From sniffing every tree during a walk to an undying devotion to a single, smelly toy, your dog exhibits some downright strange, but endearing, behaviors. However, there are other times when your dog's quirks seem a little too bizarre, and maybe even hazardous to their health. Don't miss a potentially devastating issue with your dog's physical and mental well-being and instead, here are simple explanations for three common and unusual types of dog behavior:
Your Dog, the Feces Connoisseur
Whether it's out of the cat's litter box or from a random pile on the street, your dog is displaying one of the grossest and most disturbing of all dog behaviors: poop eating. However common, it can still be distressing when you try to kiss your dog and you notice they have been dining on their favorite fecal meal.
According to the American Kennel Club, there are a number of reasons why your dog is suffering from coprophagia, the scientific term for this completely common behavior. For example, your dog could enjoy dining on poop because of a lack of calories or vitamins and minerals in their dog food. Your dog could also be infected by parasites, or they might simply be seeking attention or suffering from anxiety.
Whatever the cause, it is important to work with your veterinarian from a place like Seattle Emergency Veterinary Hospital to pinpoint the reason why your dog is eating feces, and help you create a plan to put an end to this behavior. For instance, you may need to switch your dog's food or simply spend more time with them.
If your dog twitches, tosses and simply moves around a lot while they are sleeping, this is once again a very common, albeit strange, behavior that has a simple explanation. For example, your dog could be twitching in their sleep simply because they are having a dream. Just like humans, dogs move around a lot while they are asleep, especially during the dream stage of sleep.
Additionally, your dog might simply be twitching because they are shivering. If this is the case, provide your dog with a warm blanket or place their bed near a register.
However, if your dog moves around violently or seems to have trouble sleeping because of the twitching, contact your veterinarian immediately. The problem might be a seizure disorder that should be treated right away.
Does Your Dog Press Their Head Against the Wall?
Finally, there is one out of the ordinary behavior that if you notice, you need to address immediately: a dog that constantly presses their head against the wall. Although it might seem innocuous, a dog that incessantly pushes their head against the wall might actually be suffering from a severe psychological disorder or medical emergency.
There are a number of potentially life threatening diseases and disorders that have one common symptom: head pressing. Here are a few:
- Brain tumor
- Hydrocephalus, or water on your dog's brain
- Severe head or brain trauma
- An inflammatory disease of the brain, such as meningitis
In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, your dog might also be suffering from hepatic encephalopathy. This is actually a sign of liver disease, and presents as head pressing because of the toxins that build-up in your dog's head.
Once again, it is critical that if your dog is pressing their head against the wall on multiple occasions, it is critical to contact your veterinarian. The sooner your vet uncovers the cause of your dog's head pressing, the more quickly you can begin treating the underlying issue.
From sleeping twitching to a more potentially life-threatening issue, there are several bizarre behaviors your dog might exhibit. If your dog's behavior is actually beginning to threaten their health and your daily life, it is critical to contact your vet right away.