Have you ever looked at your dog and wondered if there are things your dog wants you to know?
When you add a dog to your family, they become such a big part of your everyday life. Even though they can’t communicate with you verbally, they experience many thoughts and feelings that they want to share with you as their owner.
The rest of this article will talk about how your dog is trying to communicate with you and how to pick up on these things to become better pet parents.
What Is Your Dog Trying to Tell You?
Even experienced dog owners may have a hard time figuring out what their dogs need. Every dog is so different, and they do their best to communicate their needs, but sometimes they give mixed signals.
Here are some of the common things to look out for that your dog would tell you if they could speak:
Nervousness Manifests in Different Ways in Dogs
Dogs have so many different personalities. Some are more outgoing, while others are more reserved. A lot of this has to do with their upbringing and the environment they are used to in your home.
When you put your dog in a situation that makes them uncomfortable, it’s understandable that they would be nervous. For example, if you take your dog out in public or to a dog park and you notice they start acting differently or seem scared, they might be nervous or uncomfortable in their surroundings.
It’s important to take note of this behavior and try to help them adapt to situations that might be stressful so that you both can have a more enjoyable life together.
Destruction Means They Need More Stimulation
It’s understandable to get upset or even angry when your dog starts destroying stuff around your house, especially if they destroy something that means a lot to you or is very valuable. But, unfortunately, your dog doesn’t know that they’re violating the house rules, and they’re often being destructive to try to communicate something with you.
Before you get upset at your furry best friend, consider why they might be doing this. When dogs are destructive, they are often signaling to you that they need more stimulation or activity.
These types of behavioral issues are almost always a cry for help or attention. Sometimes destruction is the only way for dogs to express that they are bored or stressed or need more from you. Sometimes this is the only sign from your dog that they need something.
If you notice that your dog does these things when you leave him for a long time or don’t take him for frequent walks, they might ask you for more activity in a not-so-subtle way. Consider adding more walks and playtime into your routine and see if it helps with the destructive behaviors.
Not All Dog Food Works for All Dogs
The dog food aisle at your local pet store can seem overwhelming. There are countless choices, including dry food, wet food, and even raw food for dogs. Your dog might even need or prefer a different food as a puppy than as an adult dog.
You can choose from different protein sources and different ingredients, but it’s important to make your decision based on optimizing your specific dog’s health. No matter what you feed your dog, focus on quality ingredients and make sure it’s something that they like to eat.
If your dog has health problems like allergies or periodontal disease, your veterinarian might prescribe a specific type of diet or even a special brand of food. It’s important to follow those recommendations to help your dog live their best, happiest, and healthiest life.
If health problems are not a concern for your dog, you can choose a food yourself. Try out different types to find the one that works best for your dog. Check to make sure there are no signs of an upset stomach or a serious problem when you start a new food.
You will be able to tell pretty quickly whether or not a specific food works well for your dog. Be open to changing it until you find one that your dog likes. Your dog will do a good job of telling you whether they feel good about the food or not.
Connection Time Is Important
When you decide to bring a dog into your family, it’s important to treat them as part of the family in every way. You are the center of your dog’s life, so they crave connection with you on a daily basis. But, of course, this goes beyond just treats and belly rubs, although those certainly help.
Make play a part of your everyday routine with your dog to really make him feel the love. Most dogs don’t need anything fancy like learning new tricks or fancy outings; they just want to spend time with you. So get down on your dog’s level and play, help them learn tricks, and take them for a walk at least once a day.
Focusing on spending time with your dog will help them have less separation anxiety when you have to leave them and can also save you from experiencing guilt about times that have to leave them alone as well.
When you make an effort to spend intentional time with your dog every day, you will start to notice that your dog’s behavior and overall demeanor will improve. They won’t be as likely to get into trouble or feel confused and sad when you have to go to work or leave them for a few hours.
Body Language Is Everything
Dogs are always communicating with us, but it’s up to us to be in tune with them and pick up the signs. Your pup wants to be heard and wants you to know that he is trying to communicate with you, and their biggest tool to get their feelings across is using their body language.
When you take your dog to a new place or meet a new person or other dogs, please note how they act. Do their energy levels change? Is their tail between their legs? Did they put their ears back? Are they making or avoiding eye contact with you or the other people?
It’s important to observe these behaviors in your dog so you can respond appropriately and help them feel safer about what is going to happen in a new situation. This is especially true if your dog has had past trauma or any experiences that make them fear humans, dogs, and even other pets.
Discipline Makes Them Feel Safe
Even if you have the most well-behaved dog, they will thrive with some structure and discipline. Dogs are obedient, and they enjoy when the rules are clearly laid out for them so that they can please you and feel comfortable.
Dogs love to feel like they understand what you want from them. So having voice commands or simple rules for them to adhere to makes them happy instead of confused and scared.
Focus on just a few common things that you want to teach your dog. This can be simple voice commands, tricks, or even just to sleep in the bed. Keep it simple and try to be patient when you start out because it can take time for them to make sense of it all.
At the end of the day, dogs are simple. They just want to feel safe, and comfortable and get enough stimulation throughout the day. So don’t feel guilty if you’ve had dogs for a long time and never noticed these things; just focus on making the change now, and your dog will be happy forever.
Take note of the things your dog loves and try to do more of those things. If they seem nervous around other dogs or at doggy daycare, look at other options that might better suit them. Not all dogs love to be social.
As humans, we can help our dogs feel good by encouraging good behavior with simple things like treats and praise. Even a belly rub or a scratch behind the ears can work wonders to make your dog life a great one. It doesn’t take much to bring on the tail wags once you have tuned in to your dog’s communication style.
You are your dog’s best friend, and they are always trying to communicate with you. It’s up to you to notice the things that make them happy and what fills them with fear or leaves them feeling bored. Their body language and overall demeanor are the best clues to how they feel.