Being a pet parent invites an insane amount of stress into our lives. There are so many ways for things to go wrong, and because our dogs can’t tell us what hurts, we often jump to conclusions. However, some of the most common pet parent anxieties are actually less dramatic than we might think:
#5. My Dog Humps Everything
Your dog wants to hump everything. Pillows, his toys, other dogs, your guests … it’s embarrassing! And what’s up with female dogs who hump? Pet parents frequently confuse this behavior with breeding, but humping can stem from a number of other causes, from anxiety to excitement to boredom. Humping is probably less about your dog’s sex drive and more about his need for constructive stimulation.
#4. My Dog Skipped a Meal
Even though most dogs are ready to eat all things at all times, some might occasionally opt-out of dinner. Dogs skip meals for a number of reasons, and not all of them are caused to run to the emergency vet. Many dogs eat less during the heat of summer, some dogs might skip meals in the hopes that they’ll get something tastier if they hold out, and others might be dealing with a normal (and fleeting) bellyache. That said, if your dog refuses several meals, isn’t interested in any type of food or seems low-energy, make an appointment with your vet to rule out illnesses or an obstruction.
#3. My Dog Has Asthma
When your dog starts making that awful honking sound, it can seem like he’s either choking on a chicken bone or having an acute asthma attack. Pet parents are universally freaked out the first time they hear this common respiratory event, called a reverse sneeze, but rest assured, you can cross this stressor off your anxiety list. It’s completely normal and doesn’t hurt your dog.
#2. My Dog is Trying to Dominate Me
You might have heard that your dog is “dominant” if he sits on your furniture uninvited, pulls on the leash, jumps up on you or blows off training cues. While those behaviors are impolite, they don’t mean that your dog is trying to become head of the household.
The idea that dogs are constantly angling for dominance stems from debunked alpha-wolf studies, but the myth persists. Dogs that exhibit these types of unruly behaviors will benefit from dog-friendly positive training and consistency.
#1. My Dog Pees Inside Because He’s Mad at Me
There’s nothing more frustrating than discovering a puddle or pile in the house. While indoor elimination might feel retaliatory, particularly if it’s on a location like your bed, it’s important to understand that dogs don’t view waste the way we do. Your dog isn’t using urine as a tool to express displeasure.
Depending on the surrounding circumstances, your dog might be pottying inside for a number of reasons, including incomplete house training, submissive urination, not enough opportunity to go where he should, or in some cases, separation anxiety. Instead of assuming that your dog is out to get you with poo and pee, take a step back and assess the real reasons why he might be having accidents.