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What Is Stress?

A mammal’s autonomic nervous system often does a poor job of distinguishing between daily stressors and life-threatening events. If your dog is stressed on seeing another dog, the sound of a storm or just the wind blowing a plastic bag around, the dog’s body can still react as if he is facing a life-or-death situation.

When the dog is repeatedly experiencing the fight or flight stress response in his daily life, it can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, speed up the aging process and leave him vulnerable to a host of mental and emotional problems. Aggression, over excitement, frustration and constant fear are the results of repeated stressors. These stressors can be as simple as a constantly banging door, worried the cat will strike, the fence fighting dog next door or the mail man’s repeated encroachment on the dog’s territory.