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The Benefits of Cuddling Pets for Oxytocin and Endorphins

All dogs are different: some like to cuddle on their belly, others under the chin or on the back. Let’s find out how to make our dog happy.

Cuddling a dog can be a great way to bond with your furry friend and improve your own well-being. But it's important to do it the right way. Learn where and how to pet a dog to avoid stressing them out and build a stronger relationship.

Pet cuddling benefits . Cuddling a ‘furry one‘ is synonymous with well-being: it helps to increase oxytocin levels, doubling endorphins in the body. However, it is good to do it in the right way.

Each dog is its animal and has its personality. That is why some love a cuddle on the belly, others under the chin, or a nice massage on the back. Indeed, “scratching” our beloved pet is a great way to make him happy and reduce our stress levels.

Cuddling pets like dogs and cats can increase oxytocin and endorphin levels for better well-being and mood. Learn how cuddling furry friends the right way leads to more happiness hormones.

For example, people often underestimate behaviour that can sadden and hurt their four-legged friend, even unintentionally. One of the worst reproaches you can give a dog, for example, is to ignore it and look away, turning away. On the other hand, it is good to underline how too much cuddling can hurt the pet’s psychological and emotional balance, even to the extent of reversing the hierarchical role.

The reason is simple: only puppies farm their cuddles to their mother, not vice versa. If, therefore, one overdoes the attention, in the dog’s eyes, the pa-drone becomes a sort of puppy and pack master simultaneously, giving the animal stress and confusion.

Thus, overly cuddly dogs often bark, growl at strangers, impose walking and feeding times and generally develop aggressive behaviour. They do not do this because they are wrong but lost.

The solution is to opt for frequent cuddle sessions, which last a few minutes: the time structure of the four-legged friend works for present moments that are not necessarily linked to each other.

Why don’t you pet dogs on the head?

Cuddling a furry friend is a great way to boost your mood and well-being, but did you know you can do it even better? Learn how to cuddle your dog the right way for maximum happiness hormones.
Generally, the best places to cuddle dogs are behind the ears, jaw, and chest. If the dog turns on its back, showing its belly, it means it likes to be cuddled in this area, too, but not all dogs do this, as such behaviour represents a gesture of submission.

In nature, dogs do not cuddle or stroke each other as humans would. However, the movement of our hands on their bodies reminds us of the licks mothers give to their kittens. According to many scholars, it is possible that [ the hairy arnica appreciates this attention precisely because, in some way, it reminds it of those moments in early childhood when it felt particularly protected.

Cuddling on the head tends not to be particularly appreciated by Fido: the gesture itself, i.e. the movement of the open hand descending from above onto the muzzle, represents dominance and is not pleasant.

It is best to avoid doing this, therefore, with a dog that does not know us and which, thus, may become agitated at such a comportment. However, it is still good to caress your pet on the head: for him, it will be a cuddle, an unmistakable sign of dominance and a secure reference, which helps to make him stable and calm.

Favoured cuddles.

Clarification is necessary: if, from an early age, the puppy has been accustomed to being caressed in particular places, for example, on the back or from above, it tends to associate such behaviour with positive gestures and accepts them willingly. The important thing, however, is that he gets used to it gradually, gently and sweetly.

Many dogs love to be cuddled behind the ears, under the memo or at the tail end. One idea is to “scratch” Fido’s belly when he is lying on his back so that you can also see his hind leg move. A dog that offers its bare belly to its owner’s (or even another person’s) cuddles is a calm dog that trusts whoever is in front of it.

Through play, you can entertain your dog and find lots of fun games on ETSY made entirely by hand for your four-legged friend.

On the other hand, other “furry” dogs like to be stroked on their flanks. Therefore, placing your hand on the pet’s side may be helpful, giving it gentle caresses until it reaches the end of its back. A further tip is to periodically devote 10 – 15 minutes to Fido, giving him an excellent full-body massage. One can start with the muzzle gently, then move on to the neck and continue to the tail and paws.

A much-loved area is the chest, which can be regarded as a continuation of the throat area (and dogs like to be scratched on the throat). On the other hand, it is better to avoid the paws because they are susceptible, and excessive pressure can be annoying. The tail is also a delicate part and a powerful means of expression that is best avoided.

When and how to pet a dog

In addition to understanding where it is best or not to pet Fido, it is also essential to know how (and where) to cuddle correctly. It is best to avoid, for instance, if the animal is distracted or frightened, is in a new place, or is eating: stroking is an essential means of communication and needs an appropriate context.

A good habit, therefore, is to caress your four-legged friend calmly, consciously and respectfully. For example, when the dog retires to his kennel, it is always advisable not to disturb him with cuddles: this invasion could damage the trust between animal and man. At the same time, if the beast insists firmly and frequently on being stroked, it is still better to be moderate.

But how can we tell if the dog likes contact with our hands? First, we can observe its behaviour by extending our palms towards it: does it move away or, on the contrary, does it come closer to be touched?

Some handy pointers can be as follows:

  1. Always stand at the dog’s side and never before him to avoid staring into his eyes. Agitating or shouting are attitudes that can easily be interpreted as signs of threat and defiance;
  2. do not “rush” to hug your four-legged friend: this instinctive gesture may be read by the animal as aggressive behaviour;
  3. gradually attract Fido’s attention by calling his name;
  4. Stretch out your hands, palm upwards, so you can smell him and observe his reaction: if he reaches out to be stroked, you can touch him gently under his neck.

However, avoiding cuddling (and rewarding) the dog after misbehaviour is essential. Especially if he has been trained in positive reinforcement from an early age, Fido will associate gratification with the wrong behaviour and continue to do so for further gratification.

This is because cuddling is not innate in dogs: the four-legged friend, therefore, does not ask for attention to feel loved but as a gesture of social approval. In nature, however, such consent must always be deserved.

If you spoil the dog without motivation, he will think he is superior because he receives free privileges. A helpful trick is to turn the cuddle into a reward if the animal responds to a command from the owner (such as a simple “sit).

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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