6 Signs Your Dog is Feeling Uncomfortable
Since our dogs can’t speak to us, it’s important that we pay attention to their body language to help us understand how they’re feeling at any given time. You want to know what makes your dog happy as well as when your dog is unhappy and needs to be removed from their current situation.
Understanding what your dog does when feeling uncomfortable can help you monitor their stress levels, calm them down, or remove them from stressful situations. In addition, stress is often a precursor to aggressive or anxious behavior, and spotting the signs of a stressed-out dog and taking the steps to reduce their anxiety can play a big part in reducing the risk of your dog lashing out or even biting another animal or person. If your dog has anxious tendencies, here are some of signs to be on the lookout for.
1. Tucked Tail
When your dog wags his tail quickly and excitedly, you know that means he’s feeling happy and excited. When the wag is slow, however, this is a not a sign of happiness, it’s a sign of stress. Pay attention to the speed and enthusiasm of the tail way to determine your dog’s stress level.
A tail tucked between the legs is a sign of extreme stress and fear. You can be certain that your dog is very frightened and may even become aggressive.
2. Loss of Appetite
If your dog isn’t wanting to eat, this is a common sign that something in your dog’s environment is causing stress. A dog with little to no appetite is a common indicator of many other issues as well, so make sure to take action if your dog isn’t interested in their food. This may also be a medical issue, so consider taking your dog to the vet if you see this happening.
3. Uninterested in Play
Especially if your dog was always ready and willing to play, not wanting to play or quickly losing interest in toys and games is a strong indication that your dog is experiencing a high level of stress.
This is very similar to how humans respond. We humans often won’t want to engage in activities when we are feeling stressed out, anxious, or depressed. If you notice this, especially out and about, this is a good time to remove your dog from the situation and give him room to breathe.
4. Pinned-Back Ears
Ears are a main source of communication between you and your dog. You can tell a lot about what your dog is feeling by the position of their ears. Ears positioned low against their head typically means they are feeling uncomfortable.
5. Blinking and Squinting
If you notice that your dog is blinking abruptly or squinting continuously, these are both signs of discomfort. This might not mean that you need to remove your dog from the situation, but it would be a good idea to monitor your dog to see if any other signs of higher stress levels begin to develop.
6. Breath Holding
Pay attention to your dog’s breath pattern to help determine your dog’s stress level. If they are holding their breath, this could be showing that they are about to lash out at something they find to be an annoyance.
No one ever thinks that their sweet furry friend could hurt someone, but dogs have complex emotions, and there’s no predicting whether a situation will end up upsetting your dog. In addition to familiarizing yourself with the common signs of a stressed-out dog (and paying close attention to your dog’s behavior), it’s crucial to insure your dog with a Canine Liability Insurance policy. A dog bite can be a devastating event, and we want to help you and your dog to get through it as smoothly as possible.
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 (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.