Averted gaze, ears pinned flat back, licking their chops, excessive pacing, refusing treats, etc.: Learn to recognize signs of stress in your furry companion with the following advice from Dr. Isabelle Demontigny-Bédard, a behaviour veterinarian from the Passionimo team.
(Note: To facilitate discussions and help you to share this information with your friends and family, we also developed a printable poster explaining your pet’s non-verbal cues. Download the poster)
1- First, did you know that you play a crucial part in detecting signs of stress? Indeed, your ability to detect subtle cues in your pet’s behaviour early makes it possible to:
- Act quickly and attempt to change the situation and the pet’s emotional state.
- Remove your pet from the situation should signs of stress persist.
- Prevent the situation from worsening, which could lead to your dog biting.
- Act as a good facilitator for your four-legged companion and guide any interactions with unfamiliar people.
2- Once you recognize the signs, try to ascertain the triggers, and limit your pet’s exposure to them until you can determine the best way to manage the issue. Of course, we recommend talking about it with your team of veterinarians.
3- If you have children, safety is paramount. To teach them how to interact with dogs and avoid getting bitten, we recommend watching this video with them.
4- Does your dog really want to be petted? There are clear and simple signs to watch for to make sure of it. Check out this video to find out what they are.
5- Acting like a good pet parent is crucial not only to your dog’s physical but also psychological and mental health. To that end, Passionimo developed a few tools to help you to determine how your companion is adapting to your activities:
A highly helpful evaluation questionnaire:
Relevant advice in times of change or frenzy:
- Holiday stress — Cats and dogs
- Is your pet now home alone? (post-vacation transition)
- Moving? Get your dog ready!
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact the Passionimo veterinary clinic closest to you.