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Does Your Stress Affect Your Dog?

Does your stress affect your dog?

The simple answer is yes, yes it does.

I work with many dogs that all of a sudden, the owners see an increase in bad behavior.

When diving deeper many times we can find the trigger when looking at the human side of things.  Be it, stress at work, stress at home, the stress in a relationship, stress about company coming, stressed about the dog's bad behavior….the list goes on.

Heck, I have even seen an increase in arousal levels in Reckon (you know my cute little Russell terrier…)  I have been putting in long hours prepping for the launch of our new Community site. 

I have actually been lucky enough to record some of his poor choices, so that I can breakdown how to work through it properly, teaching him how to actually behave and sharing that with all of our new members.

When we are stressed, it is super easy for us to get reactive, just like our dogs.  If anything, it is a good reminder to stop and look at the situation at hand, and assess how we can change it, as opposed to just hollering “no” at whatever our dog is doing wrong at that moment in time.

There was a good article published in Neuroscience News about this topic, I will share the link so you can check it out.

So how do we manage this problem?

Well, for stress in our lives, I have a few simple tips that I have added to my daily routine that has helped me.

  1. Meditation - I have struggled to find the “right” meditation option for me, for years, and I managed to stumble upon an option that has worked really well for me. I read about it in Brendon Burchard’s book High Performance Habits, which I love and highly recommend.  There is a link in the book to a YouTube video that Brendon made about his personal meditation practice.  I watched it, gave it a try and I am a huge fan.  I will add that link for you.  As well and as a tip, if you click the link, he shares how you can get his book free. 

  2. Take my Lifelong Vitality - many of you are already sold on this product, so I know I am preaching to the choir. I can honestly feel the difference when I am not taking my LLV.  If you use these, then you know exactly what I am talking about.  If you are not, then I highly recommend checking them out, talk about life changing on so many levels…stress management being one of them.

  3. Sleep - I know it sounds simple, but if you are not getting enough sleep, then your body and in turn your mood, can take a turn for the worse. I just had a conversation with my husband about my need for more sleep as it was affecting my stress levels.  We had a chat about how we both can better manage that situation…it has something to do with having the TV on in the bedroom…let’s just say, I am not a fan and he is.  So, we have a new plan and are in the process of testing it out.

  4. Use my oils - Vetiver and Balance are my go-to oils to help me keep my sanity when I am just not on my A game. Being stressed can really take its toll, and for that, I use my oils.  I actually keep old balance (some of you know what I am talking about) and vetiver on my desk at all times.  I like to apply to my wrists, over my heart, and the base of my neck.

What are your favorite ways to support yourself?  Make sure to get in on the conversation via our FB business page Pawsitive Principles with Bree, I would love to hear what you do.

Now that we have some ideas for us, how do we help our dogs manage stress?

  1. Use your crate - if your dog is on your last nerve, you have my permission to put your dog away for a bit. There is nothing wrong with a little quiet time for everyone involved.

  2. Give your dog a high-value chew - you have to make it a good one, so that he or she will stop doing whatever is annoying you and will settle in and have a good chew session. If you need them to be in their crate during this time, that is ok too.

  3. Diffuse - honestly, I diffuse calming oils for them and for me. It works like a charm, especially when I remember to start my diffuser early in the day.  Many times, it will ward off the extra arousal issues that Reckon is currently bound to have at certain points in our day just by diffusing when we wake up.  If you don’t have a diffuser, applying a drop of your dog’s favorite calming oil to their bed can also be a great support.

I hope that these tips will help support you and your dogs when life just tends to get overwhelming.  I know that they have worked well for me!




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