Do Dogs Like Being Pet? + Where to Pet a Dog & Give Scratches | Pupford
August 1st, 2023
Filed under Pet Parenting
Every dog is different. Mine loves anything somewhat edible and all toys that squeak. My neighbor's dog loves belly rubs and a frisbee. So answering the question 'do dogs like being pet' can be more complicated than a simple yes or no response.
There are some dogs that like physical touch more than others (sounds like I'm talking about the five love languages here) but generally speaking, dogs really do enjoy being pet!
But it's also important to know that not all dogs enjoy petting, especially by strangers! So watch for signs of discomfort, adjust the petting accordingly (we'll talk about this more later), and be an advocate for your dog.
Showing your pup some love is one of the best ways to show they're appreciated. You can feel the love from the excitement they show when you come home to the little tail wag as they follow you around!
Petting, scratching, kissing, and cuddling all make your pup feel special. Nuzzling, licking, and rubbing against you are some of the ways they show they love you back.
Just like humans, dogs need physical contact with other beings to be happy, have good moods, and build relationships. So while treats and toys are always great, petting them is one of the best ways to demonstrate your love for them.
But why do dogs like being pet so much?
In this article, we'll explore why dogs like being pet. We'll also discuss how, when, and where to pet a dog and where to avoid it. But first, let's understand what dog petting is.
WHAT IS DOG PETTING?
Petting is touching or stroking your dog lovingly. Petting your pup can be a wonderful way to build a strong bond with your furry friend. It can also be an excellent way to show your pup that you care, help them relax, and release any pent-up emotions.
You can use your hands, a soft-bristled brush, or a cloth to pet your pup in areas they like. By petting your pooch, you let them know you are there to provide love and support. Your pup will appreciate the gesture and feel more relaxed and secure.
WHY DO DOGS LIKE TO BE PET?
Petting a dog is more than just a way to show affection; it's essential to their mental and physical health.
Dogs are social animals, and petting is one of the most important ways they communicate with us.
It also has a calming effect on the dog, helping them to feel secure and comfortable in their environment.
Apart from science, there are many other reasons why dogs like being pet. Like...
1. IT STRENGTHENS THE BOND WITH THEIR PARENTS
Communication between our canine friends and us is crucial in strengthening this relationship.
We have even developed ways to communicate with our canine pals through eye contact and pointing, something not all animals can do. And let's not forget the power of petting - that's an excellent way to communicate with our dogs, whether we're saying hello, praising them, or just showing them some love.
All these little things help us and our furry friends stay connected and make the most of our special relationship.
2. PETTING HAS HEALTH BENEFITS FOR DOGS AND HUMANS
Petting is a beautiful thing that can positively affect both people and dogs.
But health isn't the only reason petting is so beloved - it's also a special way to show love, appreciation, and admiration between humans and their furry friends.
3. IT'S A LOW-COST AND LOW-EFFORT WAY TO PROVIDE COMFORT AND SUPPORT
Petting your dog is like having a meaningful conversation. As you give your pup some love, you both provide comfort and support to one another.
We know that people can interpret someone's emotional state from just a touch, and the same may be true for our dogs.
But, even if we can't be sure, petting allows our furry friends to get close enough to us and take in our unique scent.
HOW TO PET A DOG
When you're petting your pup, make sure to keep your motions slow and consistent.
They may find quick and jerky motions a bit stressful, so staying consistent with your petting type is best.
If you're using your hands, ensure they are dry and clean. If using a cloth or brush, ensure it is clean and not too hot. Most importantly, enjoy the time you spend with your furry friend!
Also, keep these few tips in mind when petting a dog. 👇
1. WHEN APPROACHING AN UNFAMILIAR DOG- ASK FIRST BEFORE PETTING!
It's important to remember that although many dogs are friendly and eager for attention, not all are.
Before , always ask its parent for permission first. When you receive the okay, it's best to approach from the side - not head-on. This way, the dog can get used to your presence before you start petting them.
If you know the dog, such as a friend's pet or a dog you see at the dog park frequently, you can shorten the 'meet and greet' part of the process; however, be sure not to startle the dog and pay attention to their body language.
2. START SLOW
When you're ready to start petting the pup, it's best to extend a loose fist with your palm facing down. Hold it a few inches below the dog's face, and they should start sniffing or licking your hand and wagging their tail. Then you can begin to pet them gently.
