It can be hard to believe that our pampered pooches may be stressed. After all, they don’t have 40-hour-plus workweeks, project deadlines, commutes in heavy traffic, teenagers, mortgage payments, or credit card bills! However, although their stressors aren’t necessarily the same as ours, research has established that dogs can and often do experience stress, and that stress may compromise their overall health and welfare.1,2 For example, research has now elucidated details of the brain-gut connection: the release of norepinephrine (the “fight or flight” hormone) affects gastrointestinal physiology resulting in detrimental changes in gut bacteria, motility, pain sensitivity, and other parameters.3 This digestive upset often presents as diarrhea in our patients, creating yet another stressful experience for the dog and the owner: house-soiling! Some dogs may experience short-lived or acute stressors but other dogs may live with chronic stress. An enhanced awareness and understanding of stress triggers, stress-related behaviors, and physiological stress consequences can help us identify and reduce canine stress and its negative health consequences.