Health

How Dog Owners can Control Bad Behavior in Dogs 

A dog’s actions can tell a great deal of how they’re feeling. Unfortunately many owners misinterpret these actions, exacerbating the problem instead of helping it. While this is particularly prevalent among new dog owners, interpreting behavior can quickly prevent issues before they begin. Make sure you do your research and choose the right dog breed for you. So be aware, some dog breeds can have behavior that can be tough to deal with.

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And it’s not just behavior, as underlying health concerns you’re unaware of may also be present. Whether your pup is continually circling or showing chronic anxiety, understanding your canine’s language is the first step to finding a solution. 

Bad Breath

While it’s common knowledge that a dog’s breath isn’t exactly pleasant, a sudden difference in breath might warrant a trip to the vet. Bad dog breath could be a strong indication of a health issue. 

If your dog’s breath has progressively worsened, it could be a sign of bad oral hygiene from plaque and tartar build-up. One way to prevent plaque build-up is by visiting a veterinarian regularly for teeth cleaning. Failure to acknowledge your dog’s teeth could lead to cavities, tissue waste, tooth loss, and infection. Your dog’s bad breath could also be a sign of a kidney problem and diabetes.

Chewing

Chewing is a crucial activity that’s hardwired into dogs. For pups, chewing relieves the pain of incoming teeth. Older dogs chew to maintain the strength of their jaws, simultaneously cleaning their teeth. It could just alleviate boredom and anxiety when they’re alone in the house. 

However, excessive chewing shouldn’t be tolerated. One way to prevent this behavioral trait from spiraling out of control is to provide chew toys. Letting your dog bite on chew toys teaches them to stray from your personal belongings. If your dog does chew on your things, quickly discourage their actions by making a sharp noise. Proceed to replace your goods with their chew toy. If you’re struggling to keep your dog in check, visiting a professional trainer to instill proper habits could be worthwhile. Alternatively, you can consult with a veterinary behaviorist recommended by your veterinarian.

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Digging

Digging like chewing is an instinctual act derived from thousands of years of evolution. Although it’s primarily done for comfort-seeking or to hide personal belongings, leaving your dog to their devices could result in a yard full of holes. 

Identifying the leading cause for your dog digging could solve the issue. For example, digging could be attributed to them needing a place to cool down. Having a paddling pool nearby, therefore, is a viable solution. If digging cannot be stopped, consider purchasing a sandbox. A sandbox makes a highly convenient substitute for your backyard. 

Circling

If your dog continually walks around in circles, it could indicate a health problem. Although it’s common to see dogs hilariously chase their tails, a lack of restraint is no laughing matter. Your dog’s balance could be compromised from an ear infection, and without immediate treatment, can worsen. A veterinarian can provide deep ear cleaning, avoiding damage caused to the inner ear. You’ll also be prescribed ear medication such as antibiotics. Vestibular syndrome is also a possibility from balance interference, albeit less likely than an ear infection. In addition to circling, dogs who excessively drool or continually fall should be checked for vestibular syndrome. 

For many owners, medical treatment costs can prove substantial. It’s said that pet parents can only afford to pay $1,500 on average for emergency treatment. If you lack immediate funds to cover treatment, we recommend opting for pet insurance. A monthly insurance plan can put your mind at ease, knowing your insurer will cover treatment costs. Click here to learn more. 

Anxiety

Just like people, dogs also feel the negative impacts of being alone for long periods. When separated from their owners, dogs can often experience separation anxiety. As dogs, from an evolutionary standpoint, are pack animals, being alone causes fear. If your dog defecates at home (despite being trained not to), shakes, self-harms, or tail-tucks, this could be a sign of chronic anxiety. If anxiety is left to manifest, your dog could be left with an anxiety disorder which is harder to treat.

While it’s standard for owners to leave their dogs alone, the key is to create a relaxing environment while you’re gone. Suggestions include leaving out your worn clothes or having an audiobook play nearby. Another way to calm your dog’s nerves is to take them for long walks beforehand. 

California has the second-highest rate of dog bite fatalities, and 82% of those fatalities have occurred due to pit bull attacks. Living in a high-risk state like California, there are certain precautions outlined by the Humane Society that you can take to help ensure your safety, states Sam Dordulian, a dog bite lawyer at Dordulian Law Group.

Aggression

While the debate is still out that certain dog breeds are more aggressive than others inherently, your environment may be conducive to their bad behavior. If your dog continually growls, bites, snaps, or shows its teeth, it could be due to many reasons. Dogs suffering violent pasts from owner abuse is a common cause for aggressive behavior. However, if your dog’s exhibited anger is recent, it could be due to injury or illness. Potential causes could be broken bones, arthritis, cuts, and tumors.  If you’re also interested in getting a pet cat, visit dogblog.com for tips on how to introduce a cat to your dog.

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