Petlife is powered by Vocal creators. You support Jennifer Grachova by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Petlife is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

How to Understand What Your Dog Is Telling You

A Guide for Pet Owners

First and foremost, you should understand the behaviors and body language of your dog so that you can improve your relationship with him and meet his needs sufficiently. In order to do this, you have to regularly monitor your dog’s health by taking him to an experienced holistic veterinarian. In the following, let’s check out ways on how to understand what your dog is telling you when performing each of these actions.

Unnatural Behavior

When your dog is exhibiting unnatural and odd behaviors that you think do not make sense, you might want to reconsider. In fact, you should be aware of certain canine instincts that must be looked into so that you can understand him better. Some of these include and mean:

  • Licking may indicate he likes you, or maybe a sign he is calming himself or trying to communicate with you.
  • Tail wagging indicates he’s talking to other dogs or to you. It also means he is happy.
  • Butt sniffing: He is trying to learn about another dog’s diet, emotional state, and gender.
  • Burying food or a toy means he is protecting it from other dogs or people.

Constantly Bringing Things to You

Does your dog bring toys or other things to you frequently? Well, some dog parents think that their dogs want to play fetch with them. But the truth is that he is trying to give you a gift. This behavior may also be what is left from his hunting instinct, only that he’s bringing you what he thinks you might like or need, not a dead bird.

On the other hand, a theory could also be that your pet is trying to please you. When he’s constantly bringing you things, he might be thinking you are the “alpha” of the pack, so he wants to ensure that he has a place in it.

Dogs are possessive of their toys. The mere fact he’s giving it to you means that he trusts you or that he wants to engage you. It may also be a sign he’s trying to ask for your attention.

Flicks His Tongue

Photo by Chris Arock on Unsplash

Is your dog licking his tongue by extending it straight out, but then immediately retracting it again? This action indicates that he’s feeling discomfort with an unwanted contact or a stranger and that’s making him anxious.

But if your pet is submissive, flicking his tongue can also indicate that he’s attempting to appease a stronger presence around him.

Connecting Emotionally

Lately, you’re noticing your pet is trying to connect with you emotionally. He wants to sleep in your bed, and that’s so adorable. He wants to engage with you, not just to sleep in your large bed.

Unless you have asthma or an allergy, a holistic vet does not see anything wrong with letting your dog sleep in your bed.

Some dogs connect with their owners emotionally in other ways. For example, they calmly stare at their human parents as they (or you) are leaving the house for the office or business.

On the other hand, you will know that he’s scared to see you go if he’s howling, barking, urinating, chewing objects or furniture, or defecating—separation anxiety signs.

Raising One Paw Up in the Air

Don’t panic when your pet does it. If he’s raising one paw up in the air with his head down, you might want to give way because it indicates he’s hunting or can also mean he’s ready to grab a bird or another prey.


It can be certain signals. For one, he’s not yawning just because he’s tired, but also when scared or stressed.

Let’s say he met a stranger and started yawning. This can be a sign that he’s unprepared meeting this person, and you should be aware of his uncomfortable feeling.

Yawning can also mean he is relaxed—not stressed—and that can be confusing. They can yawn when they feel good around you or when you do. It’s not a bad thing, as they’re doing it because of empathy.

Sitting on Your Feet

What does it mean when your dog is sitting on your feet? It does not boil down to one, but to several reasons:

  • Sitting on your feet means marking his territory or ownership. If your pet is possessive, he’s just showing other dogs or people that you are “his.”
  • For dogs with separation anxiety, they’re trying to comfort themselves by staying as close to you as possible.
  • If he’s showing dominant traits, he’s asserting himself.
  • He’s trying to guard and protect you—one of his ways of showing his unconditional love and loyalty to his human parent.

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to be a pet trainer or a dog whisperer to understand your beloved furry friend. Knowing and understanding what they mean when yawning, sitting on your feet, bringing you toys, and connecting with you emotionally—to name a few—shows how much you love them, unconditionally and in the same way that they do about you. For more guidance and advice to understand what your dog is trying to tell you, consult your holistic veterinarian today!

Now Reading
How to Understand What Your Dog Is Telling You
Read Next
Snow Angels