“Oh, he’s wagging his tail He must be happy.”

Maybe not.

Behavior is a difficult thing to read in some pets, and a wagging tail can be a sign of happiness or it can be a sign telling you to “watch out.” More goes into body language than just a tail wag. So, let’s dig a bit deeper and get to know our pets a bit better.

In cats, wagging tails can actually be predatory behavior. Observe your cat when she’s stalking a toy – the tail will slowly move from side to side. Some cats will flick the tip of their tail when they are annoyed – a great tip to know… and a bad time to mess with this kitty.

Many times, dogs who wag their tails are happy, but the rest of the body language will be the clue to what they are really saying. Whole body wag = happiness. Some dogs will hold their tail low and wag the tip; these dogs are saying “I don’t want to get into a bad situation, let’s try to be friends.” Some dogs will hold their tail really high and wag the tip when they are deciding who is the more dominant dog – this is a good time to keep your hands out of the area where the two dogs are.

If a dog is wagging its tail slowly and growling – keep away. If a dog has wiggle butt and whole body wag – say “hi.”

Good news for us at Healthy PAWSibilities…. lots of our dogs love complementary medicine, view it as their day at the spa and wag their whole body when they visit our office. How’s that for a great day at the office?

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