Just like all best friends, our dogs can get a little weird sometimes. Take a look at some odd quirks and habirIf you’re confused and don’t understand some of your pooch’s odd quirks and habits.
• Dragging His Butt Around
While this behaviour may seem funny in the beginning, it’s not something to be taken lightly. Itchy bums can be caused by full (unexpressed) anal glands, and these need to be drained immediately to prevent impaction, infections, and other resulting conditions.
Should you observe your pooch scooting his bum across the floor, do express his anal glands as they face a risk of rupturing if left unexpressed.
• Eating Poop
Gross! Here are a few reasons why pooches do this:
In the wild, predators can track down the location of their preys’ dens simply by smelling their faeces. Hence, mother dogs tend to eat her (and/or her litter’s) poop to cover their tracks.
If your canine is not fed enough or not consuming enough nutrients, he would instinctively look for his own (or even others’) faeces as a source of food.
Pooches may eat their own poop out of boredom.
If you have been reacting loudly every time your pup tries to take a bite out of his own poop, he may start to anticipate that reaction and may do it more often to get your attention.
If you have been scolding your pup whenever he poops, he may try to “dispose” of the evidence by eating it.
To stop this, ensure that your pooch has a nutritious and well-balanced diet, and lives in a clean and hygienic environment. Try not to leave any poop left uncleaned so your furkid won’t have a chance to eat it.
• Destructive Behaviour
It can get pretty frustrating to see Fido chew up that brand new toy that you’ve bought for him, but he means no harm! Back in the past, wild canines hunted to kill and most of the time, their prey would squeak or make noises. This is part of their natural hunting instinct.
To prevent your pooch from instantly destroying all the toys that you’ve bought for him, do give him sturdier ones like rope or solid rubber toys. For the latter, keep a close eye on Fido whenever he’s chewing it as the rubber can wear out overtime.
Once the toy has decreased in size or that small parts have fallen out, it’s time to change it.
• Obsessive Licking
Obsessive licking is a common occurrence, but many paw-rents tend to dismiss it as harmless. Constant licking of floors, carpets, walls, furniture, his own lips, or even your legs, hands, or arms may seem pretty safe, but when the hair and fibres from these objects are ingested, it can lead to life-threatening intestinal blockages that may require surgery.
Pooches learn that constant licking can result in a response from you, so even if that response by you is a form of punishment, it may be rewarding to an attention-seeking pup. If you’re not sure what the root cause of this problem is, it is best to bring Fido to the vet to get it checked out.
• Sleep "Running"
In what’s called R.E.M (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep disorder, your pup’s brain signals reach his large muscles so that he ends up acting out his dreams. A small amount of twitching is normal, but continued muscle spasms are not.
If you notice your dog twitching continuously for more than five minutes, do take him to the vet. Involuntary muscle movements might indicate a medical condition that requires immediate treatment.
* The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified pet health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always make a pet health care decision in partnership with a qualified veterinary or pet health care professional.
*This article was updated on 4 Aug 2020. It first appeared in PetsMagazine.com on 4 Oct 2016.