9 Everyday Things That HURT Your Dog’s Feelings

9 Everyday Things That HURT Your Dog’s Feelings

Dog emotionality. Would it surprise you that, according to the University of Portsmouth, dogs show us more facial expressions than we show them? It means our pups are super in tune with their feelings. But the downside is, it’s extremely easy to hurt them. For this article, we’ve selected nine biggest things that, on a very daily basis, upset your dog the most. Before we begin,

Mistake #1:

Give your dog the come command. They’re tuning into way more than just that word. Yep, they’re all about the vibe you’re giving off and what’s in it for them. So, if it usually leads to awesome stuff like snacks, they’ll be zooming over to you in no time. But if it’s also code for “you’re in trouble” or “bath time, buddy”, they’ll catch on quick and might not be that eager to dash over.

So, our first tip is to use the word “come” only when something good is on the way. That way, your furry friend will dash to your side whenever you call out. And if you have something less enjoyable on the agenda, it’s better if you approach them instead.

Mistake #2:

On the other hand, showering your furry friend with words might just be adding to their confusion. Dogs can understand a library of over 200 words and gestures, but, and it’s a big “but”, their brains process this info kind of like a toddler would. Researchers in Naples found out that dogs are much sharper when it comes to reading our physical cues.

That means while they get the gist of what we’re saying, it’s the hand waving and body moves that really speak volumes to them. So what’s the secret to better chats with your dog? Mixing it up. Dogs who get the combo of voice and visual cues tend to catch on faster and clearer. The trick is to keep it consistent—same word, same gesture. That way, you’re not making your pooch decode mixed signals.

Mistake #3:

Turns out, dogs really care about fairness. So what if one day they’re allowed to munch on cookies from the table, and the next day they’re told it’s off-limits? Or you shower them with love when they greet you excitedly after a long day away, but scold them for jumping on other family members? Let’s be honest, that’s enough to give anyone a bit of a trust issue.

Since dogs absolutely love knowing what’s expected of them, you need to set their rules straight once and for all. If you were fine with them chilling on the couch yesterday, but today, out of nowhere, it’s a no-go zone, that’s not just upsetting, it can actually make them anxious. So here’s a pro tip to help them out: have a special blanket that’s their VIP pass to bed snuggles, so they know when it’s chill time and when it’s not.

Mistake #4:

Another thing that’s tripping their wires is when we use anger to teach them to behave. Dogs are pretty sharp when it comes to picking up on our emotions. They notice everything from the way we move and speak to the subtle changes in our scent when we’re upset. An eye-opening study showed that dogs who were trained with harsh methods, like intense shouting, were stressed out of proportion because, guess what, their hearing is four times better than ours. And the thing is, they might not be learning what we hope they would.

Dogs live in the moment, so when we’re angry about something they did 5 minutes ago, they’re just mightily confused and probably quite upset too, since dogs actually see us as members of their family. So when they’re isolated or pushed away, it’s not just an inconvenience, it goes against their nature. It’s like being told you can’t hang out with your friends or family anymore. And here’s the kicker: some dogs, when they feel ignored, might start acting out.

We’re talking excessive barking, chewing on your favorite shoes, maybe even a toilet paper apocalypse in your living room. It’s not that they want to be naughty, they’re just trying to get back into the pack. Studies have shown that simply being near their owner can make a dog’s heart rate go down. So next time your furry buddy wants to snuggle up while you’re busy, it’s their way of finding peace and security in the crazy world they navigate with us, just like their wild cousins the wolves.

Mistake #5:

Dogs are pretty big on having their own cozy corners. Without a special spot to call their own, dogs can get really stressed out. Having a little retreat can make a big difference in feeling calm and secure. We’re not necessarily saying you need to build a doggy fortress; sometimes the simplest things work best. Think about tossing a cozy blanket under a table or setting up a comfy mat in a quiet corner. And get this: dogs that snooze in the same room as their owners tend to sleep better and feel even closer to them.

Mistake #6:

What goes through your dog’s mind during a walk? Well, it’s probably a lot more than we think. A stroll around the block isn’t just relieving their needs, it’s a morning newspaper in the animal kingdom. But here’s a sad fact: research from the University of Liverpool discovered that most dog walks are under 20 minutes. Yet when dogs get to sniff and explore to their hearts’ content, their walk time can extend by up to 40%.

That’s a whole lot of extra news articles for them to read. And did you hear about Elvis? Nope, not the king of rock and roll, but a beagle with a nose for polar bear pregnancies. Elvis was trained to sniff out pregnancy in polar bear feces for conservation research. This just goes to show the incredible sniffing powers dogs have. So next time you’re out for a walk, remember, it’s a journey through a world of smells. Allowing sniff breaks is a small step for us but a giant leap for your doggo’s mental well-being.

Mistake #7:

Just like people, dogs can face the challenges of aging. Our canine pals don’t just lose their zest for life, they face a decline in their cognitive abilities as they get older. Researchers at the University of Bristol discovered that the only way to battle this is giving their brain a daily boost. Scratching their head over a puzzle can tire them out just like a long run. Try mixing things up with puzzle feeders, scent games, and even mini obstacle courses in your backyard.

Mistake #8:

Does your dog seem to drool over whatever you’re eating, no matter what it is? Turns out, dogs have way fewer taste buds than humans, about one-sixth of ours actually. So it’s not so much the taste they’re after, but the smell and the joy of eating. That’s why they’re not too picky and might happily chow down on things we wouldn’t even consider food.

But a lot of the stuff we eat, like onions, garlic, and especially chocolate, is a big no-no for dogs. And it’s not just the obviously harmful stuff, even foods that seem harmless can cause problems because of their high salt and spice content. Studies have shown that too much salt and fat in a dog’s diet can lead to some pretty serious health issues like pancreatitis. Always keep some dog-friendly treats handy. This way, when you’re tempted to share your meal, you can give them something safe instead. They won’t feel left out, and you can eat your meal in peace. Win-win, right?

You’ve set up cozy spots, comfy beds, and countless nooks for your dog to rest. Yet they choose your bed to snuggle in. Why do they do this, and what does the exact spot they pick on your bed near your head, by your feet, or right on your chest reveal about your bond with your doggo?

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