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Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

Many times you may wish your dog could talk so he could tell you exactly how he is feeling and what he needs from you. However, if you know how to read your dog’s body language, you may be able to get a deeper understanding of his feelings. 5 Points Animal Hospital wants you to know how to read your dog’s body language by sharing a few tips with you. Knowing what to look for can help you get to know your dog better.

Tail

You probably know that your dog wags his tail when he is happy and wants to play, but he uses his tail to express other emotions as well. If you ever see your dog tuck his tail between his legs, your dog is fearful of something painful that could happen to him. Another sign to look out for is when your dog holding his tail low and swaying it back and forth. You may want to go outside and play with him because this means he is feeling unsure. Having a bit of fun with you will be enough to get his tail wagging happily again.

Ears

When your dog holds his ears straight up or slightly forward, he is very alert to what is going on around him, according to WikiHow. This can be a great time to be curious with your dog and help him explore his surroundings. If you notice your dog’s ears lying flat against his head, this is another sign that your dog feels fearful and may need reassurance.

Mouth

If you have ever thought that your dog could be smiling at you, you were probably right as this means he is relaxed and happy. Your dog also uses his mouth to express anger. Be on the alert when you see your dog curl his lips, wrinkle his muzzle, and bear his teeth as this means he is ready to fight. You may notice your dog opening his mouth and baring his teeth around his food. He is protecting his territory when he does this. Your dog may also let you know that he wants you to tone the intensity level down if you see him tightly close his lips with his mouth pulled back.

Understanding your dog’s body language can strengthen the bond you share with him. Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to learn more tips about how your dog expresses his feelings.

Important Things to Know Before Your First Trip to the Dog Park

5 Points Animal Hospital is proud to be located in one of the historical neighborhoods in East Nashville, and one of the reasons why we love being in this area is the spacious and friendly dog park at a local city park. A very popular spot with so many dogs, this dog park is also a great place to make friends with your neighbors while you watch your beloved pets enjoy running free off-leash with other dogs. However, it is important to know certain aspects about visiting a dog park, especially before your first time, to ensure both you and your dog have a fun and happy experience. We would like to share a few tips with you to consider before going to a local dog park.

Make sure your dog knows how to come to you when called.

According to The Dog Guide: The Fun Times Guide, the most important command your dog needs to know before going to an off-leash dog park is “come.” Be certain that your dog always responds appropriately to this command. If not, you could be in for a long and frustrating struggle with your dog and possibly with other dogs and owners.

Know the specific rules for the dog park.

Besides the dog park in East Nashville, our city has five other off-leash park areas for dogs, and the rules for all six are generally the same. You should check to make sure that your dog is wearing his rabies tag on his collar because proof of this vaccination is required. While in the past, pitbulls and pitbull mixes were banned from all city dog parks, this restriction has changed. However, you should check to see if the park in your area still has this rule, and keep in mind that any dog that becomes aggressive in the park area must be leashed and removed immediately.

Don’t forget to get in some fun outdoor play interaction with your dog.

Although you may be tempted to huddle up with the other owners while your dog is running free. Of course, it is a lot of fun to watch your dog frolic off-leash and socialize with other canines, but it can be even more fun to bring along a frisbee or tennis ball for a game of catch in an open, wide space with him. Spending a bit of one-on-one time with your dog by calling him to come to you every so often also reminds him that you are still in control.

Want to know about all of the great dog parks Nashville has to offer? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to find out our special hints and recommendations to help make your dog park experience fun for you and your dog.

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