Your retriever mix Duke is constantly on the lookout for fun. This infectiously happy four-year-old dog bounces through his neighborhood walks, eagerly greeting his human and canine buddies. He also relishes his dog park visits, energetically romping with his friends like he hasn’t seen them in years. However, your canine exercise machine has recently shown a drastic behavioral change. Although an emerging medical problem could be to blame, you wonder if stress is the culprit. Tomorrow, your Fort Collins vet will give Duke a physical exam and expert behavioral counseling.
Duke has a legendary appetite, quickly inhaling his kibbles and often stealing the cat’s food. Recently, though, your hearty-eating pooch merely toys with his meals, pushing his bowl around the floor before consuming a few bites. You’re concerned about a nutritional deficiency, and you’d like the vet to determine if stress is behind this meal hiccup.
Your canine companion combines an energetic spunk with well-honed socialization skills. He loves any form of exercise, and he’s even happier if he can enjoy it with a buddy.
Lately, though, your outgoing pooch has ignored his friends. He doesn’t even want to go for potty walks. When you finally drag him outside, he quickly completes his business and trots toward home for another nap. You wonder if stress is behind this strange transformation.
Duke thinks everyone is his best friend. You’ve never seen him react negatively to any person, dog, or cat. This week, however, you watched him snap at two of his best buddies; and he even growled at you. Ask the vet if stress has caused your super-friendly dog’s attitude to take an unfortunate turn.
If the vet confirms that Duke’s healthy, an extra dose of exercise might help to relieve his stress. Provide more of his favorite activities, and ask the vet if several vigorous sports might be appropriate.
Although Duke’s a generally fearless guy, he might become spooked by noisy parties, fireworks, thunderstorms, or other loud sounds. Create a quiet refuge, such as a cozy closet or small room. Stock his retreat with his favorite blanket and toys. Stay with him until his anxiety subsides.
Your Fort Collins vet can provide more stress reduction guidance. If your dog has shown similar symptoms, contact us for expert advice.