Why does my dog whine so much?
Until someone invents a software program that can translate dog-speak into English, we’ll have to keep guessing at the meaning behind canine barks, howls, growls and, yes, whines.
Puppies quickly learn that whining is rewarded with attention and comfort from their mothers. It works so well for some of them, in fact, that many dogs continue to whine into adulthood.
Why Adult Dogs May Whine
A whine from an adult dog can mean a number of things, including the following:
I’m frustrated . . . because my toy is stuck behind the couch.
I’m hungry . . . so please drop a morsel of that cheeseburger in my direction.
I’m happy . . . because you’re home!
I’m anxious to do my business . . . so open the door before we both regret it.
I’m excited . . . because there’s a squirrel in the yard who needs to know who’s boss.
I’m in need of some loving . . . so rub my belly!
I’m anxious . . . because there’s a new baby in the house — and it’s annoying me.
I’m protecting you . . . from the letter carrier who’s here with more bills for you to pay.
I’m scared . . . about that thunder.
I’m sorry . . . about digging up your flowerbed. Please forgive me.
For the most part, these are all examples of attention-seeking whines. The key to interpreting a whine is to ask yourself when it happens most, what’s occurring at the time of the whining and what makes the whining stop. If you’re lucky, your dog will give you a hint, such as whining while staring at his food bowl.
Sometimes, however, whining can indicate that your dog is in pain or feeling excessive anxiety. A dog who has torn his cruciate ligament, for example, may hold up his limb and whine when you touch it. A dog with separation anxiety may begin to whine when you pick up the car keys to leave the house. And an older dog with cognitive dysfunction or senility may whine and pace around the house because he feels disoriented.
What You Can Do About Whining
If you feel that your dog is experiencing any kind of discomfort or distress, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian, who can determine if there’s a medical issue behind the whining — and recommend behavior modification, medications or other treatments that can help.
If there’s no medical or anxiety issue at play, you may be inadvertently encouraging the attention-getting behavior. Whether you look at him, tell him “no” or offer that snack he’s begging for, you’re rewarding him with what he wants — your attention.
The best thing you can do to discourage attention-seeking whining is to ignore your dog — don’t make eye contact or talk to him when he whines. If need be, move to another room. Once he’s quiet and calm, then you can reward him with praise or treats.
If your dog is especially vocal, a veterinary behaviorist or a certified dog trainer may be able to help.
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Fourteen people in at least nine states have been sickened by salmonella after handling tainted dog food from a South Carolina plant that a few years ago produced food contaminated by toxic mold that killed dozens of dogs, federal officials said Friday.
At least five people were hospitalized because of tainted dog food but no pets have become ill, according to the CDC. At least five people were hospitalized because of tainted dog food but no pets have become ill, according to the CDC.At least five people were hospitalized because of tainted dog food but no pets have become ill, according to the CDC.
At least five people were hospitalized because of the dog food, which was made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. No pets were sickened, according to the Meta, Mo.-based company.
“People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.
Three people each were infected in Missouri and North Carolina; two people in Ohio; and one person each in Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the CDC said.
“Our folks are really wanting people to be aware of it. They want to be aware that this is causing people to get sick because they may have product in their homes. For every one that is reported, there may be 29 others,” Russell said.
People can get salmonella by handling infected dog food, then not washing their hands before eating or handling their own food, health officials said.
The South Carolina plant temporarily was shut down April 8. Diamond Pet Foods has issued four rounds of recalls for food made at the plant, located outside of Columbia, S.C., between Dec. 9 and April 7. The latest recalls were announced Friday.
“We took corrective actions at the plant, and today the plant is up and running. Our mission is to produce safe pet foods for our customers and their pets in all Diamond facilities,” the company said in a written statement Friday.
In 2005, a toxic mold called aflatoxin ended up in food made at the same Diamond Pet Foods plant in South Carolina and dozens of dogs died. The company offered a $3.1 million settlement. The Food and Drug Administration determined the deadly fungus likely got into the plant when it failed to test 12 shipments of corn.
FDA officials were not immediately available for comment Friday on the most recent problems with the plant.
Agriculture officials in Michigan found the strain of salmonella during routine testing of dog food on April 2 and health investigators noticed there was a possible link to the food made by Diamond Pet Foods. An ill person still had some of the food, and authorities were able to link the cases to the food, the CDC said.
The recall covers a number of pet food brands made at the Gaston plant, including Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild.