Saturday, February 25th, 2017
A new dog or cat owner will be amazed to know that pet ownership comes with learning a new language—the non-verbal language of animals. Our dogs and cats may not use the same words we do, but that does not mean they don’t have a diverse and complex system of communication. It is then our responsibility to decipher the codes in order to fully attend to our pet’s needs and wants. Proper decoding of a dog’s barks or a cat’s moans will lead to a happier relationship. Missing out on these non-verbal cues will lead to disaster!
In this article, we have put together some of the common ways our dogs and cats communicate with us. Be patient when trying to learn their language because some gestures and sounds may mean one thing to dogs, but mean an entirely different thing to cats!
If there’s one great thing about decoding your pet’s language, it’s turning you into an effective listener. Cats and dogs make use of pitch (how high or how low a sound is) and volume to deliver different messages. The five most common categories of these messages are aggression, playfulness, fear, desperation and joy.
Aggressive barks and purring are loud and high-pitched, and they happen in rapid succession. Desperation and fear are high-pitched and are spaced far apart from each other. They’re also softer than sounds of aggression. Whimpers are a clear sign of pain. Normal pitched sounds that occur with slight pauses are indicators of playfulness and happiness.
When a cat yawns, he feels relaxed and is ready to take a long nap—just like us, humans. However, it is not the same way with dogs. When a dog yawns, it can mean that he is worried or annoyed. When you pet a dog and it begins to yawn, it is best to keep your hand away because the dog is not quite ready to interact with you yet. When a dog is sleepy, he often gives his body a good stretch before settling into a corner to fall asleep.
Dogs and cats have different types of tails wags. For dogs, a low swinging tail is indicative of happiness and playfulness. This means that your dog is excited about something, such as seeing you when you come home from work. If your dog’s tail is stiff and held high in the air, this is a warning sign that means you should give your dog some space to chill out.
On the other hand, when a cat’s tail is held high in the air, it means your cat is happy to see you. A low-lying tail means the opposite, and your cat is probably not amused at the moment.
Dogs and cats are masters of body language and they can use even their ears to communicate. When a dog flattens it ears, it means it is scared. It also means that they’re guilty of chewing on your shoes or digging out the flowers. When a dog’s ears shoot up, it means he is on alert mode.
On the other hand, when a cat flattens its ears, it means he is ready to pounce and fight! Cats keep their ears flat so they don’t get scratched during a catfight.
Rolling over is a sure sign of submissiveness for dogs. It also means they want their bellies to be rubbed. However, when a cat lies on its back, a belly rub is the last thing they want. Don’t rub a cat’s belly when he is in this position because he will most likely scratch or bite.
If there’s one thing cats and dogs do the same way, it’s causing “deliberate accidents.” When your dog or cat does business outside of their designated areas, it usually means that they’re uneasy or unhappy about a recent change in your household.
If your dog or cat is misbehaving and causing unwanted potty accidents that you can’t control, it is best to seek the professional services of a pet sitter. We at Pet Nanny are trained not only to look after your pet; we can also assess their behavior and come up with a solution. Call us at 734-981-6108 today or use our easy on-line contact form and we will contact you!
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