Every time your pet licks its lips or yawns, doesn’t mean that its stressed. If they are sitting on the couch, or laying down for a nap they may obviously not be stressed but if they begin this behavior in a crowded room or when they’re being hugged/ petted or tugged on it may be a sign of stress.
Some breeds of dogs have a wider or ‘bug eyed’ look to them, so just like most of this list, you’re going to have to use your judgement, however clearly avoiding eye contact with you will probably be the easiest way to tell that your pet is stressed out.
Raising its ‘hackles’ or ‘guard hair’ (the longer layer of fur along a dog’s back) means that they are nervous or anxious. This can be a bit more aggressive behaviour than the first two on this list, so just practice caution with your pet.
This is your dog’s very vocal way of letting you know that they are uncomfortable. Try to calmly remove them from the situation… possibly to a ‘safe room’ as described below.
These are more fearful actions… approach the dog carefully, and watch for further signs of discomfort. The best course of action would be to provide a safe space away from the activities as outlined below.
Think of how Chihuahua’s or Whippets are usually portrayed in movies- they might look as if they’re cold, but they’re actually exhibiting anxious or nervous behaviours when they start shivering or shaking.
This is a clear sign that your pet is uncomfortable and thinking about an escape (Make sure your I.D tags are up to date this holiday season! We can help) Your dog may back itself into an actual corner, try to hide, or back away from guests… either way, your pet is trying to tell you they are super uncomfortable!
Dogs who pace or are unable to settle down may also feel stressed too. Only you know your pet best and can determine if they are feeling stressed and the best way to help them cope.
This is probably the easiest and most effective way to help your pet. Use a room that is out of sight from the party (maybe an upstairs bedroom or laundry room- however make sure that anything poisonous is well out of reach!) In the room include their favorite toys, a comfy bed and/or blanket, a piece of your clothing (the scent will soothe them) and especially water!
To help take your pet’s mind off what they view as a stressful situation,try giving them long lasting chews or bones or a extra exercise! Ask your guests to help by playing rope, or a light game of fetch!
This tip can also go along with the safe space. Like in thunder and lightening storms, try introducing slow paced classified music at a low volume, nature calming sprays, thunder shirts, or pet rescue remedies.