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Could Your Dog Be Suffering From Stress?
March 1, 2015

Your Labrador retriever Boomer has always been a happy-go-lucky dog who loves his kibbles and energetic playtime sessions. Recently, though, your four-year-old pooch has been acting strangely, making you think something is out of kilter. While a developing medical condition might be the culprit, your buddy Boomer could be affected by stress. Fortunately, your Ceres veterinarian will give your dog a thorough physical exam, plus some helpful behavioral counseling .

Noticeably Reduced Appetite

Since Labs are notorious for their hearty appetites, you’re accustomed to seeing Boomer furiously chowing down on his kibbles. He also enjoys the cat’s food whenever possible, and he’s always ready to snag a food scrap that hits the floor. However, if your ravenous pooch suddenly exhibits a decreased appetite, or stops eating completely, something’s not right. Ask your vet to evaluate your dog immediately.

Increased Isolation and Sleep

Your sociable pooch has more friends than any dog you’ve ever met. He always attracts new canine buddies at the dog park, and his friendly nature also makes him very popular with his human admirers. However, perhaps your normally outgoing dog has recently seemed reluctant to interact with other dogs or people. Also, if Boomer suddenly begins sleeping for hours, or otherwise becomes a canine slug, ask your vet to get to the bottom of the problem.

Out-of-Character Aggression

You’ve never thought Boomer had an aggressive bone in his body. In fact, this overgrown puppy has always thought everyone is his long-lost friend. If he suddenly begins acting aggressively toward other dogs or people, don’t let the situation progress further. Your vet can determine whether your dog’s behavior results from a medical problem or from increased stress.

Extra Exercise Helps

Assuming your pooch is healthy, he might benefit from a popular stress management technique. First, give Boomer plenty of vigorous playtime and extra attention. If he’s already pretty active, ask your vet if he can handle super-charged activities such as agility work or flyball.

Create a Canine Refuge

If Boomer is affected by known stressors such as thunderstorms or parties, give him a quiet refuge that contains his favorite blanket and/or toys. If possible, stay with him until he calms down.

During Boomer’s physical checkups, keep your Ceres veterinarian posted on your dog’s stress management program. If your dog could be experiencing stress-related symptoms, contact us for expert advice.

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