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If you feeling stressed, your dog could be too

A study from Linköping University in Sweden linked the level of stress of the dog’s owner with that of his animal, details Science and Future.
“The dog is the best friend of the man. This nineteenth-century quote has never been more meaningful with the release of a Swedish study that shows that the dog would adopt the same level of stress as his owner over the long term. This study, published in Scientific Reports and detailed by Science et Avenir, deals with the work of Linköping University.

Its authors selected a panel of dogs including 33 shepherds of Shetland and 25 border collie, distributed equally between each sex. To make the results as complete as possible, the animals were also chosen according to their way of life: both dogs participating in competitions and simple pets. On the other hand, the masters were all women.

Cortisol levels in summer and winter

To determine the level of stress, the scientists measured the rate of cortisol concentration. This hormone, produced from cholesterol, is essential to the body. It is more commonly known as the “stress hormone”. human hair and dog fluff were collected in the winter and summer of owners and their dogs.
Participants had to answer a personality questionnaire. The activity level of the dog was also constantly monitored for a week thanks to a specific collar. The results showed that the level of activity did not affect the cortisol level. On the other hand, the personality traits of the masters seem to have an impact on the dog’s stress level.

An upcoming study with hunting dogs and men

“Our results show that long-term stress is synchronized in dogs and humans who share their lives together,” the study concludes. “We suggest that dogs reflect the stress level of their owners rather than the owners who respond to their dog’s stress,” the authors add.

Researchers do not intend to stop there and should undertake new work on other breeds. Hunting dogs, reputed to be independent, are one of the tracks considered by Linköping University. Men may also participate in the next study to determine if the gender of the master influences the dog’s stress.

We present here 7 signs of dog stress that can result in a serious health problem that will directly affect the well-being of your dog or even his health.

1. Hyperactivity

Stress is very common in dogs with hyperactive behavior. They are unable to remain quiet and over time can start eating furniture or anything they find on their way to release the accumulated tension.

2. Appearance of stereotypes

Stereotypies are constant repetitive movements that the dog performs for no reason. There are many types of stereotypes: dogs biting their tails, chasing invisible animals, barking all the time … These are incessant repetitive habits.

3. Exaggerated reactions

Maybe your dog was already a little barker, eating things on the ground or reacting to other dogs in the past. Whatever his old habits, you noticed that his behavior was more and more intense. Reactions intensify in stressed dogs.

4. Salivation and licking

If you notice a dog licking and salivating in a very exaggerated way, be careful that it does not become a repetitive and constant habit. This is one of the signs of stress in the dog that you must watch.

5. Lack of attention

Stressed dogs with generalized nervousness have difficulty concentrating, paying attention, obeying orders … However, if your dog has been lacking generalized attention for a long time (not only since stressed) your veterinarian and yourself can determine if this is a problem of lack of attention.

6. excessive panting

The painting is the means used by the dogs to evacuate the heat of their bodies. If you notice that your dog is panting in situations where he should be calm, he is probably stressed and needs to relieve the tension he feels. Sometimes panting may be accompanied by squealing and crying.

7. Hair loss

Hair loss usually occurs with chronic stress, when the dog begins to feel physically affected by the situation in which he finds himself. If you notice that your dog is starting to lose hair because of anxiety, you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. It can also lose its hair by too much licking (acral granuloma) or tear the hair directly with the teeth. Take action as soon as possible, your dog sends you urgent signs.

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