Understanding Dog Behavior

Your dog can act differently in certain situations, and you might be concerned about their  behavior. Fortunately, there are several typical situations where your dog’s behavior might change, however, it’s also essential to be aware of those changes so you can identify if there are any underlying health concerns or injuries. 

Common Changes in Dog Behavior 

When you notice a difference in your dog’s behavior, it’s important to take note of it. Failing to notice even small behavior changes can cause you to miss indicators of severe health issues. However, there are also plenty of normal dog behavior changes in certain situations. Normal dog behavior changes are not a cause for worry. The following are changes you should keep an eye out for: 

  • Excessive panting 
  • Your dog acts tired or severe fatigue 
  • Changes in urination or defecation
  • Whining or barking
  • Destructive behavior

Although you should notice all of these behavior changes, not all of them are necessarily bad. There are certain situations where these behavior changes are normal and expected. For example, your dog may be more tired than usual after spending time in a dog park. However, there are also situations where these behaviors are indicators of a health issue.

Excessive Panting

Dog panting can have several different causes. This dog behavior is normal if your dog just got done on a walk or it’s a hot day. Dog panting is also normal if the dog is excited about something. However, if your dog is panting profusely without any cause, it would be best to take them to the vet. In bad situations, panting can be a sign of overheating or dealing with chronic health problems.


There are situations where your dog’s behavior of acting overly tired can be a concern, and there are situations where that same behavior is normal. Examples of normal lethargy include hot weather and additional exercise. If you and your dog have been exercising all day, it’s normal that the dog could be tired from that situation. If your dog’s been outside during hot temperatures, it’s also common for the dog to be tired. However, you should talk to a vet if you can’t figure out why your dog is acting more sluggish than normal.

Urine and Feces Changes

A dog’s urine and feces can tell a lot about their health. Constipation, diarrhea, and blood in the stool indicate your dog is sick. Also, if your dog is urinating more than normal or less than normal, this can be a strong indicator that your dog is dealing with a major health issue. However, if you recently changed your dog’s diet, this can also explain changes in your dog’s stool.

Increase in Whining and Barking

Dogs often whine and bark when they are excited or nervous about something. However, if you notice that your dog is whining and barking frequently, this can also be a sign of a health issue or an injury. When a dog whines without any reason, it would be best to take them to a vet to be safe. 

Destructive Behavior

When dogs are anxious, they also resort to destructive dog behavior. This destructive behavior can include tearing up last floors and furniture. Dogs may also display destructive behavior by getting into things that are unsafe and messy. Destructive dog behavior can be a strong indicator of separation anxiety which is very common in dogs.

When to See a Veterinarian

If your dog starts to display abnormal behavior frequently, then they need to go to a vet to ensure that there are health issues going on. However, seeing a vet can be pricey, especially if you see them for regular dog behavior. If your dog pants after a walk or if you are tired after a long outing, this is probably not a cause for concern. However, if your dog shows increased lethargy unprovoked or your dog pants frequently without reason, these can be strong indicators that you need to visit your vet.

You can also call your vet’s office and ask them about the signs that you see in your dog and if you should bring them in for a visit. A vet’s office can help you through the situation and determine if it warrants a vet visit. Calling your vet can help you distinguish the difference between normal dog behavior and abnormal dog behavior. Contact us today if you’re concerned about your dog’s behavior.

Recent Posts