Many owners, having read horror stories on the Internet about the harm of the slightest stress for dogs, panic and ask two questions: how to protect their pet from stress and how to increase the stress resistance of dogs. Let’s figure it out.
You can’t protect your dog from stress. Stress is the body’s reaction to any change in the environment. Any. And only a dead body does not experience stress. However, stress is different. It can be beneficial (eustress) or harmful (distress). Is it possible to increase a dog’s resistance to harmful stress?
Sim e não.
Part of the dog’s resistance to stress is due to genetics. And if a dog is timid from birth, it will, other things being equal, experience distress more often and suffer from it more. We cannot do anything with genetics, we can only organize the life of a dog in such a way that it suffers less and adapts more easily.
But much, of course, is within our power.
Socialization teaches the dog that the world around him, in principle, is not as scary as it might seem. And most of the objects in it are either friendly or helpful or neutral. In this case, the dog has less reason to experience distress and suffer from its consequences.
Another way to improve your dog’s stress tolerance is to create an optimal balance of predictability and variety in his life. So the dog does not marinate in boredom, and does not climb the wall from chaos. But both are sources of distress.
We can also offer the dog the optimal level of exercise, both physical and intellectual. This will create an optimal level of stress, that is, eustress, which helps to “pump” the “muscles” of stress resistance. And makes the dog more immune to the effects of distress.
If you cannot cope with this task on your own, you can always seek help from a specialist who works with humane methods (in person or online).