April is Stress Awareness Month. To celebrate, I am including for you, an excerpt from my newest book, Through A Dark Silence: Loving and Living with Your Blind and Deaf Dog.
"Dogs experience stress, just like we do. Not all stress is unpleasant, of course, but for the discussion in this book, let’s assume that we are discussing unpleasant stress for your dog. Stress is a physiological reaction to something in the environment. It causes very real changes in your dog’s body chemistry.
Stress is a fact of life we must all learn to deal with in appropriate ways. It is not the circumstances in life that are stressful by themselves, but it is our (and our dog’s) perception of those circumstances that causes stress. Every person and every dog do not react in the same manner to the same situation. So, what might seem stressful to one, may not to another.
What situations might create a stress reaction for your dog? Being in a new environment or situation, being confused about what is expected of her or of how to react, anything that scares her, being in crowded places with very little personal space, having new people or animals enter her home, changes in known routines, being left alone, etc. These are only a few.
As you get to know your dog better, you will begin to know what types of situations are stressful for her. The important thing is to learn to recognize signs of stress in your dog so you will know when to step in and help her.
Dogs as a species show some of the same signs of stress, but individual dogs also show stress in their own ways. It’s important to learn about these stress signals in dogs, but also to observe your own dog for behaviors that are different from her regular behavior. These might be signals that she is getting stressed as well."
Excerpt from Through A Dark Silence - click on title to learn more about my book!