Humans are not the only ones who suffer from stress. Animals, especially pets, feel this reaction when exposed to severe, threatening and uncomfortable situations. Being alone for a long time, taking a shower, being among many unknown people or pets, moving house or traveling: all of this can affect the emotional and physical health of a pet.
But if they can’t verbally express what they’re feeling, how can they know that they’re nervous so they can deal with the situation? according to Thais Matos, a vet at DogHero, some animals in a stressful situation or when faced with a frightening scenario usually turn on “escape mode” and hide or run away. Dogs can become aggressive and try to bite humans and other pets that try to invade their space.
Severe stress can lower immunity and make them more susceptible to disease. This way, if the pet is already suffering from a chronic problem, it can get worse. If this is not the case, the animal may develop something like psychogenic alopecia – the pet is so nervous that it begins to lick itself without stopping, leaving the area free of hair and all skin red.
a second John Bowenresponsible for a study published in veterinary behavior journal (2020), Lots of research shows that dogs have emotions and can internalize how their owners are feeling – especially if the owner is emotionally dependent on them.
A pet that lives in a turbulent place and experiences many fights and arguments also tends to be more anxious and can be as stressed as people in the home. “Therefore, it is necessary to take care of the environment, after all it is scientifically proven that human stress can be transmitted to them,” explains Thays.
Running your tongue over your lips a lot, dilated pupils, and looking away from the teachers are other signs that something is not going well with your dog. Changes in behavior, such as sudden hopelessness and unusual aggression, usually indicate a problem. If the dog barks a little more, eats everything it sees in front of it or reacts differently in the presence of other creatures, it is advisable to visit the vet, who will make a full diagnosis and help determine the cause and possible treatment.
According to the specialist, there is still a less common situation known as “dog offlineSome dogs, when completely consumed by fear, choose not to fight or flee, as if they have entered Suspension. Thais point out that “this behavior is often seen in dogs who are constantly severely punished.” Hair loss, as in humans, is associated with cases of chronic stress, which is when a dog begins to feel physically affected by the moment they are in.
Cats are more demanding, conservative and suspicious, and therefore they suffer every time they are transferred to a different environment, even if they are nearby. When they are stressed, most of them run in search of cover. It can take a cat days to come out of her lair and weeks to get used to a new reality. It is also very cumbersome to transport. Therefore, if the owner intends to take the pet on a trip, he should analyze it well, since a walk may not be beneficial for the pet’s health.
Holding a cat by the neck can also lead to a feeling of fear and anxiety, as the animal loses control of the situation and feels weak. According to the vet, although he appears calm, most of the time, he goes into an emotional stalemate, also known as “freezeHe concludes, “It just stays there and doesn’t move, with a lot of fear. This can, in turn, make him more anxious and aggressive, which is detrimental to his physical and emotional health.”