While your pet can’t tell you in words what’s going on in their life, paying attention to their behavior can tell you a lot about their needs. If you pay attention, you’ll discover that they are communicating with you all the time. Your pet is a member of the family and deserves a great quality of life. But sometimes, it can be difficult to tell when something’s amiss with your furry friend. If you notice any changes in behavior or mood that seem out of the ordinary, always check with your vet. Your vet will likely ask you questions about how your pet has been behaving lately and may want to run tests such as blood work or urinalysis. What are these behaviors? Well here are 7 to take seriously.

A Toothy Smile and Wagging Tail

When your pet smiles and wags its tail, it’s usually a sign that they are happy to see you. However, if your pet doesn’t smile or wag its tail to greet you, this could be an indication of unhappiness. If your pet normally shows these signs and suddenly stops, you might want to watch out for other behaviors that might indicate what is going on.

Food Guarding

Most people don’t realize what a big problem it is when dogs food guard. Food guarding is a serious behavior problem that can lead to aggression and injury. Food guarding is often misunderstood as normal dog behavior, but this is not the case. Dogs may guard food because of stress or anxiety, which could be caused by many things including lack of training, being left alone too often, or being abused in the past. If your dog guards his or her food bowl or toys, it’s important that you seek professional help from a trainer or animal behaviorist who can help you modify their behavior. Your dog should have easy access to their food with no interference from other animals or children especially.

Changes in Eating Habits

Pay attention to changes in eating habits. When your dog or cat is healthy, you’ll notice they eat a relatively consistent amount of food each day. Getting enough dog food for pitbull puppies will certainly look different than getting enough food for a full-grown greyhound dog. What you are looking for are sudden changes in eating habits. Like suddenly your pup doesn’t feel like eating, or your dog seems to be ravenous and eats all the time without any major changes in activity. If you notice a change in appetite, check with your veterinarian as soon as possible so they can determine if there’s an underlying medical condition, like diabetes, contributing to these symptoms.

Be Alert to Changes in Drinking Habits

You may notice that your pet is drinking more than usual or urinating more than usual. If these behaviors persist for a few days, this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Reach out to a pet professional if your dog or cat seems to have excessive thirst or excessive urination.

Make Sure Your Pet is Moving Enough

Lack of exercise is a common reason for many pet health problems. It’s important to make sure that your pet has a daily routine including some sort of exercise! Simple activities like walking them every day, playing fetch with their favorite toy, and even taking them on hikes can be great ways to get them moving. If you’re looking for something more complex, agility training may be right up your alley.

Poop Changes

Some dogs get into something they shouldn’t and it messes with their digestion and causes diarrhea or constipation. Some dogs get an illness that messes with part of their digestive system. Changes in poop can be a sign of digestive issues or other health problems and it’s your biggest warning that something is up. If your pet’s bowel movements are less frequent than usual, or if the stool looks different, or smells way worse, contact your vet immediately.

Look Out for Signs of Anxiety or Depression

If your pet is showing any signs of depression or anxiety, it’s important to seek help from a veterinarian as soon as possible. While some pets may be able to work through their problems on their own and thrive, others will need professional care and guidance.

If you notice any changes in behavior or habits—like excessive shedding, decreased appetite, or lack of interest in social activities such as playing with other animals or people—these could all be signs that your dog is depressed or anxious. If this happens once here and there but then goes away within a few days without intervention, it may not be anything serious; however, if these behaviors persist, you might consider a trip to the vet.