May
16
2016

Signs your Dog is in Distress

Signs your Dog is in DistressThere are many tell-tale signs that your dog may be uncomfortable with a new situation, person, or dog. Since dogs communicate using body language, it’s important to become familiar with these signs in order to protect your pup. In doing so, you could potentially prevent an unwanted behavior that results from your dog feeling uncomfortable, which reduces Dog Owner Liability.

Here are 5 common behaviors that your dog could display when feeling uncomfortable or distressed.

Licking his lips or yawning.

While this may seem like he is comfortable, this typically means that he is doing his best to displace his anxiety, much like humans fidget when they feel uncomfortable.

The whole body shake.

The whole body shake your dog does when he gets wet is another sign of distress and anxiety. If your dog does this out of character, when he’s already dry, he’s doing his best to reset his behavior and shake off anxiety.

The “whale eye.”

According to San Antonio Pets Alive, often the whites of the eye can be seen, and the dog’s face becomes still and unmoving. It’s often a response to something very specific and the first signs a dog will show. They also state that sometimes the whites of a dog’s eye will get pink or red when stressed, too, and can be a warning sign when guarding their food or toys.

Facial indicators.

If your dog’s sight is darting back and forth quickly, if their brow is furrowed or if their faces tense up, this indicates that they are distressed.

Physical signs of stress.

If your dog starts panting or his pupils become dilated, he’s trying to communicate that he’s uncomfortable.

Depending on the situation, your reaction to your dog’s distress can heighten their discomfort or reduce it. Naturally, if you are at the vet, your dog is going to be anxious. However, rather than pick him up and comfort him, pair this experience with treats and calm praise. Too much attention can make them even more distressed.

On the contrary, if you are at a new home and your dog cannot cope with all the new faces and stimuli at once, it may be best to remove him. Remember, an anxious dog is more likely to react negatively in a stressful situation rather than in a familiar one. Use your best judgment and evaluate their behavior to determine how your dog will react.

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog-bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs, and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.

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