Recognize These 5 Signs of Stress in Dogs

Stress in dogs

Stress in dogs is a common problem that can lead to serious health complications. But how do you know if your dog is feeling stressed? And what can you do to help them? We’ve compiled the top five signs of stress in dogs and what you can do about them!


Panting is a sign of stress in dogs, but it can also be caused by heat. If your dog is panting and you’re certain that the temperature is not too hot for them to be comfortable, then their panting may be related to anxiety or fear.

If you notice your dog panting excessively, take them to the vet immediately.

Panting when laid down

Panting is a sign of stress. It can also be caused by anxiety and fear or as a symptom of heat exhaustion. If your dog pants without being active, it could be a sign that there’s something wrong with his heart rate or blood pressure.

Sudden itching

Stress can manifest as itchiness. If your dog suddenly starts scratching or licking his skin, it’s possible that he’s under stress–and if he keeps doing it in the same spot over and over again, then it could be a sign of anxiety or fear. You might also notice that your dog scratches at himself when you try to pet him or licks his paws after playing outside with other dogs.

If you notice these changes in behavior while they’re happening (and not just after the fact), then see if anything has changed recently: Did someone move into the house? Did someone leave? Have any new pets come into the family? Has there been construction near where your dog spends most of his time outdoors?

Scratching and licking the same spot

Scratching and licking the same spot. If your dog is constantly scratching or licking one particular area, it could be a sign of stress. The same goes for excessive grooming in general–you’re likely to notice that they do it when they’re nervous or anxious about something.

If your dog licks their paws excessively, this could be an indication of allergies (especially if its ears are red). The same goes for ear infections: if you notice that all three are happening at once, then there may be something more serious going on with your pup!

Loss of appetite or increased appetite

Loss of appetite or increased appetite are signs of stress. When your dog is feeling stressed, he may stop eating altogether. This can be a problem if you’ve been feeding him dry food on a schedule, and suddenly he won’t eat at all–he’ll become dehydrated and can develop kidney problems if left untreated. Alternatively, some dogs will overeat when they’re feeling anxious or scared (this is especially common in young puppies). If your pup starts gorging himself on kibble whenever he sees you coming near his bowl with food in hand, it’s possible that he’s dealing with some sort of anxiety related to being separated from his pack; it may help to spend more time playing with him so that he feels more comfortable around people again.

Moaning or whining for no apparent reason

When your dog is under stress, it’s not uncommon for them to moan or whine for no apparent reason. Dogs can feel stress just like we do, and this behavior may be one way they express their anxiety or depression.

If your dog is suffering from chronic stress or anxiety, there are things you can do at home to help him feel better (more on this later). For example:

  • Give them plenty of exercises each day–this helps release endorphins in the brain that make us feel good!
  • Make sure they have enough toys and chews, so they don’t get bored while alone all day while you’re at work or school; these provide extra stimulation when needed, most during those long hours away from home.


If you notice any of these signs of stress in dogs, it’s time to seek professional help. Your veterinarian will be able to evaluate your dog and determine if they are experiencing stress or anxiety. If they are, there are many things you can do at home to help alleviate this problem, so it doesn’t become worse down the road.