Dogs are emotional beings. They also feel anxiety, fear, or stress, just like humans. When leaving them in a boarding kennel, they may suffer from depression once introduce to unfamiliar surroundings, especially when their owners are not around. You may notice that other dogs quickly enjoy socializing with fellow animals, while others hesitate and stay in one corner. As much as you want to know what’s on their mind, dogs cannot tell you what’s bothering them.
As a daycare business, your attendant has to help the dogs remain calm and relaxed for them to have a great time. But when issues arise, how will you resolve them or prevent them from happening?
Fortunately, there are techniques to recognize dogs’ emotions by observing their body language and behavior. It also pays if you record it in your pet kennel software for better behavior monitoring in the future.
In this blog, we compiled a list of behavior tips for dog daycare and kennel assistants working with their canine clients. Let’s check it out.
#1. Approach Them Patiently and Friendly
Even a kid needs a friendly approach when afraid in a new environment. For your fur clients, you may begin by quietly and slowly walking with your hand out while speaking softly. You may also call them with their name or offer a treat to help calm down. This method is a crucial strategy to show them that you are not a threat.
It may take a while before they respond, and as daycare personnel, patience is essential. You will know how it feels by these responses:
• If the dog seems stressed out and hesitant to engage with you, it may see you as a threat. Be vigilant as it may bark, growl or bite you as a warning to go away. Or, in most cases, it might retreat away from you.
• If it responds positively, it will probably jump all over you, showing excitement and happiness.
• If your fur client is visibly nervous and doesn’t like to engage, don’t force them. Instead, let it alone calm. After some peaceful moment, you can try to entice him by throwing some treats on the flow and calling him again by its name. Once it realized that you are safe, it will eventually come to you and start mingling with fellow dogs.
#2. Notice the Dog’s Body Language with pet Kennel software
Animals may not be able to talk, but they have ways of showing feelings. Therefore, your daycare attendants and kennel workers need to know how to understand a dog’s body language. They also use facial expressions and posture to communicate with humans.
Here are some typical dog languages and their meaning:
• Cowering or hunched closer to the ground – how dogs stand and distribute their weight show their emotions. If you see them like this, in most cases, they are afraid of something.
• Rolls and shows stomach – typically, you might guess that they ask for a belly rub, but in some cases, it could also mean that they feel significant stress and anxiety.
• Shifting weight with high twitching tail – when a dog moves backward and forward continuously with some gestures, it specifies aggression. The dog does it to show other animals that they are superior.
• Chest down, bum up – dogs do this like they are about to run in a marathon. But this indicates that they like to play with other dogs or people.
• Non-stop panting – if the dog didn’t come from playing and running, he might be stressed out. It will likely occur when he’s not petted to calm down.
• Prolonged yawning – your canine clients will yawn when bored or tired. But when you notice that it is intense and prolonged, it could be indicative of stress.
• Snarling or growling – also called a smile or submissive grin and often a sign of fear.
• A high, stiff body and tail could mean two things: they are alert and highly aroused, and they display dominance.
• Relaxed, soft, mouth half-open – he is happy and chilled out. The perfect mood for playing.
• Soft, relaxed, and fluid movements – he’s pretty chilled out and happy with the situation.
If possible, you want every dog in your care to enjoy their stay. While it is far-fetched, you have the power and knowledge to avoid potential problems. And with these dog’s posture tips, you can do so.
When a dog’s tail is wagging, people typically think it’s a sign of happiness or friendliness. However, it is not always the case. Dogs also use this body language as equivalent to a smile used by a person. Dogs kennel Software does that when someone is around – other animals or humans. Otherwise, they will not give their normal wags, just like a person who doesn’t talk and smile at a wall.
Wags might mean happiness, but they can also indicate insecurity, fear, social challenge, frustration, or a warning that says, “don’t try to come near me if you don’t want to get bitten.” It can be unclear, but you can translate their emotions by their speed, breadth, direction, and position.
• Slight wag, with small breadth – is typically mean as greetings like “hello human” or “Hi, I’m here.
• Broad wag with hips movement – they are friendly and the closest to the famous concept of happiness wagging. It can also decipher the message “I am grateful” or “I will not harm you or threaten you.”
• A slow wag with half–staff tail – is neither high nor low position and indicates insecurity. Dogs are feeling less social with this gesture compared with other signals.
• High-speed and tiny tail movements – the dog is up to something; it could be running or fighting. When someone holds the tail while shaking, it could be a sign of active threat.
People get goosebumps involuntarily, and so as dogs. When you see a dog with its hackles raised, it indicates active and high alert. Lifted hair in their neck and back could be a response when feeling:
• Very curious
Dogs involuntary do this when their nervous system automatically piloerection across the dog’s back and neck. When this sign occurs, it is essential to keep calm and divert attention away from stressing them. If they become aggressive, try to take them away from the situation.
