Like humans, our beloved whippets can become stressed too. There can be many causes, from poor diet to lack of exercise and everything in between.
As the owner of a stressed whippet, it is important to know what can cause stress in dogs.
Sadly our whippets cannot tell us when they are stressed. They depend on our signals to let them know what is going on and how they should feel about it.
When stressed, whippets can become ill more easily and show signs such as vomiting or diarrhoea after every meal.
It is important to learn to recognise stress in your whippet so you can do something about it quickly before a health problem arises.
This article will cover how to recognise stress in your whippet and what to do about it to help get your pet back to full health.
Do Whippets Get Stressed?
Absolutely whippets get stressed. Like humans, whippets have feelings and emotions too.
If they’re not getting the stimulation they need on a daily basis then this can cause them to become unhappy and stressed.
There is nothing worse than seeing your pet in a stressful situation, they may shake, whine and you as an owner can immediately identify that something is wrong.
Being able to identify your whippet’s stress is crucial, as this will allow you to take appropriate action to do something about it.
Why Do Whippets Get Stressed?
There are many reasons why your whippet may become stressed at different periods of their life, from moving home to living with a new pet. Here are some of the most common reasons below:
– Poor diet; they may not be getting essential vitamins and minerals needed to develop properly.
– Lack of exercise; stressed whippets often become excessively restless and run around as if they were chasing prey. As you know, whippets love their exercise as much as possible as it helps them stay healthy and fit.
When stressed, they will move around more than usual in an attempt to un-stress themselves!
– Not enough affection from owners when in social situations or other scenarios which obviously give them a lower sense of self-worth than necessary.
– Separation anxiety is common in whippets and is a lead contributor to whippet stress. Try not to leave your pet at home alone for too long as this can cause your whippet to become agitated and build up stress.
Consider adopting another pet to keep your whippet company if you know you’re going to be out of the home for extended periods.
– A lack of mental stimulation (such as you could give with a job or activity that the dog enjoys and that keeps it busy)
As responsible whippet owners, we need to find the cause of our dog’s stress and resolve it.
Sometimes we can’t do anything about the situation, but there are certain measures we can take to alleviate our stressed whippet.
If your whippet appears stressed out, try looking at the situation from their perspective and see if there’s anything you can do to help them feel more comfortable.
Signs Of A Stressed Whippet
There are a couple of tell-tale signs to look out for when you suspect that your whippet is stressed. These are:
- Hiding in dark places with no intent to come out
- Unusual panting when the dog has not been exercising
- Has a stressed facial expression – this may include drooling, showing the whites of their eyes, or lip licking.
- Their ears are flat against their head
- Their tail is low
- Whining and crying for no apparent reason
- Shaking uncontrollably and unable to stop
- Needing constant reassurance from their owner
It’s awful seeing your pet in such a state, but it’s important to know the signs so that you can take action as soon as possible.
You’ll likely be able to tell if your whippet is stressed if you’ve had them a few years, they will start to exhibit behaviour that is unusual for them and out of character.
How To Relieve My Whippets Stress
OK, now that we know the signs of a stressed whippet, it’s time to look at how to relieve your whippet from stress and get them back on the right track.
This is where you should start looking at your own behaviour, how you act and react to situations may play a big part in stressed whippet syndrome.
You might not realise it, but your own actions and words can largely contribute to your whippet stress levels. After all, these are very emotionally sensitive dogs and will pick up on your feelings and emotions.
Tips To Lessen The Effects Of Stressed Whippet Syndrome
Below are some pro-tips you can use to help lessen the effects of stress in your whippet:
– Take them for walks more often (companion animals like dogs are very conscious of the fact that they aren’t getting out and about enough and this will lead to stressed whippet syndrome)
– Spend more time with them (both you and your dog will benefit from spending more time together, increasing the bond between owner and pet. This is very important when it comes to stressed whippets because they naturally pack animals.)
– Spend time with other people too (different people will give off different energies and this means that your dog won’t become stressed by you all the time.)
– Take your whippet out for walks with a friend or family member’s dog and allow them to socialise and interact. Whippets are social dogs that love to be in the company of others, if they feel isolated then they may become stressed.
– Map out a plan to help your stressed whippet, do what you can to improve their quality of life, and keep them feeling stimulated. This will reduce the stress that they feel in return.
– Make sure that you feed your whippet a nutritious diet with lots of added supplements to boost their immune system.
– Make sure that you take your stressed whippet to the vet if their stress levels get too high, sometimes it may be a medical reason causing this, so it’s important to consult your vet to rule this out.
– If you know or think that your stressed whippet is stressed because of certain people in their life, then avoid allowing these people to see them during their high stressed periods.
– Try and keep the stressed whippet’s environment as calm as possible, if they seem stressed by certain noises, try and move them out of the way so that there is less chance of them being stressed.
More About Stress In Whippets
Try not to be overly worried about your whippet’s stress, as mentioned above they will pick up on your worry and this could make matters worse.
It’s important to be able to identify what is causing your pet this discomfort so that you can rectify it as soon as possible, without getting yourself stressed out too!
Hormone levels in dogs can play a huge part in triggering stress.
Just like humans, stressed dogs can suffer from increased levels of cortisol (the hormone responsible for the “fight or flight” response), which can be brought on by changes to diet, unstable home environments, and too much exposure to loud noises.
Whole-body shaking is a common reaction that whippets will display if they are stressed.
Whippets are also very reliant on routine, so any sudden change in this routine could cause them to become stressed.
If you’re planning on introducing your whippet to another dog or pet, then you need to allow them time to get used to each other gradually, rather than just letting them loose together.
There are also a number of activities that whippets may find stressful, such as grooming and bathing.
If your whippet is stressed about their grooming routine, then it could be because they’re stressed in general and mean that they’re stressed around you and/or other people.
When To See A Veterinarian
If you’re really becoming concerned about your whippet’s stress levels, then it may be time to speak with a vet.
Your vet may be able to provide you with some medication to help your whippet relax and deal with stress as well as advice on how best to manage this.
Unfortunately, whippets are stressed by a lot of things, making them a bad choice of breed for those who don’t have a great deal of time to devote to their whippet’s wellbeing.
As a whole, whippets are stressed by a lot of things, but there are ways to help your whippet deal with this.
If you do believe your whippet is stressed out or needs help with their anxiety, then you should contact your vet as soon as possible.
If it is stress that’s causing your whippet to behave in such a way, then there are things that you can do to help them feel better and settle back down again.
To begin with, try and figure out what might be stressing your whippet and remove it if at all possible.
That could be something like a new addition coming into the house, renovations being done on the property, or even just too many dogs in the house.
Once you have managed this, you can move on to dealing with any other problems that may be occurring as a result of stress such as sleep issues or chewing objects around the house.
Hopefully, this post has helped you understand a little more about stress in whippets and what you can do to help get your whippet back on the right path.