Many people wonder if their pets have emotions and if they can feel happy, sad or lonely. Find out what true about your pets and their emotions with the following 10 guidelines. Once you realize that your pets may be feeling happy or sad or even perhaps, unwell, you can do something about it with extra attention or a trip to your veterinarian. Observation is key to helping your pet. Here’s how to get started tapping into your pets emotions:
1). Pet emotions are very similar to those of human beings including happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, surprise and anger.
2). Animals don’t filter their emotions like we do. They are pure.
3). It takes training, observation and experience to correctly interpret dog emotions.
4). Care, commitment, and common sense help us decipher their feelings.
5). Emotions are most easily read by paying attention to the expression in your pet’s eyes. Are they sad, happy, fearful and dull, sparkling or full of humor or mischief??
6). Pay attention to their posture (are they rolling happily on their backs waiting for a belly rub?) Are they in the playful bow position (crouching on the forepaws and elevating their behind?
7). Observe their gait – are they walking slowly? Rapidly? As if in pain? Running playfully or prancing with joy? Are they jumping up and down in anticipation of playtime or going for a walk?
8). Listen and familiarize yourself with their vocalizations: are they whining or whimpering in fear, pain, sadness, or in anticipation of separation from you? Are they barking menacingly at a stranger? Are they purring or meowing in contentment and comfort? Are they exuberantly welcoming you home with their enthusiastic meowing, barking or yipping or howling?
9). Is the pet’s tail wagging in happiness or anticipation of fun/playtime? Is the tail down in sadness, depression or disappointment?
10). Are your pet’s ears down in submission or fear after he’s been admonished or frightened? Are his ears up and alert –anticipating fun and adventure?
We commiserate with them and offer them love and hugs and kindness as we would to any human friend or loved one who is sad. We may entice them with a treat or walk or special play time…but it is our love, support, soothing and healing verbal language as well as body language (hugs, petting, etc.) that is of greatest help.