We fall in love with our canine companions for their lovable quirks. Let’s face it – wagging tails, affectionate licks and the entertaining ability to ravage a new toy in seconds, can make us smile. You also instinctively know when all is not well – a limp tail, trembles and excessive sneezing can all be cause for concern.
Dogs have their own special ways of communicating, whether it’s showing joy or making us aware if they don’t feel well. Pinpointing exactly how your pet feels can be difficult.
If you’ve always wondered why your dog behaves in a certain way, or are worrying something just isn’t right, we’re here to answer the common question: “Why does my dog….?”
After a long walk or day away from your pet, you may receive slobbery licks. Dogs lick members of their pack (and themselves) for various reasons. Here’s a few:
…EAT GRASS AND ROCKS?
Our expert, veterinarian Henry Dove, offers insight into this unusual habit:
“This is called Pica, a condition also seen in humans when there is a desire to eat non-food objects. This could be caused by boredom, pain or possible nutritional deficiencies. Great care must be taken with dogs eating stones, as these can not only damage teeth but also cause serious problems with the digestive system. Both grass and stones can cause blockages in the intestines which will sometimes need major surgery to correct, so care must be taken if your dog is prone to eating both grass and stones.”
…STARE AT ME?
If you’re wondering why those puppy dog eyes won’t leave you alone, they may want the following:
…PUT THEIR PAW ON ME?
…RIP APART SQUEAKY TOYS?
As domestic dogs are descended from wolves, playing with (and ripping apart) squeaky toys satisfies their natural hunting instincts. When a wolf captures small animals in the wild, it vigorously shakes it – with small animals making squeaking noises in the process. While seeming savage to us, this sensory experience of playing with a squeaky toy may appeal to your pet because it’s akin to hunting and killing prey. Many dogs will dive in for the squeaker before tiring of a toy, while others enjoy pulling the stuffing out and proudly spreading it around.
Again, it all comes down to primal ancestry. If your dog howls, this may be why:
…ROLL IN DUNG?
While it sounds disgusting, rolling in another animal’s waste is a natural and common behavior in dogs. ‘But why?’ you might be thinking. According to dog behaviourists:
…DO THAT WITH THEIR TAIL?
An energetic wag of the tail is the sign of a happy pooch. But did you know that a tail can offer many clues about how a dog is feeling?
If your pet tends to tremble occasionally, or has started shivering, check out the below:
If you’re worried about your pet, don’t suffer in silence – especially when they can’t say how they’re feeling. You know your dog better than anyone and how their personality shapes how they respond to you, other people and certain situations. But remember, if your pet is displaying uncharacteristic habits and causing you concern, don’t be afraid to ask, ‘Why is my dog…?’