These are all valid concerns and congratulations for being so in tune with your pet. We here at The Housebreaker love questions because that means you're making effort to help your pet and that makes us happy.
As people, we deal with stressors every single day. How do we deal with them? Yoga. Count to ten. Sip a glass of wine? Scream? Visit a psychiatrist? These can all alleviate stress. But dogs don't have the luxury of verbalizing their stress so theirs is a little harder to identify. Any change in behavior could be your dog's outward response to stress.
Any of the following situations could cause confusion, depression or stress in your dog
- A new baby
- A new home
- The presence of another dog
- Major changes to the owner (ie., health, death, etc.)
- The absence of an owner (vacation, change in work schedule, etc.)
- Depression of the owner. Dogs can absolutely sense this.
- Absence of another dog companion (death or re-homing of one dog). The remaining dog will often look for his friend and/or express sadness at the sudden absence.
Any of the following behaviors could be interpreted as outward displays of stress
- A regression in housebreaking
- Excessive chewing or licking him/herself
- Intolerance to affection
- "Marking" specific spots inside your home
- Lack of interest in favorite activities or favorite objects
- Lack of appetite or decrease in food consumption