Everyone gives off certain signs when they're having a bad day, don't you think? I can utter a sigh from across the room and my husband knows, after 13 years of marriage, that he should perhaps ask me if everything's alright. It's my bad day "tell," and I don't have to utter a word. As it turns out, dogs can have bad days, just like humans. From neglecting their favorite toy to obsessive paw licking, a dog can, in his own way, let you know something's not quite right.
First things first, you'll want to make sure you're not misinterpreting his bad day for something physically wrong. Once you have ruled out, with the help of a professional veterinarian, that your dog is fit and healthy, it may be time to look closer to home. In an interview with Romper, John Woods, Founder of All Things Dog, says, "Dogs love human interaction; they are man's best friend for a reason. If your dog isn't getting the love, attention, and fuss that they should be, this can result in destructive behaviors or an aloof temperament. We can easily confuse an aloof and sad dog for a dog who just isn't getting loved."
Do you recognize any of these signs in your pet?
1. Change In Appetite
According to the website of dog behaviorist Cesar Milan, look out for changes in your dog's eating habits. If your dog goes from lapping up two meals a day to a sudden loss of appetite and lack of interest in meal time, pay attention. Alternatively, if he suddenly begins eating like his life depends on it, he is definitely trying to tell you that something else is going on other than food.
I know dogs love an afternoon nap, but if he continues to snooze after you've gotten home from work or an extended outing, this could be a sign of a dog's sadness. As noted by petMD, if he doesn't seem interested in what you're up to, something might be up.
3. Paw Licking
There are many reasons that a dog licks their paws, among them bacterial infections, eczema, joint pain, and dry skin, according to All Things Dogs. But if your dog is licking his paws repeatedly and exhibiting some of the other signs on this list, he may be sending you a signal that he's not happy.
Hide-and-go-seek might be a fun game for children, but if your dog begins hiding from you, he's not in the mood for playing, according to Fido Savvy. Dogs crave attention and acceptance from their owners and other dogs; if they suddenly begin disappearing, it's not a good sign.
5. Lack Of Interest
Does your dog love to fetch? Chew on a favorite toy? Prefer long walks in the park? According to Fido Savvy, if he suddenly loses interest in his favorite activities, make a note, and look out for some of the other signals in this list.
If these signs sound familiar, you might also want to consider what's triggering your dog's sadness. Have there been any recent changes in your life? A physical move, new addition to the household (baby or pet), a recent schedule change or loss of a loved can negatively affect your dog's mood, according to Wide Open Pets. So what can you do about it?
Since you've already determined with your veterinarian that there is nothing physically wrong, it's time to increase the amount of attention your pet is receiving. A few extra head pats will go a long way, as well as longer walks and playtime together. And what about playing a little music for your pup? According to a study by the University of Glasgow, dogs have a positive response to music, particularly reggae, classical, and soft rock. Woods says, "Classical music has been scientifically proven to improve the general health and wellbeing of your dog, and it is used by many military and police dog training institutions to improve the performance of their working dogs by playing music in their kennels."
In the end, the answer is simple: it's all about love and affection. And maybe a few tunes along the way (check out this Spotify playlist made for dogs and their friends).