I already covered a lot in my other post about stress, and something that was repeated a lot in that post will be repeated here once more: observing your dog is paramount to recognising the signs of stress in your dog so that you can take action, find the cause, and fix the problem as soon as possible.
“As soon as possible” though does not mean that treating stress and seeing signs of improvement will be fast. It may sometimes be a long process, especially if the stress in question is chronic stress, but for your dog’s well-being I encourage you to have patience and faith; just as observation is key to noticing signs of stress, observation is also key to noticing signs of improvement. With every adjustment you make to help your dog cope with stress keep observing him/her closely, because even subtle changes could tell you whether those adjustments are making a difference.
In this short post you will find a poster summarizing some of the most common indicators of stress in dogs, as well as a routine tracker template. The routine tracker is designed to help you observe your dogs habits and behaviour, and to remember what you observed so that you can use that knowledge when you think something might be wrong.
Use the tracker provided or make your own, but the important thing is to jot down observations of your dog’s activities and habits during times of “normality” and low stress. Then, if you suspect your dog might be acting differently or feeling stressed, repeat the exercise and compare the observations – with the information from “before” and “after” you might be able to start helping your dog feel better more quickly and more effectively.