Many of us dog owners can tell when our pooch is feeling afraid.
The telltale pacing and tucking their tail between their legs is a dead giveaway.
But dogs can also feel anxiety just like humans do, except with dogs, it's harder to tell.
So the American Kennel Club (AKC) has a list of signs that might help you spot if your dog is feeling anxious.
• Panting: A common misconception is that dogs pant only because they’re hot. Actually, many dogs will pant when they’re stressed or anxious. This happens because your dog’s adrenaline is released in response to a scary situation, and his pulse quickens and his breathing speeds up.
• Yawning: Dogs may yawn as a sign that they are conflicted or uncertain about the situation they’re in. For example, your dog might want to jump off the groomer’s table because he’s anxious or afraid, but he’s been trained not to do that. Yawning signifies the conflict of continuing in the uncomfortable situation.
• Lip tension: Dogs often pull their lips back slightly when they’re anxious. It can appear as if he’s smiling or just some creases as the corners of his mouth.
• Displacement behaviors: Your dog may display inappropriate behavior because they are anxious or excited about something else. Such behaviors include your dog humping your leg when a visitor comes to the house – he is displacing his feelings about the guest arriving.
So just look for these signs and you'll be able to spot anxiety and help calm your dog down, keeping your pet happy and healthy.
[Image courtesy Wikipedia/Gopal Aggarwal.]