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7 Signs That Your Dog Is Stressed Out

When a dog is stressed out, sometimes there are clear signs- one of the most obvious signs that your dog is stressed is when your dog refuses to eat. But there are other signs and behaviors that show when your dog is stressed out: Pacing, shedding, yawning, and more can show you that your dog is under stress. Dogs use body language as well to show that they are stressed out. Here we will talk about 7 signs that are clear signals that your doggy is getting stressed out. We will also talk about some things you can do to help soothe your dog’s stress. 

A tucked tail and flattened ears are sure signs of a stressed out dog


Pacing is one sign that your dog is stressed. If you notice that your dog starts to pace back and forth, it could be a sign that they are feeling anxious or stressed. Being unable to sit still is one of the biggest signs of stress in dogs, it shows you that your dog is unable to calm down enough to stay still. It’s totally normal if your dog starts pacing around a bit before mealtimes, since your dog’s internal clock is telling them to get excited for food! But if your dog starts pacing excessively and randomly when they don’t need to go outside and pee or anything, it’s a sign that your dog is stressed out.


Shedding is another sign of stress in dogs. If you notice your dog’s fur starting to shed more than usual, it could be a sign that they are under stress. But remember- shedding is super common for lots of dog breeds. What you need to worry about is excessive shedding from your dog, especially during a season when they otherwise wouldn’t be shedding. If you dog starts shedding excessively, that’s a big sign of stress and it’s an issue that needs to be addressed. 

Yawning & Panting

Yawning is also a common sign of stress in dogs. Dogs will often yawn when they feel anxious or stressed. Also, panting can be a normal dog behavior, but if you notice your dog panting more than usual, it could be a sign that they are under stress. Panting is totally normal during and after taking your dog for a walk. But if your dog hasn’t been outside or hasn’t been active and is still panting, it’s a sure sign that your dog is stressed out. 

Body Language

You should always be observing you dog’s body language, it’s one of your dog’s only ways of communicating how they feel to you. There are entire books about dogs and their body language, so we can’t go through everything here. The main body language cues to look out for are flattened ears or a tucked tail- those are two clear signs that your dog is stressed out. 

Licking Lips

Licking their lips is another common behavioral sign that your dog is stressed. Dogs will often lick their lips when they are feeling anxious or uncomfortable. This is what’s called a “calming signal.” It’s a subtle behavior that shows your dog is getting uncomfortable. This behavior is a signal your dog offers to tell those around them, both canine and human, to calm down because things are getting uncomfortable. 

Whining & Whimpering

Another sign that your dog may be stressed is if they start to whine or whimper. If you notice your dog whining more than usual, it could be a sign that they are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. When a dog is whining or whimpering due to stress, it’s an involuntary reaction. Your dog literally cannot control it! This automatic response is an alarm bell that your dog is sounding, telling you that they are very uncomfortable in their environment. 

Accidents In The House

If you notice your dog peeing inside the house out of the blue, it could be a sign that they are feeling stressed out and don’t feel comfortable in their environment. This could be a medical issue, though, so if something this drastic starts happening, you should schedule a visit to the vet. 

What Can I Do For My Stressed Out Dog?

The first thing you need to do if your dog’s behavior changes suddenly is to make sure that a medical issue is not the cause. It never hurts to be safe and take your dog to the vet to make sure that there’s not anything medically wrong that is causing behavioral changes. 

If you see any of these signs in your dog and you rule out a medical issue, it’s important to take some time to figure out what might be causing them stress and try to mitigate the situation. The process of helping your stressed out dog is to identify the stress trigger, then eliminate it.

Dogs can get stressed for a variety of reasons, so it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s behavior and try to identify the root cause of their stress. If you have already ruled out a medical issue and can’t figure out what is causing your dog stress, it may be a good idea to consult with an animal behaviorist who can help you identify the problem and provide you with some possible solutions.

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Kevin F.

Hey guys! I'm Kevin and I'm the Founder of My Dog Reviews. I made this site to share my very own dog's reviews of food, treats, toys, and more. I also have become fascinated with dog breeds and I'm sharing my knowledge with the world. Have a breed, treat, or something you want me to write about? Just let me know!

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