Just like humans, dogs can express their feeling through eyes. When you look into their eyes, you probably attempt to decode what’s on their mind by how they look at you. When you see those puppy eyes, you could quickly tell that they are begging or showing love and affection. But here are kinds of dog’s eye signals and their meanings:
• Soft and relaxed lids – it looks like dogs are squinting and indicate a peaceful and happy dog.
• Hard and cold eyes – in contrast to the soft eyes, you may notice the dog’s eyes seem unwelcoming when they are guarding a toy, food, or being aggressive. They can also stare for a long time, which showing a warning.
• Avoids eye contact – they tend to look away when they feel stressed. Though misinterpreted by many by thinking that the dog is stubborn, in reality, dogs show anxiety.
• Reveals their sclera – dogs show the white on their eyes when they feel stressed or worried. For instance, they think some dogs or human will get their bone or toy.
Dogs can show emotion through their faces. Interestingly, they have approximately 100 various facial expressions and mostly show it with their ears. When they listen to you, they tend to focus on hearing how you communicate your message to them. They are too aware that eye contact between them and a human shows comfort and trust.
Here are some typical facial expressions and their meanings:
• Yawning – they feel stress and try to comfort themselves. You can help by yawning near them, and they probably yawn back.
• Lip licking – they usually do this after every meal but know that they do this too when feeling nervous. You can notice it if dogs didn’t come from eating or drinking. Chances are a dog is feeling anxious.
• Smiling – dogs have various kinds of smiles just like humans. Thus, it can’t be easy to decipher their emotions with this. When combined with a submissive grin where the front teeth are out, it signals a warning and aggression. In contrast, a dog smile when they show a loose posture.
#3 Watch the Dog’s Behavior
Your canine client’s body language is an excellent emotional state indicator, and so is their behavior.
You might notice a dog that spends the whole day hiding and alone; they are probably afraid or stressed. To help them calm, you could try these strategies:
• Put a thunder shirt on the fearful dogs – proven by other dog trainers; this shirt causes a soothing effect like giving hugging to someone when worn. Thus, helping anxious dogs calm.
• Place pheromone diffusers in the area – Pet kennel software studies reveal that this diffuser releases air substances that soothe animals, including dogs. Moreover, it can help diminish unwanted behavior when an animal is experiencing stress.
As a kennel and daycare attendant, it is essential to be vigilant of these hyperactive dogs. An overly aroused dog might be running more around than usual. This behavior of dog boarding shows that they have a high level of stress and don’t know how to handle it. To help them bring it down, you could consider going for in these activities that require your fur client to focus:
• Play attention-getting games to divert their focus to the activity.
• Work on skills and training in calm surroundings to drop their arousal level down.
This behavior could also mean jealousy, as some dogs are possessive. Since you are taking care of many dogs, you will share your time and attention with many dogs.
How Can a Pet Kennel Software System Help You Monitor Pets in Your Facility?
Keep Track of Incidents
Monitoring different breeds with different behavior is a challenge when not using a kennel software program. It isn’t easy to report when you need to search for a pet’s behavior using pen and paper or MS suite.
This task is the reason why an online booking software kennel is beneficial. Even when searching with thousands of pet names, you could easily search the exact date and pet details.
Label Dog Behavior
Dogs exhibit different behaviors that can be enigmatic. With dozens of dogs you are handling, it is essential to label and categorize their behavior, so your team member can prepare for unexpected situations.
A kennel connection software helps you quickly track dog behavior for every pet in your care. The system provides three incident labels such as positive, neutral, or negative. You can use this information when faced with a similar situation, and this time, you know what to do.
Help Track Early Signs of Illness
Knowing how a dog behaves will help you determine if they have an illness. It could benefit you and your facility’s infection control.
Having complete details of the dogs’ illness, you could consult with a vet to confirm its condition. The doctor may ask you questions about the incidents, so it is best to record all the information in a cloud-based system such as pet booking software. This way, you don’t have to worry that the notes will disappear. You could always look for it, using any device.
Help Communicate with the Pet Owner Easily
There are situations that a dog’s behavior is out of your control. Before it causes more problems, it is best to contact its owner. You could quickly reach out to them when using dog management software. All you need to do is input their names or pet’s name with minimal taps.
A Handy Pet Kennel Software for Your Daycare and Kennel Businesses
Though you hired trained and animal-loving personnel, it pays to use reliable pet kennel software and pet training software for a manageable and successful pet care business. It will save you time, help you increase the bottom line, assists you to build a good reputation, and so many other benefits you don’t want to miss.