Reading Your Dog's Body Language - Care-A-Lot Pet Supply
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Reading Your Dog's Body Language

Reading Your Dog's Body Language
Reading Your Dog's Body Language

How simple would life be if dogs spoke our language? While it’s true many of us communicate with our pets through their actions -- be it scratching on a door to go outside or whimpering at our feet when we’re having a snack -- not every dog is as easy to read. 

We must rely upon a dog’s body language to understand how they feel and what they need. Often, specific movements define specific emotions. It’s up to us to know the signals in our own pets as well as dogs we encounter at the park or elsewhere.

What does a dog’s posture or facial expression say to you? Let’s look at the most common body language in dogs.

When a dog is happy or playful:

  • Watch how your dog’s tail wags. Wagging toward the right in a broad or casual manner may signal they are happy. A circular wag, also called a helicopter wag, can also indicate your dog is in a good mood. 

  • Their eyes will appear relaxed and alert, along with their faces. They may also blink with frequency.

  • A happy dog’s ears will look neutral for their breed, not pinned back. 

Regular exercise and a new plaything like a KONG Squiggles plush toy can help keep your dog in a joyful mood. KONG offers a wide selection of dog toys to suit different pet behaviors, too. Ask a Care-A-Lot Pet Supply customer service rep for recommendations.

When a dog is frightened or anxious:

  • A dog will wag their tail regardless of how they feel. In this case, the tail may wag more to the left, and/or with increased speed. A tail tucked under the legs is another sign your dog could be scared.

  • You are more likely to see the whites of their eyes in this situation. Dogs tend to widen their eyes when they are worried or uncomfortable.

  • Ears may look flattened against your dog’s head, and your dog may also lick his lips and avoid eye contact.

Need to soothe an anxious dog at home? The Adaptil Calm Home Diffuser can help your pet relax when you are away. Benebone chew toys and bully sticks can also help calm down a nervous pet.

When it comes to other emotions like anger or aggression, the signs are more obvious. A dog on alert is likely to stand at full posture to look imposing, pin back their ears, and growl and bark. The American Kennel Club offers more insights into dog body language and how to interpret your dog’s emotions.

Care-A-Lot Pet Supply offers a wide range of pet supplies, dog food, and pet health items to ensure your dog stays happy and healthy. Browse our latest circular for sales, and chat with customer service online if you have questions about a specific product.

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