When your fur family member suddenly decides to start acting more like a hairy, sullen teenager, it may cause you to be concerned. But don’t worry – you probably didn’t do anything wrong and it’s probably not just a phase, Mom. Instead, your dog may be trying to tell you something, and as the person who knows him best, it’s up to you to figure it out.
1. Needs Aren’t Being Met
Imagine going all day on no sleep, no food, and no fun. You’d probably be in a pretty foul mood! Dogs who aren’t getting everything they need probably aren’t going to be the happy-go-lucky guys we love. Your dog needs 12 – 14 hours of sleep a day, healthy meals, and exercise for both his mind and his body. Some dogs will need more of these things than others depending on their age and breed, so if you had a tiny Pug before and are now raising a busy Husky, don’t assume that what’s good for one dog is enough for the other. If your pet is missing out on any of the necessities, do what you can to give him whatever he needs, and see if his attitude improves.
2. Not Feeling Well
Dogs can’t tell us when they’re not feeling well, so sometimes it comes down to decoding changes in their moods and habits to figure it out. If your lap-loving dog doesn’t want you to touch him, or doesn’t like being picked up any more, it might mean he’s in pain, not that he’s in a bad mood. Pay attention if your usually active dog doesn’t want to go for walks and is sleeping more than usual. Dogs who aren’t eating the way they used to, or are potty trained but are now having “accidents” may not be doing it because they’re upset or depressed. If you notice any of these changes along with your dog’s changed or inconsistent moods, see your vet.
3. Just Moody
Dogs are complex creatures with a full range of emotions – and not all of those are going to be good 100% of the time! If we’re totally positive that our dogs have everything they need and they’re not sick, the best we can do is give them space when they want it and cuddles when they’re ready for them again. Our dogs are really good to us, so we can absolutely put up with the occasional bad mood when it comes to our best friends. Crankiness happens to the best of us, right?
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