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

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Reading Your Dog's Body Language

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

Reading Your Dog's Body Language
Reading Your Dog's Body Language
Reading Your Dog's Body Language
  • 4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet
    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet-mob

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    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet

    Switching your dog to a new food takes some planning. Because dogs are creatures of habit, they tend to prefer their current food to a new food. Like us, they become accustomed to a food and might not be thrilled about a new routine. These useful dog-feeding tips will help you keep your dog satisfied.

     

     

    4 Tips to Successfully Transition Your Dog to a New Food

    1. Introduce the new food gradually.

    When easing your dog into a change in diet, think “slow and steady.” Start by mixing 25% new food with 75% current food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three days or so by gradually increasing the new food and lessening the amount of the current food. Here’s a sample feeding schedule:

    • Day 1: 25% new food, 75% current food
    • Day 2: 50% new food, 50% current food
    • Day 3: 75% new food, 25% current food

     

    At the end of this weaning process, you should be feeding 100% of the new food. Your dog may want to eat only the old food, or not eat at all. Don’t worry — a healthy dog can miss meals for a day or two with no ill effects.

     

     

    2. Watch your body language.

    Bringing a new food into your home, pouring it into your dog’s bowl and declaring that he should eat it might cause your dog to go on a hunger strike. This is not the time to show who’s boss. It’s better to introduce the new food by using a pleasant tone of voice and gently encouraging him to try the new food.

     

     

    3. Don't give in to demands.

    Persistence is key! For the first two days of the food transition, don’t give your dog treats or table scraps. Dogs train us as much as we train them. Giving in to their demands only reinforces refusal behavior and makes it more difficult to make a nutritious dietary change.

     

     

    4. Be patient when switching from wet food to dry food.

    Switching diets may be more challenging when changing from a moist food to a dry food. If your dog continues to resist eating dry food, mix in a little warm water. You might even want to put the moistened food in the microwave for a few seconds. If you mix the food with water, be sure to throw away the uneaten portion after 20 minutes to prevent spoilage. The same rule applies for canned and pouch food. After the dog has become accustomed to the moistened food, you can wean him onto completely dry food. To do this, follow the same mixing instructions outlined above.

    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet
    4 Tips for Changing Your Dog’s Diet
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