Secrets, secrets are no fun – secrets are for everyone! In this article I want to highlight the top 10 secrets that your dog wants you to know but you may not be picking up on.
Shall we begin?
I recently spoke with various veterinarians, pet groomers, animal behaviorists, and even nutritionists to help validate certain pet secrets that most dogs don’t want you to know, but need you to know. Are you overfeeding your dog? Rushing them on their walks? Letting your dog sleep all day? These are a few among the list of things you need to be aware of as a dog parent.
Before we begin, I think it’s important for me to mention that just because these aren’t necessarily your dog’s favorite things, doesn’t mean you’re a horrible dog parent for not knowing. Your dog still loves you. After all, this is why it’s taken so long for this list to be published.
Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.
1. Dog Secrets: You’re Over-Feeding Your Dog
I’m not entirely sure why I led with this one. I love food and I love to eat. BUT, my health is more important so I need to stay focused on the long term goal here.
Allow me to be the first dog to let everyone know that we look to you when it comes to portion control. Not many of us will turn down a delicious bowl of food.
How do you know if you’re feeding your dog too much?
Glad you asked.
Try to get us to do a trick for a treat.
If your dog is unmotivated by the treat, this is a big flashing light that you may be overfeeding them throughout the day. Cut back just a little, gauge their behavior, and continue to adjust accordingly.
If you have any questions or concerns about the type of food or quality of food you’re currently feeding your pup, then check this post out.
2. Dog Secrets: Do NOT Rush Your Dog’s Bathroom Breaks
Do I really need to break this one down for you? How do you feel when you’re lifting your leg over that white bowl thing you humans use and someone starts beating on the door?
Does that unnerve you a bit?
Yeah. Same here.
Dogs are connected to mother earth and the magnetic forces that abound. This is why we do the circle thing over and over and over again before we find that perfect spot to poop.
Dogs have to be aligned. It’s a feeling thing. Let it happen.
Your dogs also really enjoy their walks and time outside, even when they know you’re are in a hurry. Sometimes knowing this only makes it worse. If you’re feeling rushed and anxious, it will radiate through to your dog, making it much harder for them to focus on the goal.
Have you ever had someone watch and rush you while you’re trying to pee? No easy feat, my friends. Back off, let us do the pees and the poops in peace.
3. Dog Secrets: You Probably Shouldn’t Be Letting Your Dog Sleep All Day
You’ve heard the adage, “let sleeping dogs lie””?
Turns out this may be crappy advice.
You might think your dog is just being lazy – and to an extent, they are – but being lazy could result in some behavioral adjustments for them and not always the best kind.
Your dog may get grumpier or more easily aggravated, and may even become continuously lethargic.
The best remedy for this is to take your dog on a 20 minute walk. That’s it. It doesn’t take much.
There’s a huge difference in your dog needing a nap because they’re physically tired due to all of the outdoor activities they’ve participated in during the day versus them needing a nap because they’re bored and feeling lazy.
Engage your dog’s body and you simultaneously engage their mind. A tired dog is a perfect dog. Stimulate your dog’s souls, humans.
I wrote an entire post outlining why your dog is sleeping so much. If you’re interested in diving in a bit deeper on the subject matter, be my guest. I’ll link it for you right here.
4. Dog Secrets: Just Because Your Dog’s Wagging Their Tail Does NOT Mean They’re Happy
I’ve literally heard my humans say this in the dog park and I cringe every single time.
There will be two dogs in there who don’t particularly love each other quite yet. You know the scene. They’ll sprint up on each other with their eyes wide and their tails just barely moving.
The humans will say, “oh, its okay. Look, their tails are wagging.”
Allow me, again, to let you people in on a little secret.
If your dog’s tail is wagging more so to the left, then they aren’t necessarily loving the situation they’re currently in and are looking for a way out.
Conversely, if your dog’s tail is wagging more so to the right, then they’re perfectly happy staying right where they are.
