Is That “Smiling” Dog Happy?

A topic on our minds, we recently came upon this Great article about signs of stress in your dog. It’s true, some dog’s are not “smiling” or “happy” when their owners post photos of them with tongues out, teeth bare (etc.) If anything, your dog is probably wondering what in the heck are you doing?! Like some humans, not all dogs are…photogenic. I know I am not, whenever someone pulls out a camera, I personally…RUN.

Don’t forget to check out – Dog Facial Expressions: Stress – posted by the same author. This Article will also give you some good pointers for signs of stress in your dog, like whale eyes or panting.

Common Signs of Stress (include, not limited to):

– Turning head away, looking sideways

– Whale Eye, Pupils dilated

– Body tense, stiff posture

– Nose lick/flicking of tongue

– Yawning

– Tail held low/tucked

– Body held low – leaning backwards

– Submissive urination

– Shaking/shivering

– Holding ears loosely backwards

– Repeating a specific behavior (stretching, bowing, shaking – as if wet)



Maybe, but maybe not!

We humans tend to get warm and fuzzy feelings when we see dogs “smile.”

It’s true that some dogs’ mouths open in a cute smile when they are relaxed and happy. But a dog with his mouth open could alternatively be panting from pain, stress, or fear.

Can we tell the difference?

The following pairs of photos show my dogs stressed (left column) and relaxed (right column). The dogs have their mouths open in all the photos.

The usual disclaimers apply. When you run across someone’s still photo with no context, you can’t fairly make assumptions. It might have been taken during the millisecond in which a dog changed his expression. It could be misleading for a dozen other reasons. Videos are better, but we still miss context and may lack knowledge about the particular dog. But in this case I can vouch for the emotional states of my dogs…

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6 Antioxidants GOOD for Your Dog!

What are Antioxidants? Well, according to one definition, it is a substance that inhibits oxidation {combine or become combined chemically with oxygen}, which in turn, helps the immune system fight cancer and aging, by neutralizing free radicals.

Include, but are not limited to:

1. Beta-Carotene – A precursor of vitamin A {retinol} which is awesome for healthy skin, mucus membranes, the immune system, good eye health + vision.

2. Vitamin C – Also known as Ascorbic Acid, this vitamin is needed to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, + blood vessels, assisting in the absorption of iron.

3. Vitamin E – Apart from strengthening the cardiovascular system, vitamin E has the ability to strengthen tissue +  act as an anti-inflammatory effect on skin disorders; assisting with redness and itchiness due to allergies.

4. Selenium – Found to have anti-cancerous properties, this antioxidant is also a preventive for inflammatory bowel disease, seizures, heart disease + rheumatoid arthritis {hip/joint issues}.

5. Alpha Lipoic Acid – Big on restoring numerous biological functions that diminish with age {very good for older dogs}. Especially beneficial in preventing cataracts.

6. Polyphenols – Antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties, help to improve heart health + contain anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic properties,

These antioxidants can be found in fresh carrots, sweet potato, blueberries, pumpkin, kelp, ground flaxseed, yucca, cranberries, spinach, broccoli, apples, bananas + asparagus…the list can go on.  So, don’t be afraid to add some fruit + veggies to your dogs diet {FRUIT SALAD}. Eating these types of foods can not only keep your dog from getting sick, but they can help your dog look + feel GOOD!

Check out some pure dehydrated sweet potato for your dog at thaMUNCHbox.com, they taste superb {yes, i have tried them}!

TOP 10 | Common Household Hazards

photo-10Below is a list of the TOP 10 common household goods + product category that typically prove hazardous for your pet:

1. Human Medications – Store in Cabinets! Just 4 regular strength ibuprofen can lead to serious kidney problems for a 10 lb. dog.

2. Insecticides – Avoid use of chemical-laden flea + tick killers.  Look into a holistic approach to pest control through diet, supplements + grooming.  Google ‘natural flea + tick control’ for options.

3. Veterinary Medications – Minimize the use of these drugs by looking into alternative treatment and therapy (holistic approach)

4. Plants – Many are highly toxic (i.e. azalea, rhododendron, lilies).  Try to keep around barley grass or catnip.

5. Rodenticides – Just as parents baby-proof a home, proactively pet-proof and trash the rat poison, opting for safer, more humane ways of getting rid of rodents.

6. Household Cleaners – Bleaches, detergents + disinfectants are a few out of many.  Store in a secure place, or switch to nontoxic, green alternatives.

7. Chocolate – It’s the caffeine-like substance, methylxanthines, that causes all the issues.  Carob Drops are the way to go!

8. Chemical Hazards – Includes but not limited to, antifreeze, drain cleaners, pool + spa chemicals.

9. Physical Hazards – From pet collars, money, adhesive tape, even baby pacifiers…it is important to keep items that can easily be knocked over, broken, chewed up or swallowed are kept away from pets.

10. Home Improvement products – Paints, solvents, expanding glues + other products used in construction/renovation.

For more information, visit aspca.org/apcc.

References: NaturalAwakeningsBoston.com October 2013