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Lesstress for Dogs

Natural Support for Canine Stress and Anxiety

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Vet Talks: Stress and Triggers That Lead to Illness in Dogs

Vet Talks 2 min read
Vet Talks: Stress and Triggers That Lead to Illness in Dog

Everyone knows what stress feels like in ourselves, and we all know that too much stress can make us ill—ulcers, high blood pressure, and even cancer can result from excessive stress. A dog can also be, and often are, stressed by numerous factors in their lives too. The more we understand the external contributing factors that lead to stress and recognizing signs of stress, the better equipped we will be to help our dogs relax into long and healthy life.  

Some dogs become so stressed that it leads to fear and aggression.

We often see dogs so stressed out in our veterinary clinic. Sometimes the stress is from the ride to the office (some dogs’ thrill of the day and some dogs’ nightmare) or the sense that their owners are stressed. This all contributes to signs of stress in dogs like panting, drooling, sweaty paws, dilated eyes, pacing, excessively shedding, or just shutting down. Some dogs become so stressed that it leads to fear and aggression. I’ve even had dogs that excessively smile when they are stressed! Going slow, talking soft, and keeping our clinic as quiet as possible along with essential oil diffusers helps take the edge off of our patients. Calming herbal formulations such as NHV Lesstress and NHV Matricalm are helpful when given prior to the visit. It might be a good idea to use the remedies a few days before a visit to the vet.

Other forms of stress in a dog’s life include working dogs that are working too hard, flying on a plane, staying in a shelter or going to a new home, moving, and the loss of an owner or playmate.

Stress can also cause gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea or vomiting in addition to panting, excessive barking and whining, dandruff, chewing on self, shivering (when it’s not cold), excessive tail wagging, or tense muscles.

The key to a happy healthy dog is balance. Too much or too little exercise can be harmful, as well as too much or too little socialization. A balanced, clean diet also helps maintain balance within the body.  If your dog (or cat) is prone to stress, being proactive with calming herbs like those found in NHV Matricalm or NHV Lesstress is extremely helpful.  

Is your dog suffering from stress? Feel free to contact us for an online veterinary consultation.

Dr. Hillary Cook DVM

Dr. Hillary Cook DVM

Dr. Hillary Cook is a graduate of Virginia Maryland Regional Veterinary Medical school. She has been practicing holistic and integrative veterinary medicine for over 20 years. She certified in Veterinary acupuncture and is fully qualified in Western and Chinese herbalism. She is the owner of Animal Wellness Center, an integrative veterinary clinic in Crozet, VA. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats, and chickens. When time allows, you can find her in the garden or on the tennis court!

Published: December 30, 2016

2 replies

  1. My 13 yr old Pom has Congested Heart Failure. I believe that the common breeds of dogs that get heart issues are the nervous, panting dogs. I can’t help but feel it is not in the Genes but more of the breed’s temperament. I lived in Vermont where the majority of the time it is cold. We had a huge swimming pool to use in the summer humid months. I moved to Virginia and the weather is mild and summers are pretty hot in that Virginia sunshine. Although I ended up putting a small above ground pool up for us, Molly had a heart murmur than quickly went into a class of B2 where the Mitral Valve flaps are enlarged to they to not close tightly. She has severe regurgitation. It has been about 10 months on Vetmedin. She does go to the Virginia-Maryland Regional Vet School in Blacksburg Va for her echo’s and consultations.I wish there was Holistic Vets around me but none.

    1. NHV Natural Pet products says:

      Hi Kathleen,

      Thank you so much for your comment. Heart disease often has roots in genetics, with many breeds being prone. However there are other factors which can precipitate or influence heart disease as well. Poor oral hygiene can cause bacteria to get into the blood stream, causing plaque to build up on the valves, obesity can put strain on the entire circulatory system as the heart struggles to efficiently supply blood to the larger body. Stress in itself doesn’t often cause heart disease, but it can definitely have a negative impact on the heart.

      If there is mild underlying heart disease, it’s important that a pet stay calm and happy. Any added strain on the heart can cause the heart disease to progress more quickly. We are positive you are already trying to keep little Molly stress free. Any number of factors – life changes, uncomfortable weather, illness and general anxiety can lead to stress. If Molly seems stressed, she could not only benefit from Hearty-Heart, but also from Matricalm to help keep her calm and support her body in a panic situation.

      Let us know if you need any information. We’d love to help.

      Yours in wellness,
      Team NHV Natural Pet Products

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