Life can get a little busy for even the most devoted of pet parents. But when the everyday stressors of work, family, and other obligations bog you down, sometimes your dog is the one who suffers. Dogs are social creatures and need interaction to be happy, healthy, and thrive. Keep an eye out for these four warning signs that you’re not showing your pup enough attention:
1. Your dog starts misbehaving.
This is a big one. Instead of taking responsibility, owners often chalk up chewed up shoes, digging, and barking to dogs just misbehaving. In reality, these undesirable behaviors are often signs of emotional stress. If you haven’t been spending as much time as you should with your sweet canine companion and you notice some less-than-ideal behaviors, try to pencil in some more quality time together. A happy dog is a well behaved dog.
2. Your dog is sleeping for most of the day.
If your canine companion is hanging more z’s than normal, this could be a sign of puppy depression. Be sure to set aside some special time every day to work on training, get some exercise together, or play a game of fetch. Dogs need both mental and physical stimulation to stay their happy, playful selves.
3. Your dog’s nails are especially long.
Although some dogs need a nail trim every so often, extra-long nails can be a sign that your dog isn’t getting enough activity. Playtime, running around, and going for regular walks naturally files a dog’s nails, so if those claws are longer than usual, it may be time to fit in some more exercise together during your day.
4. Your dog’s weight changes (up or down).
Losing interest in food is a sure sign that something is wrong. Sometimes, this “something” can be the emotional stress of feeling lonely. On the other side of the token, a dog that has gained weight may not be getting enough physical activity. Either way, weight changes warrant a trip to the vet’s office to rule out any medical causes. If your dog is given a clean bill of health, you may want to rethink your schedule to spend more time with your canine best friend.
Keep in mind that all physical and behavioral changes should be discussed with a veterinarian. While a lack of attention can be to blame for many of these issues, sometimes an underlying medical issue is the culprit.