Dogs have been considered human’s best friend for thousands of years and they can easily be considered a part of the family. Owners love their dogs for their loyalty and adorable behavior. One of these endearing behaviors is covering their face with their paws. It’s a sight that melts any dog lover’s heart, but have you ever wondered why your dog does this? In this article, we explore the six most common reasons why dogs cover their faces with their paws.
1. Dealing with an itch
Just like humans, dogs get random itches that need scratching. If something tickles their face or they feel something strange, using their paws is the natural way they deal with it. Your dog’s paws are like your hands and help in various situations, especially when they aren’t feeling comfortable with their face. If your dog is covering their face and whining, it could be something more than just a casual itch. Allergies, fleas, ticks, and skin irritation are common causes of itching and may cause your dog to be in discomfort. In such cases, it’s recommended to seek the advice of a veterinarian.
2. Submitting to you
Dogs are pack animals and consider their owners a part of their family, but they also see their owners as their pack leader. When dogs begin to consider their owners as the alpha, submission becomes a part of their behavior. Covering their face is a way of submitting to you, expressing trust and safety – they realize that you’re the leader and feel secure near you.
3. Reacting to Intense Emotions
Dogs react to emotions just like humans. If they feel any intense emotions such as anxiety, fear, or sadness, they may cover their face. Dogs with anxiety often show various signs of distress, and if you notice that your dog is covering their face frequently along with other signs of anxiety, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for appropriate treatment.
4. Making you happy
Dogs are big-hearted animals who love their owners deeply. They’re very much in tune with their owner’s moods and behaviors. If your dog does something and it makes you happy, they’ll repeat it repeatedly to get the same reaction from you. So, if your dog covers their face with their paws and you react emotionally, then you’re likely to see your dog repeat that gesture often.
5. Protecting Themselves as They Sleep
Dogs have multiple survival instincts that kick in while they sleep due to a feeling of vulnerability. It’s not uncommon to find dogs sleeping with their paws covering their faces to protect their eyes and throat. They do this to safeguard themselves from potential threats while they rest. Another reason for covering their face while sleeping is when the weather outside isn’t favorable. It’s another way of keeping themselves protected from external factors.
6. “I’m so Embarrassed”
Lastly, dogs can feel embarrassed, especially when they do something comical and everybody bursts out laughing. If they feel ashamed, they might use their paws to cover their faces in response to such situations.
In conclusion, dogs are precious gifts and covering their faces with their paws is one of the many ways they express themselves. While it’s a cute sight to watch your beloved dog appear adorable, it’s important to take note of the situation. If you suspect that your dog is suffering from anxiety, allergies, or another illness, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. If not, enjoy all the funny antics that your furry friend brings into your life.