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Signs of Stress in Companion Animals

Failure to recognize stress signals can affect the long-term physical and mental well being of your four legged companion. Please note that some of the signs listed below may also be caused by health-related problems. Consultation with a veterinarian may be advised.
Signs of Stress in Dogs
  • Panting and salivating
  • Pacing
  • Shedding
  • Diarrhea/ bowel movements
  • Inappropriate urination
  • Licking the lips
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Trembling
  • Shaking (as if the animal were shaking off water)
  • Yawning
  • Whining, excessive vocalizing
  • Nipping
  • Growling when approached to be handled
  • Sweaty paws(leaving sweaty paw prints on the floor)
  • Increased or decreased activity
  • Excessive scratching or licking repeatedly
  • 'Spacing out' by turning away or avoiding eye contact
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding behind the handler
  • Hiding under furniture or behind nursing station; refusing to interact with residents/staff or voyage beyond nursing station area
Signs of Stress in Cats
  • Restlessness, distraction, agitation
  • Listlessness, unusual passivity
  • Defensive vocalizations
  • Excessive shedding
  • Dilated pupils
  • Biting
  • Inappropriate urination/defecation
  • Clinging
  • Hiding and refusing to interact with humans or other animals
Causes of Stress in Animals
  • Unusual noises
  • Unknown places
  • Confusing or inconsistent training or handling
  • People exhibiting strange or unusual behavior
  • Unpredictable or rough handling
  • Unusual odors
  • Being crowded by people or other animals
  • A resident or staff member being nervous or acting in a strange way from the animals perspective
  • Extreme indoor and outdoor temperatures
  • Housing or resting area in an inappropriate place, not able to get adequate rest as a result
  • Requiring the animal to be up and active 24 hours a day to match the staff shifts of facility
  • Too many animals (whether the same or a different species) within the same general area causing crowded territory issues (How many is too many? The animals will tell you!)
  • Inadequate exercise or mental stimulation
  • Inadequate diet for species
  • Humans 'anthropomorphizing' animal behavior thus causing behavior problems
  • Inappropriate or excessive feeding of animals
  • Visiting animals from outside the facility coming into their territory (You need to be forewarned when visiting animals are coming in.)
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    * These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.
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