Your dog REALLY needs you to understand this, so maybe re-read this section once more.
5. Dog Secrets: Your Dog May Be Sick If…
Dog are extremely habitual. They love a good routine. You just can’t beat it.
This is why if your dog changes up ANYTHING in their routine, you need to pay close attention. This could be an indicator that they’re not feeling well.
For example, if I’m not eating as much, or if I’m taking longer than usual to finish my food, or if I’m not as playful, if I’m peeing more, if I’m not peeing as much, if I’m drinking more water, etc., these are all typical indicators of me being a bit under the weather.
You know your dog – just pay attention to them. They will always let you know when something isn’t quite right.
6. Dog Secrets: Eating Grass Doesn’t Always Mean What You Think It Does
Sometimes, yes, when your dog is snacking on some grass it’s because their bellies are upset and they’re trying to puke it up.
But on the other hand, some dogs just really enjoy throwing down on the green goods. My husky sister just so happens to be one of these grass loving dogs.
So, let it happen, just make sure the grass isn’t laden with pesticides.
If you’re unsure whether it’s pesticide free or not, just air on the side of safety and don’t let your dog snack there.
7. Hide Your Underwear
This is my favorite one. Actually, this is my sisters favorite one. That girl LOVES a dirty pair of undergarments.
Even when our mom tries to hide them and puts them in the dirty clothes basket, Callie still finds a way. She just has a nose for those lacy threads.
Apparently, vets have to surgically remove hundreds of panties from the bellies of these little underwear scavengers every single year.
No thanks. They can’t taste as good as surgery hurts.
Seriously though humans, hide these things. Keep them out of sniffing reach of your dogs. So much can go wrong here that it’s best to keep the possibilities off the table completely – just like your panties – keep them off the table completely too.
8. Dog Secrets: Your Dog May Not Like Kids As Much As You Think They Do
Personally, I’m okay with kids, but they’re not my favorite. I tolerate them.
Some of the signs your dog may be displaying in their attempts to let you know they’re not okay with kids are as follows:
- Excessive licking
- Laying their ears down and back
- Turning their head away and in the opposite direction of the child
- Yawning (unless your dog is sleepy, this is an anxiety indicator)
If your dog is showing you any of those signs, then stop pretending that they’re loving the kid action they’re currently experiencing.
It’s best to get them out of there before your dog loses their mind and snaps.
9. Dog Secrets: Dogs Are Picky When It Comes To Where They Sleep
Dogs love when you let them pick out their own beds.
Some of us prefer to sleep curled, while others (me) enjoy the freedom of spreading out like a weeks worth of wash.
Because of this, certain bed types work better with certain sleeping positions.
Flat beds are best for dogs like me because it gives me the surface needed to sprawl out.
Bumper beds are best for my balled up, cuddly counterparts.
Pro tip: Take your pup with you to the store when you’re shopping for a bed. Literally let them try some out. This is the best way to know which type they prefer.
Pro Tip 2.0: Let them sleep with you. Disregard all studies that suggest otherwise. The end. 🙂
10. Keep Your Dog Inside
You may think that allowing your dog to stay in the backyard while you’re gone gives them the opportunity to stretch their legs, get some sprints in, smell every blade of grass, and pee in every corner.
You could not be more wrong here, humans.
The truth is, dogs are den animals. They like smaller, cozier spaces.
If you were able to watch your dog’s activities during the day while they’re outside and alone, you would watch them find one spot and lay there.
Your dog needs you and they prefer to be inside the house – with you.
We love you smelly humans so much it hurts.
Well, there you have it.
The top 10 secrets most dogs never wanted you to know because they didn’t want to hurt your feelings.
You should know by now that I’m not like most dogs and don’t care about your feelings.
Kidding. I care a little.
This was my version of tough love. So pay attention to your dog children.
Listen to them.
And as always, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often.
Love you guys,
P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.
This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.