3 minute read

Take your relationship to the next level by understanding your pets’ nonverbal cues.

What lies behind the everyday behaviors of cats and dogs? Two of our Goodheart veterinarians – Dr Carrie Oakes and Dr Ashlyn Spring at Goodheart Cherry Creek – unravel the mysteries behind your dog or cat’s non-verbal communication.

A better understanding of your pets will strengthen your bond with your furry companions.

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

It’s a common sight: your dog munching on grass during a walk in the park.

Should you be concerned? “No need,” says Dr Ashlyn Spring. “It tastes good to them. Especially the new growth grass” she says.
“My dogs have been going crazy eating grass this spring,” she continues. Friends and clients have asked her if it’ll make their pets sick and the answer is “no.”

Dogs are omnivores and sometimes they just like a green salad. 🍃

Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tails?

“The biggest reason is that they feel happy,” says Dr Spring. Tail wagging is often interpreted as a sign of happiness in dogs in the following situations:

  • Exuberant tail wagging during playtime
  • Subtle, contented wags while on a leisurely walk

“But you also need to read the rest of their body language” as a way to judge a dog’s overall demeanor. Dogs can wag their tail when nervous, in which case you want to approach cautiously.

Why Do Dogs Lick Your Face?
Mostly because they’re happy to see you and they love you!
Dogs express their love and excitement by showering us with kisses, akin to the way we pet and interact with them. The next time your furry friend plants a wet one on your face, know that it’s their way of saying, “I love you.”

Why Do Cats Boop Your Head?
Cats often use head boops as a form of greeting you or as a way of signaling their comfort and trust in your presence.

Also, “they have pheromone glands right between their eyes,” explains Dr Carrie Oakes. These interactions allow them to leave behind their scent—a subtle way of marking you as their own.

Why Do Cats Whip Their Tails?
“Cats express themselves with their tails,” says Dr Oakes. And your feline friend’s tail whip is a clear warning sign they’re becoming angry.

Respect their boundaries and give them space. Know that a strong swish of the tail is the step before they might bite you.
Take a step back “if they’re flipping their tail and have airplane ears,” says Dr Spring. Just like with dogs, it’s important to be able to read and understand a cat’s body language.

What Other Behaviors Do Cats Find Silly or Funny?

From midnight zoomies to gravity-defying acrobatics, cats never fail to entertain us. These bursts of energy are often attributed to their predatory instincts, as they mimic the thrill of the hunt.

So, the next time your cat goes on a wild sprint around the house, embrace the silliness and revel in the joy of pet ownership.

Our pets’ behaviors offer a glimpse into their unique personalities and the bond they share with us. By taking the time to understand and appreciate these quirks, we can strengthen our connection with our dogs and cats.

You know your pet best. If you think they’re acting abnormally, let us know and we’ll see if it warrants a visit to the veterinarian.

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