risks and health problems that are caused by increased stress.
Sadly, many dog owners, given the stress of their everyday life, are completely unaware of the different ways they are actually stressing their dog out. On top of this, they don’t realize how dangerous stress actually is for a dog.
In this article, we are going to discuss the dangers of stress on your dog and how you are stressing your dog out on a daily basis.
The Dangers of Stress for Your Dog
Like that of humans, stress can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Sadly, much of the stress that dogs face every day comes directly from their owner. It’s important to know that much of the stress that dog owners cause do not impact the dog immediately; however, over time, the damage exponentially grows and can impact the dog both physically and mentally. Through any of the ways mentioned in this article, stress can lead to the following:
- Heart disease
- Increased aggression
- Significant behavior problems
- Skin problems
- Bowel Movements
In light of these dangers, it’s extremely important to be aware of the many different ways you may be stressing your dog out. If you are stressing your dog out in anyway, for the life of your dog, learn from your mistakes and begin creating a healthy and calm environment for them.
Top 5 Ways You Are Stressing Your Dog Out
It should make sense that raising your voice to higher levels does not make situations better. I mean, when you are yelling at a dog or animal is it because you don’t think they can hear you? The reality is, yelling makes everything worse for humans and dogs. If you are yelling at your dog or around your dog, you are causing un-necessary stress. Keep in mind, the one animal that has a keen sense of hearing is a dog. Can you imagine what screaming and yelling sounds like to them?
Sadly, most dog owners don’t consider this factor. Begin by speaking in a calm voice to your dog or around your dog. You might be thinking, “Well, how can I train my dog if I don’t raise my voice?” Well, did you know that some dog owners and dog trainers have been able to train dogs from simply whispering to them?
Ultimately, the loudness of your voice means nothing when it comes to training your dog; it will only stress them out.
Many dog owners do not realize their dog does not have the capacity to understand their actions and how they impact you. As a result, they punish their dogs as if they were punishing a child. I mean, have you ever put your dog in a crate because they did not listen to you or because of their actions?
What you need to understand is that your dog does not understand why it’s being placed in its crate. Worse off, if your dog enjoys being in a crate, it may confuse the punishment with reward. In other words, you are indirectly training your dog, confusing your dog, causing stress to the both of you, and making matters worse all around.
Take the time to learn the proper approach to training a dog and behavior management. If you can invest in learning about your dog and behavior management, it will help throughout the entire training process and create a unique bond between you and your dog.
Since we live in a culture that focuses on the bad and negative aspects of everything, many dog owners have adapted this mentality when it comes to training their dog. The thought of these words echoing from the mouth can be quite repulsive for some dog owners; however, there are still many people who are shouting out the words, “Bad Dog” or “No!” If you are finding yourself resorting to these words when speaking to your dog, it’s time to stop. These words are counterproductive and can confuse your dog tremendously.
As we discussed before, like that of a very young child, your dog does not really understand the difference between good and bad or right and wrong. With that being said, when you are shouting “bad dog”, they have no clue as to what is happening. All they do know is that you are angry and yelling; therefore, frightening them and stressing them dog out.
As a dog grows up, it sees the world like a kid in a candy store. What we mean is that dogs tend to run around, jump up and down, leap on furniture and do all kinds of other crazy things. When this happens, dog owners are quick to shout the command, “Get down!” Does that sound familiar to you? I mean, whenever a dog is around a stranger or new family member, they tend to jump on their leg. As a result, the dog hears, “Get down!”
If you are not familiar with training a dog, you might not understand how this may confuse or stress a dog out. For many dogs that are trained, “Down” is another common command to get the dog to lie down. When you are yelling “Get down”, the dog has absolutely no idea what is happening, and as a result, is totally confused.
Again, this is a counterproductive command if you are training your dog or have trained your dog. If you are finding yourself wanting to train your dog to stay off the furniture or from jumping on friends and family, consider training your dog with new words that won’t confuse them like, “off”. This helps to alleviate any potential confusion and stress that may otherwise occur.
Making the Dog a Queen or King
It’s easy for first time dog owners to want to give their dog the entire world. It’s safe to say that, to some degree, you have either seen or done it yourself. One of the worst things that you can do for your dog that will stress them out is to treat them like a queen or king. You might be wondering, how could spoiling a dog or treating them like royalty be bad? Well, think about this!
Dogs are pack animals, and as pets, they are looking for an owner who is the alpha, or leader. This is what makes the bond so unique and special between an owner and dog. When there is no leader taking charge, and almost acting submissively by constantly praising and treating the dog like royalty, there are no rules or obedience. On top of this, if an owner takes this approach, the dog will actually, by default, take charge in the bond, and could become extremely aggressive and protective. This is all unnecessary stress!
If you are a dog owner, you are the leader and must learn to lead.
Creating a Peaceful Environment
Often times, many people don’t realize that they are creating or have created an environment that does not provide for a peaceful and stress-free lifestyle for their dog, or for themselves. Stress can be a debilitating factor that could lead to a lifetime of confusion, anger, sadness, sickness, and even death.
It’s important that when adopting or buying a dog that you create a peaceful environment where they can prosper and so can you. This entails not only creating a safe home, but also studying dog breeds, behavior management, and the best way to train your dog. By doing this, you will prevent any unnecessary stress and create a special bond with your dog.
Please be sure to share this “How You Are Stressing Your Dog Out” with fellow dog owners!