Dogs are truly a blessing in your life and you always want to make sure that you know what they are feeling. This, for obvious reasons, might not be the most plausible option. However, it is always better to know your dog inside out and make sure they are always comfortable. Depending on the breed, size and the age of your dog, you need to understand their behavior to a large extent and identify the things they do to convey what they want. This way your dogs always know that they can come to you whenever they feel any negative emotions and you will understand them.
Getting used to a dog is largely a personal aspect, some people are closer to their dog(s) than other members in the same family or social circle. The dogs usually express their discomfort to the people they feel will not react negatively or poorly but sometimes, dogs also display general behaviors that are not directed to anyone to express their discomfort.
Let’s look at some behaviors that you should know are signs that your dog needs some intervention:
- Whining and whimpering – While this seems like an obvious sign of discomfort, some pet parents tend to ignore it as they think their dog might just be doing it for attention. In reality, it is always better to give them the attention anyway as that is also a basic requirement. Some other reasons why your dog might be whining is because they might be feeling anxious or fearful and want you to help them calm down.
- Excreting in the house – This can be considered a sign of discomfort in your dog only if they are potty trained. Despite being potty trained, if your dog starts excreting in the house, this can mean different things depending upon the situations. Some dogs might have been having difficulties with bowel movements, some might have food poisoning or food allergies and some might have intestinal parasites or might have developed a disease.
- Destructive behavior – The first thing you need to know is dogs do not behave destructively out of spite. They might be in need of something that they feel is not feeling fulfilled which is why they might act destructively. Sometimes, it is the lack of attention, sometimes it is relieving of frustration and excess energy and other times it is their way of expressing pain.
- Dilated pupils and “Whale eye” – If dogs have dilated pupils, you need to make sure that there is no source of fear or anxiety around as this is one way that they express their anxiety. When dogs display the whites of their eyes (or the sclera), this is their way of expressing they are fearful about something or that you need ‘back off’ so they can continue guarding whatever they feel they should guard
- Tucking their tail – By tucking their tail, a dog is expressing that they are unsure or anxious about the situation. It can also be seen as a sign of submission. Sometimes along with tucking their tails, they also flatten their ears and avert their eyes. This is a clear sign of nervousness and their way of expressing that they are not very comfortable and are actually quite apprehensive about the situation. It is always advisable to evaluate their surroundings and make sure nothing is causing them discomfort.
As much as you want, you cannot always control the situations around your dog and make sure that they never feel bad or scared. However, as a pet parent, as long as you are mindful of their behaviors and then actively help them calm down, your dog(s) will understand that they have less and less things to be scared and/or anxious about.