Learn How to Better Understand Dog Moods
After a long and stressful day at school or work, sitting down on the couch with your dog can improve your mood. Petting his fur and scratching behind his ears helps put a smile on your face, but when's the last time you asked your pooch how he was feeling?While you may not be a licensed doggie psychiatrist, new research from the University of Sydney in Australia shows that dogs can be optimistic or pessimistic
, according to The Washington Post. Depending on their outlooks, some canines might have a sunnier disposition than other pooches.The researchers, led by Melissa Starling, Ph.D., from the Faculty of Veterinary Science, trained the dogs to touch a target after hearing one of two tones that were two octaves apart. Hitting the mark would give the canines a drink depending on the tone - one produced milk as a reward and the other dispensed water. As the dogs learned which tones coincided with their preferred beverage, the scientists introduced new sounds that were in-between the milk and water octaves.According to Starling and her colleagues, optimistic dogs would repeatedly hit the targets in hope of receiving milk. However, other canines would avoid the task altogether and grew distressed from hearing the ambiguous tones. The researchers found that despite the lack of interest in participating, the pessimistic pooches performed well in guide dog training for the disabled. On the other hand, the optimistic canines were more persistent, leading Starling to believe these dogs would be successful at search-and-rescue.Because they can't tell you directly, it might be hard to read if your dog is depressed or pessimistic. Therefore, it's a good idea to learn some of the signs of dog moods
.What's your dog's body language saying to you?
The Bark explained that closely watching your canine's tail
might be a viable indicator of his mood. Much like how humans' brains are divided into cerebral hemispheres, animals demonstrate differences in their "left" and "right" sections. It's thought that the left deals in approach and energy enrichment, like finding food, and the right pertains to withdrawal and energy expenditure, like running away out of fear.When dogs feel positive or curious, their tails will wag closer to the right side of their bodies, according to The Bark. Any negative or apprehensive feelings cause canines' tails to favor the left.Modern Dog Magazine added that eyes serve as a strong indicator
of dog moods
. Almond-shaped, relaxed eyes show that he's calm and docile, ready for a snuggle on the couch. Rounded eyes might mean your dog's aroused or surprised. But the biggest sign to watch out for is the sclera, also known as the whites of the dog's eyes. This means your canine is tense and upset, and in need of some serious attention.Dogs can get sad for a number of reasons, such as being separated from their owners for extended periods of time. When some good-natured petting or play doesn't do the trick, pet parents can turn to prescription medications to help their furry friends. Thiothixene
works to restore the balance of natural substances in the brain, such as dopamine. If your dog exhibits signs of depression, aggression or nervousness, this medication can help treat certain mood disorders.By joining PetPlus
, dog owners can have access to affordable prescription treatments like thiothixene without having to jump through hoops. Signing up allows pet parents to receive free shipping on all orders and an additional 25 percent off veterinary visits at almost 4,000 clinics around the U.S.
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