LIP LICKING such as quick flicks

of the tongue is meant to appease and may prevent an uncomfortable situation from escalating into anything resembling a confrontation. Dogs do it with each other and with us, too. A LOOK AWAY that avoids direct

eye contact likewise signals that a dog is urgently processing their current environment. Norwegian dog trainer Turid Rugaas,

author of On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, identifies the lip licking and averting of the eyes as self-calming behaviors. She affirms, “When dogs are stressed by the environment, they start using calming signals to ease the stress.” When this happens, first try creating

more space or distance between the dog and any perceived threat; this may return them to their body language norm. If not, consider using holistic calming aids like a properly mixed lav- ender essential oil spray or Bach Rescue Remedy Pet flower essences, keeping these well away from their face. Also try mentally engaging the dog

with learned cues. A quick game of sit, down, sit plus high-five allows them to engage in a familiar activity while they adjust to a new environment. If the pet does not respond to

normal cues and continues to display multiple stress signals for an extended period, leave the scene altogether. Their anxiety hasn’t been relieved. If it’s still important that the dog learns to enjoy the troubling environment, work with a professional trainer that uses positive reinforcement tools to aid the transition (see PetProfessional- or The trainer will assist in creating a plan that allows the pet to adjust at a pace that allows them to remain comfortable. By observing a dog’s posture, we

can be confident of choosing mutually good outings.

Susan Briggs, of Houston, TX, is co-author of Off-Leash Dog Play: A Complete Guide to Safety & Fun, co-founder of The Dog Gurus and owner of Crystal Canine (

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Bowman Animal Hospital & Cat Clinic is a full-service companion animal hospital. We are committed to providing quality integrative veterinary care throughout the life of your pet. Our services and facilities are designed to: Provide preventative care for your young, healthy pet • Facilitate early detection and treatment of disease as your pet ages • Provide complete medical, holistic and surgical care to your pet Offer herbal and homeopathic remedies, low-level cold-light laser therapy and acupuncture Assure that courtesy to you and care of your pet are our top priorities • Value your continued trust and goodwill

CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR PET’S NEXT CHECKUP Open Mon-Fri: 8am–8pm and weekends too! Sat: 8am–6pm; Sun: noon–6pm

Visit our website to fi nd infor- mation about our practice, our fantastic veterinarians and our extensive veterinary services.

I’ve worked with several vets at Bowman and they are all wonderful. I prefer the holistic approach and there are several doctors on staff who use both the Western and the Eastern.

Asked a friend for a recommendation for a holistic vet and he recommended Dr. Bowman!

WWW.BOWMANANIMALHOSPITAL.COM • 8308 CREEDMOOR ROAD, RALEIGH • 919-847-0123 natural awakenings May 2017 51

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