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How to Support Occasional Discomfort and Stress in Dogs

Dec 11, 2021

Your dog is usually a playful little love bug until pain or anxiety gets in the way of having fun. Watching your dog suffer from pain is unpleasant, to say the least. And reactions to anxiety can range from annoying to problematic, to say nothing of how sad it is to see your pup feeling scared and anxious. Thankfully there are a variety of ways you can address your dog’s pain or anxiety. However, if you think your dog would benefit from a vet’s visit, don’t wait, and set an appointment today. 

Common Types of Pain

Pain can be a complicated animal to deal with. Sometimes the pain is straightforward with an obvious cause and solution, such as a bruise or a sprain. These are also examples of acute pain. Other times the pain can be ongoing, such as the chronic pain of arthritis. There are three different kinds of pain your dog could be experiencing. There is a pain in the limbs or skin, which is called somatic pain. There is pain from internal organs, which is called visceral pain. And there is pain from the nerves and spinal cord, which is called neuropathic pain. Each type of pain can also be either acute or chronic. Acute pain is immediate, with a sudden onset, like a broken limb, for example. Acute pain is resolved once the injury is healed. Chronic pain is ongoing pain for at least three months. Chronic pain doesn’t always resolve with healing.

1. Somatic

Somatic pain is pain coming from the limbs (legs) and skin. This type of pain is usually caused by an injury, such as a cut, a broken bone, or a sprained joint. When these tissues are damaged, they send signals to the brain and spinal cord (the spinal cord is made up of the nerves from the brain running up and down the spine) that tell the body that there is pain and damage. Somatic pain is generally in one location and tends to throb and ache. 

Somatic pain is treated in a variety of ways. For any wounds, use a pet-safe disinfectant, such as a saline solution and warm water, and clean the wound. Then bandage the wound with a pet bandage to keep it clean and prevent licking. For acute injuries, rest is the best way to relieve pain. This is an excellent time to crate your dog if they are crate trained. Otherwise, try to keep them as inactive as possible while they are healing.

2. Visceral

If the internal organs are damaged or injured, there will be visceral pain. This pain is sent to the brain from nerves in the chest, abdomen, and pelvis. This is one of the more common types of pain. Visceral pain is unfocused, and it doesn’t feel like it’s in one specific area. Visceral pain tends to be dull and scattered and is often described as pressure, or as a deep squeezing. Health issues like a bladder infection or constipation will cause visceral pain in dogs. A serious issue that will cause visceral pain is intestinal perforation (hole), which can happen if your dog has eaten something sharp. Since visceral pain is caused by issues with internal organs, it’s time to talk to your vet. 

3. Neuropathic

Problems with the nerves themselves cause neuropathic pain. This kind of pain can originate from a wound, such as a cut, or surgical incision, and is a result of damage done to the nerves. Scar tissue and infection can also irritate the nerves. Neuropathic pain feels like burning, stabbing, pins and needles, and electric shock. Common with this type of pain, is a light touch causing a strong pain reaction. Neuropathic pain can last for months or years after the original injury has been healed. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce pain in dogs suffering from neurological disorders, so it might be a good option for dogs suffering from neuropathic pain.

Common Causes of Anxiety in dogs

Anxiety is a common issue for dogs and can manifest in a variety of ways. Excessive barking is a likely sign of stress, as are destructive behaviors like chewing on the couch and digging holes. Peeing and pooping inside can also be signs of anxiety since anxiety can upset the digestive tract. Shivering and hiding are also signs of anxiety in dogs. Here is a list of some of the reasons your dog might be feeling anxious and how to treat it. 

1. Abandonment

A lot of dogs suffer from separation anxiety or fear of abandonment. Your poor pup might think you won’t come back. One way to relieve this type of anxiety is with exercise. Taking your dog for regular walks uses up energy that would have otherwise gone towards anxiety. Exercise for dogs relieves stress the same way it does for humans!

2. Fear of Being Home Alone

Is your dog scared of being home alone? One way to relieve anxiety in dogs is through physical contact. Either before you leave, or whenever you start noticing signs of anxiety such as whining, or pacing, give your dog a good petting session. Or, curl up on the couch with your pooch for some cuddle time while you watch an episode of your favorite show or read a book. This physical contact with you will help your pet feel more secure.

3. Loud Noises

Fireworks and thunderstorms are an inevitable part of life and may upset your dog a great deal. It’s not uncommon for dogs who fear thunder or fireworks to panic, hide, seek comfort, bark, shiver, and shake. One method that might help alleviate your dog’s anxiety is pheromones. A mother dog gives off comforting pheromones to her puppies, which calm them. These pheromones will help your dog feel more secure. Plug the diffuser into an outlet in the room your dog spends the most time in. 

4. Traveling

Traveling is an adventure for all of us, but especially for a dog. You can understand why traveling might cause your dog some stress and anxiety. One great way to keep your dog calm while traveling is with a calming coat or anxiety vest. They look like a chest harness mixed with a vest or shirt. They wrap around your pet’s chest and apply a gentle, steady pressure that calms your dog down. 

5. Strange People

Your dog might be nervous around people they don’t know. If this is the case for your dog, try putting your dog in a supportive “time out” either before or when someone new comes to the house. Putting them somewhere quiet and enclosed, like in a crate, can help them feel safe and secure. And if they were feeling like they had to protect the family from the stranger, putting them in their crate takes them off duty.

6. Children

It’s important to remember that dogs don’t have human instincts when it comes to children. Children are unpredictable and don’t behave like grownups, plus they are closer to eye level with your dog. Children can be very scary to dogs, and it’s important that you protect your dog and set them up for success. Do not allow children to play roughly with your dog and remove your dog from a child or children if your dog starts to seem tense. If children stress your dog out, going through their training routine can help your dog to focus and relax. 

6. Other Pets

Multiple pet homes can have complicated social dynamics. If another pet is causing your dog stress, training might be just the answer. In the meantime, playing soothing music, like classical, might help keep things peaceful at home. In a study done with dogs at a shelter, playing classical music for a week, dogs were observed to be less stressed and anxious. There are a lot of musical options for dogs out there. You can buy calming mixes for dogs, or stream playlists on YouTube

Pet Releaf CBD Oils

CBD may be quite helpful when it comes to calming down your stressed dog. CBD hemp oil for dogs may have a calming effect on nerves. It can be used for stress from traveling, moving, or other nerve-wracking situations. CBD may help your pet cope with external stressors and keep them calm and relaxed. 

If your pet experiences occasional discomfort, perhaps in their joints, CBD may be able to help. Or if your pup is dealing with inflammation, CBD may be able to support a healthy inflammatory response and may help with discomfort from normal daily exercise and activity. 

Pet Releaf makes the best full-spectrum hemp CBD for dogs on the market. They are passionate about creating quality products that you can feel good about giving your pet. They use hemp grown in the US that’s farmed using sustainable and regenerative practices. Try one of their Edibites, a flavored CBD and functional herb-infused supplement chew. While Edibites aren’t treats, they are available in delicious flavors for your dogs! Your dog is sure to love their Sweet Potato Pie Edibites for Digestive Health. Or use one of their hemp oils for dogs. Their USDA Organic Hemp Oil 200 for dogs contains 200mg of full-spectrum hemp CBD and can be dropped into your dog’s empty food bowl for easy administration. Try Pet Releaf CBD for dogs today to support your dog’s optimal health. 

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