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3 tips for recognizing a stressed and anxious pooch

The holidays can be an exciting time for humans, but for animal companions, that's not always the case. Dogs are used to their family members, but not all of them understand why there are many guests coming over or why there are loud parties or events happening so often. Animals that are overwhelmed by the holidays can become aggressive, lash out and potentially cause harm to guests or visitors.

If a pet injures you, you're able to seek a claim, but the best-case scenario would be to avoid getting bitten in the first place. Here are a few tips for recognizing when a dog doesn't want your attention.

Cowering or slinking away

One of the most obvious signs that a dog doesn't want to be pet or harassed is if it's walking away from you with its tail tucked between its legs or if it is hiding or cowering down. When a dog's ears press down against the head, it's also a sign that it is fearful or feeling threatened.

Showing signs of agitation with sounds

A barking dog isn't necessarily an angry dog, but it can be a sign of being overexcited or anxious. Whining in particular is a sign that the dog is nervous or scared, while growling or barking while having the ears pressed back show signs of aggression.

Warning you to stay away

Most animals give warnings before they attack, and dogs are no exception. You may see the dog wrinkle its nose, warning you by baring its teeth. If you notice a dog pressing its ears down and showing its teeth, back away. It doesn't want you to come closer and is warning you that it may attack.

Looking for these signs can help you avoid becoming a dog-bite victim. Remember, animals can feel anxiety and stress just like humans, so it's best to allow animals that you haven't met to approach you on their own in a friendly, neutral environment. If you must meet a new animal in a frantic or busy situation, watch out for these signs and be prepared to separate yourself from the animal if it appears nervous.

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