Petting A Dog Is More Than Just A Physical Interaction, It’s An Emotional One

What is it with dogs and their obsession with being petted?

Some dogs go out of their way and get literally in your way just to bug you for some pets.

Have you seen this video?

Puppy obstructs their owner’s path to get belly rubs

Scotch wants all the belly rubs he can get! 🥰

Posted by Daily Mail on Saturday, April 22, 2023

I know! Adorable. But it can also be dangerous, particularly for little dogs, when you’re preoccupied with something else and might be unable to notice your dog underfoot before you step on them.

Based on my own experience with our family’s dogs, I also know that one dog can get jealous whenever you pay attention to another dog. For instance, they will try to ‘cut the line’ or squeeze their heads under your hands just so they can get more pets. It’s absolutely cute when it happens!

While dogs are affectionate themselves, it makes you wonder if dogs are also needy for affection and attention, or is it something deeper than that?

Well, it turns out that dogs value the physical reminder that their love is reciprocated!

Petting is one of the many ways we can show our love to our pets. Just like how hugging improves a person’s mood, dogs also like receiving pets because they get a boost of oxytocin and serotonin.

PHOTO: Pexels/Katia Miasoed

Oxytocin and serotonin are referred to as the “happy hormones” because they both promote positive feelings. Oxytocin, in particular, is sometimes called the “love hormone” and is typically associated with baby-parent bonding. (But let’s be honest, here. We all treat our dogs as our own children anyway, so the term still applies.) It has relationship-enhancing effects such as trust, empathy, and the processing of bonding cues.

Serotonin is also produced when you pet your dog, and it helps our dogs in multiple ways, such as mood regulation, digestion, bone health, and reducing stress levels.

Did reading this make you want to pet your fur babies immediately?

Hold that thought for a while, because even though dogs like pets, it still depends on each individual.

Just like humans, animals can be moody and may have certain spots that they don’t want to be touched, or they may just not like other people touching them sometimes. Always be aware of their behavior before approaching them and even while you pet them. Some cues you can look out for when you search for that certain sweet spot are tail wagging or leg shaking!

But here’s a general guide to where you can pet your dogs!

If you want to go on a personal mission to find out where your dog’s sweet spot is, here’s a blank chart I found on Facebook. This would be a fun activity for both you and your dog, plus it would be nice to hang this around your home for both your family and any future house guests you may have. Your dog would probably love you for this one as well. They would receive optimal petting after all!

Physical contact is an instant mood booster, builds up a relationship, and it’s also beneficial for the mental health of both owner and dog.

Now go ahead and pet your dogs!

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