3. TOUCH DIFFERENT SPOTS
When petting a dog, it's important to move around and give attention to all of their muscles. Starting by giving some love to their shoulders, then moving to their chest, and finishing with belly scratching will surely give your pup a relaxing experience. Don't forget to end on their favorite spot - they'll surely appreciate it!
WHERE DO DOGS LIKE TO BE PET?
Different dogs have their preferences for where they like to be pet, but some common areas will usually bring a smile to their face.
Here are five of the best places to pet or scratch a dog:
- The upper chest
- The hips and butt area
- The ears
- The belly
- Under the chin
1. THE UPPER CHEST
The upper chest is a great place to pet your dog when they're sitting with you. Cuddle up beside them, wrap your arm around their body, and give their chest a gentle scratch or rub.
2. THE HIPS AND BUTT AREA - DOGS USUALLY LOVE ABUTT SCRATCH
The hip and butt area is probably one of the most popular spots for dogs to receive pets and scratches. Spend a few minutes the whole area, from one hip across their booty and over to the other, then give the tail base some extra attention.
Most dogs will appreciate this petting, even if you're just getting to know them. This is a tough spot for them to scratch on their own, so a butt scratch is usually appreciated!
3. THE EARS
Dogs often find ear rubs incredibly relaxing. Gently massage the area near the base of their ears, working your way toward the tips. You can even give their jaw and neck area some love while you're at it. For those who want to help their pup unwind, a gentle massage of the ear tips should do the trick.
4. THE BELLY
If your pup is comfortable enough to roll over, take this as an invitation to give their belly some love. Most dogs enjoy being petted or scratched on their sides, but some prefer the area near their rear legs.
Give them a few pets and see where they like it best.
5. UNDER THE CHIN
If your pup is comfortable around you, petting the underside of their chin is usually a great way to show your affection. Start from the tip of their chin and work your way down towards their neck, using a gentle touch.
This area isn't suitable for vigorous petting, so keep it light and loving.
WHEN TO AVOID PETTING DOGS
It's also essential to be mindful of the timing of your petting. For example, if your pup is in the middle of an activity, like playing or sleeping, it's best to wait until they've finished before you give them a pet. This will help ensure your pup feels safe and secure in their environment and doesn't feel like you are intruding on their space.
Avoid petting your pup when they are in these situations:
- When your dog is eating
- When your dog is in a crate
- When your dog is sleeping
- When your dog is showing these signs
We will expand on those now...
1. WHEN YOUR DOG IS EATING
Respecting your pup's space while they are enjoying a meal is important. Some dogs may become uncomfortable if petted while eating, so it's best to wait until they are done to give them some love.
2. WHEN YOUR DOG IS IN A CRATE
Your pup's crate is their safe space (we hope), so it's best to give them some privacy when they're in there. Petting a relaxed dog in their bed or crate can make them feel anxious or overwhelmed, so it's best to wait until they come out to cuddle them.
3. WHEN YOUR DOG IS SLEEPING
Your pooch needs their beauty sleep, so it's best to let them rest undisturbed. If you need to wake your pup, do it gently by calling their name or gently shaking their shoulder. This will help them wake up feeling calm and relaxed, preventing potential snapping or biting.
4. WHEN YOUR DOG IS SHOWING THESE SIGNS
Every pup is unique and has its way of showing affection to its parent. Some might like being pet, while others prefer playing a game.
Some signs that dogs don't want to be pet include:
- Leaning away
- Tucking their tail
- Pinning their ears
- Yawning, lip licking
- Rapid breathing
If they are displaying those signs they might be trying to tell you they don't enjoy being petted.
Bonding with your pup is a special experience, so if petting isn't their preferred method of showing affection, don't worry! Many other ways exist to create a loving connection with your pup.
WHY DOGS LIKE TO BE PET RECAP
When done correctly, petting not only provides comfort and security but also helps to strengthen the bond between you and your pup.
Just remember to use a gentle and slow petting motion, pay attention to where you are petting them, be mindful of the timing, and avoid petting sensitive areas like the head and face.
In addition to petting, you should also be sure to feed your pup healthy meals, socialize with other dogs, groom them, train them, and ensure they exercise.
Taking the time to bond with your pup through petting should be a priority in your daily routine. Your pup loves it and will appreciate the extra attention!
How do you pet your pup? Let us know in the comments!