What's your pet thinking?

Allison Schrader

Pets. They're always looking at you, biting you, or eating your unmentionables. But how can you tell what they're up to? This list of body sign language will help you get a grip on where your pet is at on an emotional level. 


If you are a worthwhile pet owner than you have probably seen your dog in this state at one point or another. The signs of a happy pooch include wagging of the tail, a slightly open but relaxed mouth, as well as a straight and tall posture. 

It’s hard to miss the signs of a playful dog. It may occur when you are firmly fixated on the television, or plastered into a couch, but a playful dog will always try and get your attention. Some sings to be aware of include but are not limited to, bright eyes, perked up ears, and most often some sort of ‘play bow’. The play bow refers to your dog bowing down with his front paws splayed in front of him, and his butt straight up in the air while usually wagging his tail. If your dog is bounding around doing the good old ‘play bow’, get ready to ignore him or join in the fun. 

If you’re acting overly aggressive (too many steroids) or your dog is intimidated in any way he may act submissive. The overall signs of a submissive dog center around the pooch lowering his ears, averting his eyes completely, and even rolling on his back to display his belly to you. Some dogs will even nuzzle or lick in an attempt to appear even more submissive. And if your dog is a mix of an ape with extreme intelligence and a regular dog, he may hold his hand paw out in a gesture of supplication. 


One of the most opportune times to hang out with a cat is when they are in a relaxed state. This also turns out to be the same moments when the ‘claw to face’ ratio is at its lowest. A relaxed cat will usually have half closed eyes, be lying down, and have an extended or loosely wrapped tail. Again, I can’t stress enough how lucky you are when your cat is in this state. Don’t take it for granted.

Pay attention to the tail when your cat is in an anxious mood. If the tail is close to the body and the tip is moving up and down or side to side, get the heck out of there. Unlike dogs, a wagging tail doesn’t usually mean the feline is in a great mood. In most cases this can indicate anxiousness as well as a warning to those nearby. Remember how rattle snakes give you a warning before they bite your face? Well, consider this your warning.

A terrified cat is a force to be reckoned with, as well as an animal to be given large amounts of distance and space. The indicators on this state of mind are quite blatant and hard to miss. If Princess Pancake is motionless, arching her back, and exhibiting a fully flared tail, it’s a good time to make like a tree and leaf. She may even help you realize the situation you’re in by courteously hissing in your direction all while giving you the death stare. If only there were signs in everyday life that would indicate you were about to make a mistake this clearly. 

 Source: About.com

After reading this I can only hope your paying closer attention to your pet's body language, and what it should mean to you. Trust me, if your looking to reduce the amount of blood your cat cuts out of you, or even the amount of urine in your carpeting, pay more attention to the relatively clear signs your pets use to convey emotions.