Sniffing tighty- whities, swallowing spoons, licking cactuses, eating grass, and peeing on plants…there are countless weird things our dogs do. Whether your dog acting weird is a cause for alarm or just a sign of a dog being a dog, you know your dog better than anyone else. In case you’re wondering, here are some possible reasons behind their bizarre behavior.
Main causes for your dog’s odd behavior
Injuries or diseases
If your dog has been yelping, crying, and squealing more than usual, it is a clear sign of pain and discomfort. If your dog also seems lazier than usual, it could signify a fracture or illness. It’s usually best to take them to a vet after their first cry for attention.
Melancholy and stress
Your dog could be acting weird as a result of stress. Humans do crazy things when they’re stressed, and our dogs are no different. If there has been a major change in the household, like the addition of a new pet or baby, or the opposite- a member of the family or another pet has passed- it can have a significant impact on your puppy’s well-being and behavior.
Moving to a new house
Your dog may be upset about a change in environment. Dogs are very loyal and habitual creatures, so changing homes is a big deal for them. They can act weird because they distrust the new environment but it should pass once the dog acclimates. To help them with the transition, introduce them calmly to different elements of their new home.
Fear and nervousness
Your dog could show specific signs of stress during the holidays. For example, on the Fourth of July, make sure to ease up on the fireworks, as loud and explosive noises are known to cause tremendous stress for dogs. As a preventative measure, you can put your dog in a familiar and quiet room where they can come back to their normal self.
Your dog could be acting strange because they’re simply bored. If you don’t exercise your dog during the day, don’t be surprised if they’re chewing the rug at night. Your dog is a bit like a little kid, easily excited and ready to go- so it’s best to tire them out during the day. This way, they’ll expend their energy and avoid curious behaviors at night.
Changes in diet
If you have recently changed your dog’s diet, and they’ve been acting strange since, it could be a sign of dissatisfaction. Your dog could be silently protesting your new choice of food and may be trying to tell you that they need something else.
Your dog could be showing signs of discomfort if someone had mistreated it. If they start acting weirdly abruptly, there might be someone in the house who has done something to either scare or hurt them.
One more reason for your dog’s strange behavior is external noises. They might even start howling when they hear a loud siren. Dogs react to noises they don’t recognize, and their reaction is their sweet way of protecting the family.
Separation anxiety might lead to owners walking into a trashed house at the end of the day, all thanks to their anxious dog who just couldn’t stay calm in their absence. And yes, they could inflict some serious damage.
What do I do if my dog begins to act strange?
- Take them to the vet – they’ll know best whether your dog is injured or sick and can often determine the cause for their behavior (Woooof!! did anyone say dog insurance?!).
- Talk to a dog behaviorist – If you don’t want to hire a specialist, you can refer to YouTube tutorials of well-known dog experts.
- Don’t encourage odd behavior – ask your dog to stop the activity with a firm, yet non-aggressive tone.
- Ensure your pet is getting the nutrition they need.
Dogs will be dogs and “weird” is an integral part of their vocabulary. Whether they chew, sniff, lick, or bite the most unconventional objects (their private areas for example), just make sure the behavior doesn’t pose a threat to their wellbeing.
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