He may not be biting his paw nails, but if you’re stressed about the recession, your dog knows about it. We’re not kidding. Recent research from the University of Florida suggests that dogs are more perceptive of human behavior than previously believed. Pups can even pick up on our body language and sense our fear. So if you’re moping around, fretting over the latest stock situation or unemployment data, remember this: your best friend is watching.


While Dr. Katarina Reilly at the Veterinary Center of Greater Newburyport doubts whether dogs interpret our emotions in such a sophisticated manner, she agrees that owners do give their pets worry-inducing clues when big changes are coming.


To help keep the calm for your dog (and yourself) and avoid stress-related health problems, here are a few pointers to keep in mind.


Keep an Even Tone. Furry friends pick up on your vibe through your body language and tone of voice. So try to keep a moderate tone to help reassure your best friend, even when talking about stressful financial information.


Maintain the Same. Even if your schedule drastically changes, try to maintain his. Dogs need stability and routine, so keep walking and feeding times the same if your job situation changes.


Don’t Neglect the Vet. Even though money may be tight, it’s important to make sure your dog get the routine veterinary care he needs to stay healthy and avoid preventable health issues. Most likely, your vet will be willing to discuss alternate payment options in these tough times.


Exercise Everyday. It’s fun, it’s cheap, and it’s the best stress buster around. Enjoy exercise time together to release your dog’s anxiety and bond with him while you’re at it.


The Scoop:

For the full story and more ideas for reducing pet stress, read on.

Thank you to Valerie and Marley for the photo.