Strange habits that interfere with a dog’s life should be fixed immediately. It’s not uncommon for dogs to exhibit strange behavior and habits, especially for those with anxiety. Our furry friends can be just as anxious as some of us, and just like us, they need help.
One eight-year-old Maltese named Byeol has a major problem. This small dog likes to bob her head up and down while she’s eating. Some people might think it’s strange but harmless. However, her owners are concerned that such a habit affects how much she eats. She might also choke or get indigestion.
Byeol only behaves that way when she’s eating. When playing or doing any other activities, she’s very normal. Could it be a health issue? What’s causing such behavior?
The owners brought Byeol to the veterinary clinic for a few medical exams. According to the results, her organs are working fine, and she doesn’t seem to have a glaring health issue. The vet said that it might be a psychological problem.
After the visit to the vet, an animal behaviorist named Jady was invited to check Byeol. The expert observed the dog for some time. She also checked if Byeol was trying to hide her food by covering the bowl with a cloth.
The dog still bobbed her head even when her food was covered.
The behaviorist declared Byeol to have an anxiety disorder. The owner then admitted that Byeol had a hard time eating in the past when she was living with her mom. Byeol’s mother, Somee, would always growl at her during mealtimes. Bobbing her head was Byeol’s way of alleviating anxiety related to this.
The expert had three solutions to the problem. The first one was taking away the food temporarily whenever Byeol bobs her head. She only returns it when she stops.
The second solution was providing the dog a food puzzle toy. It’s an item that stimulates the dog’s mind while eating treats. Finally, Byeol received an elevated food bow, so she doesn’t have to lower her chin.
Video courtesy of SBS TV Animals via YouTube.