Dogs have feelings, just like you and me. And just like it is for us, dogs hate feeling stressed. No conscious living being appreciates feeling stress for prolonged periods of time and if a dog is stressed for too long, it can result in severe trauma that causes long-term health issues. So, to help you out and for the benefit of your pet, we assembled a list of 10 things that stress out dogs the most. Let’s get to it!
stress out dogs

1. Thunder & lightning

As the first entry on our list, we chose something that is hardly a surprise. Due to their very sensitive hearing, dogs probably hear thunder a lot louder and a lot more profoundly than us, humans. Besides, he or she isn’t equipped with the knowledge than this strange and scary sound isn’t able to harm them while their indoors. Your pet senses a drop in atmospheric pressure and this causes stress to increase. The best you can do is be besides them, turn on the TV to draw out the noise and pet them. 

2. Abrupt waking from sleep and too little rest

Adult dogs have to sleep for 12-14 hours per day. This means that they have to have enough rest and require more of it, than us, humans. If your dog is resting, don’t go sneaking up on them (too often, at least). It can be fun to wake them up with a jerky stripe, but doing too much of that will unnerve them and could put their metabolism out of order.

3. Whirring and vibrating devices

Even though you might not pay too much attention to your robot-vacuum cleaner, air humidifier or purifier, your dog definitely notices when you turn them on. Since a human is able to understand and grasp the nature of this sound, it doesn’t bother them that much. However, a dog has a much more limited ability to comprehend things and thus, is easily spooked and stressed out by devices that create noises of any kinds. This is why it is always recommended to choose noise-less or very quiet devices for dog grooming as it makes it much easier to approach them. A silent dog nail grinder is a premiere example in this category. It helps trim the nails of your dog with much more ease and simplicity.

4. Changes of living environments

How long do you need to acclimatise to a new home and call it home? How much time would you actually need? This depends, so one person could be able to make the emotional transition in a week, others could need a few years. Dogs take the change a bit more difficult (especially if they are already of age), but they should acclimatise decently in 4-10 weeks time. The interval is quite large but that’s because every single dog is different and unique. You should smooth out the transition by rewarding them with treats, not leaving them alone for long periods of time and spending more time together.

5. Being left alone

If your dog is distressed when you leave or he/she gets totally out of control, you need to install a monitoring system or restrict them to a particular area of the home. Separation anxiety is very common and probably 75-90% of all dogs will feel it from time to time. You need to make the hard decision and leave them at home for a few times. They could bark or whine for a bit, but they should also get over it reasonably quickly. Don’t leave them alone too often and protect your valuables so the upset dog won’t chew, eat or destroy them.

6. When they’re tied up for too long

Dogs that are forced to live in a restricted space tend to be aggressive by nature. If you have seen dogs that bark aggressively to you, it’s very likely that they were tied up or locked up in a cage. A dog that has freedom to move and explore shouldn’t be stressed.

7. Pain

You accidentally stepped on their tail, they fell and hurt themselves, someone hurt them in the past? It’s very common that dogs who were physically hurt and abused will feel stress. PTSD is strong for dogs and some of them never fully recover. The best thing you can do is slowly work towards their hearts by petting, being familiar, warm, loving and kind.

8. Too much trickery/pranks

Pranking and slightly tricking your dog (like pretending to throw a stick or a ball) is fun and entertaining. However, doing such things too often can result in irritation and unwanted aggressiveness from the dog. You definitely don’t want that. We recommend limiting pranks and similar behaviour as it can lead to your dog becoming distrustful and slightly paranoid.

9. Inconsistent behaviour from people that surround them

Dogs need a routine and clear boundaries much more than human. They are driven by loyalty, stability and reassurance. They couldn’t be jazz musicians as they are frankly, quite awful at improvising yet they are able to adapt if push comes to shove. Make sure you are consistent with the rules and do not punish them for something on day 1 then let it slide on day 2. Vice versa.

10 Not socialising and then being thrown into an environment where they have to socialise

If your dog was always alone or never had the opportunity to socialise with other dogs and/or people, they will definitely feel tons of stress when guests show up or when they come in close encounter with another dog. Just as we mentioned in No.6, the lack of socialisation and exploration will result in a lack of obedience. Such dogs will rarely act calmly and will rather bark, growl or get scared of other dogs and people. You should get them used to socialisation early on. This way you avoid aggressive behaviour in their adult years. As you know, aggressive actions are 99% of the time, results of stress.