#2 – Relaxed Mouth
Happy dogs sometimes appear to smile, says Dr. Georgette Wilson, DVM, the director of scientific and regulatory affairs and resident veterinarian at Hartz.
The mouth is open, and while some teeth may be visible, the animal is not baring them or curling back its lips in an aggressive manner, she says.
Open mouth panting should not be confused with smiling, as this could be a sign the dog is stressed or overheated.
The ASPCA also says to look at the mouth. “When your dog is relaxed and happy, he’s likely to have his mouth closed or slightly opened.”
Again, pay attention to the changes in your dog’s body language to read his mood. (note: a dog that is panting with their mouth open, could be hot or stressed, this is not a happy dog). (www.aspca.org)
Next Up: Comfortable Ears