When NOT to pet a dog? Keep your hands to yourself during these times. This mistake can make all the difference

When NOT to pet a dog
Pexels / Zen Chung

Petting a dog is an instinct that many people do without thinking. Unfortunately, it turns out that this custom is often only a pleasure for one of the parties. In some situations, animals may feel threatened when petted, which can lead to dangerous situations. When is it best not to touch a dog and what areas of the body should you avoid when petting your pet?

Petting a dog is not always a reward for the animal

Dogs hold a special place in the hearts of many people, which is why many of them want to hug and pet them when they see a fluffy animal. Unfortunately, few people realize that for animals, close physical contact usually has nothing to do with pleasure or relationship building. Rather, over time, repeated crossing of bodily boundaries will begin to be associated with a sense of threat from our pets. It sometimes happens that even affection towards a caregiver is a source of discomfort and stress for them.

Touch should not be a nuisance. The most important thing to remember is that most animals don’t like to be touched by strangers. Therefore, approaching random dogs you meet on a walk is not a good idea, no matter how gentle and friendly the animal you see seems.

When NOT to pet a dog
Pexels / Uriel Mont

When not to touch a dog? In these situations, avoid physical contact

In what other circumstances is it worth refraining from attacking a dog? Here are some examples of situations in which you should always avoid touching an animal. An attempted petting may result in a warning growl or even an attack.

Here are the times when you should not touch your dog:

  • Meal time – every dog should be able to eat its meal in peace. Any form of physical contact during this time may be perceived by your pet as an attempt to steal food. Therefore, if you want to pet your dog, wait until he has eaten and moves away from the bowl.
  • It’s time to rest: Animals, just like humans, don’t like to be disturbed during a nap. If you suddenly wake your pet from their sleep, they may feel a sudden surge of irritation or even fear. Therefore, before deciding to pet a sleeping animal, think about whether you would like someone to suddenly disturb your rest.
  • Intoxication – dogs do not like people under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. Therefore, if, after returning from a spotted party, you want to hug or caress your pet, remember that he does not want it at that moment.
When NOT to pet a dog
Pexels / Anna Kapustina

Dogs don’t like to be touched in certain places

Stroking a dog’s head seems obvious to many people, but the vast majority of dogs do not like to be touched on this part of the body. This is why animals often react to being petted on the head by avoiding the human hand or moving away from the person.

Touching their tail and legs is equally uncomfortable for most animals. Therefore, when petting your dog, it is worth carefully observing his reaction to various types of petting. If the animal does not show aggression or dissatisfaction, it will certainly prefer to be left alone. Remember that not all animals can communicate their emotions in a way that humans can read.

In turn, animals generally feel the most pleasure when touched on the body and around the neck. Many animals also enjoy having their bellies rubbed.

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