Dogs use a range of sounds to communicate with us and each other. Just as important is the body language they use to tell us how they feel or what they need. How well do you know your pooch’s unspoken cues? Read on to find out.
Why do dogs stare?
Dogs often stare at their owners because they love them. They want to make sure you’re okay or find clues for what you’ll do next — like making sure you’re not going for a car ride without them.
We love it when dogs do this, too, which has led to this trait being even more prominent.
Opens a new windowDr. James Serpell, BSc, PhD, Professor of Humane Ethics & Animal Welfare at University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, explains: “We've selected dogs for this behavior. Humans love that dogs look up at them in admiration, intense loyalty. One frequent observation researchers have made is that people who handle wild dogs ... they don't look their handlers in the eye like domesticated dogs do.”
Why do dogs tilt their heads?
Dogs have great hearing. High-frequency sounds that humans can’t hear are especially interesting to them. Head-tilting helps them track down the source. Owners find these head tilts super cute and often reward this behavior, which, of course, makes them do it more.
Why do dogs yawn?
Dogs yawn when they’re tired, but it’s also a possible sign they’re stressed, impatient or frustrated — like when they’re in the vet’s office, or when you won’t throw that ball you’re holding already!
Why do dogs sit on your feet?
In a recent IAMS poll,* 90% of dog owners said their pet sits or lays on their feet and 100% of dogs said they love their owners. Dogs are very social creatures and this is a way for them to connect and be close to you. Plus, it keeps your feet warm.
Why do dogs raise their hair?
Often called “raised hackles,” dogs do this when they’re nervous, threatened or showing aggression. It’s an adaptation from their wild days of attempting to make themselves look bigger.
Opens a new window Dr. Tammie King, Applied Behavior Technical Leader at Waltham Petcare Science Institute, offered this insight to keep in mind: “What’s important when talking about a dog’s body language is to not take one thing in isolation. You’re at risk of misinterpreting what the dog is trying to say to you. Context is everything.”
So be sure to pay attention to what your dog isn’t saying to keep them healthy and happy. Serving them
Opens a new windowIAMS dog food every day will certainly help.
*Surveyed U.S. dog owners, age 18+
Sample Size: n=201
Fielded May 8 to May 10, 2020
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Does your mature dog sniff at his bowl and walk away instead of digging in? You may think he’s just being picky, but it’s important to keep an eye on how much he’s eating — especially if he’s a senior. While age-related diminishment of the senses of smell and taste may account for some of his disinterest in food, appetite loss can also indicate a serious medical problem.
“It’s important to give your dog enough calories because weight loss can be debilitating to senior pets,” says Wendy Brooks, D.V.M., who warns that a loss in appetite should be mentioned to your vet. A good rule of thumb: If your pet hasn’t eaten in a day, make a visit to the vet. Here are six ways to entice your canine friend with a nourishing meal.
6 Ways to Encourage Your Senior Dog to Eat More
1. Mix Dry Food with Moist Food
Many animals find canned food more palatable because they like the taste and texture, Brooks says. You can top their favorite dry food with room-temperature wet food.
2. Warm It Up
Dogs like a warm or room-temperature (not hot or cold) meal. Avoid serving him day-old wet food from the refrigerator, and keep his food away from heat. Another reason he might not be eating: It's too hot outside.
3. Try a Change
Dogs prefer consistency when it comes to their food. Don't change every day, but try a new flavor, such as lamb or chicken, and see if he responds (it may trigger his sense of smell). To avoid an upset stomach, introduce a new food by mixing it with his old food in equal increments each day.
4. Stay Close
Common mature-dog health issues, such as arthritis or joint pain, can make it difficult for him to access his bowls. Keep food and water where he spends most of his time. Put a water bowl on all floors of the house, too.
5. Keep the Fresh Water Flowing
Older pets are at a higher risk of dehydration. Provide a clean bowl with fresh water at all times. It will help prevent disease, such as a kidney condition, and aid in digestion.
6. Offer Praise
Dogs are people pleasers. If you see him eating, give him a little verbal reward. He'll know it makes you happy and will repeat the behavior.
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