Dogs are some of the most beloved pets known to man, and for good reason. Their personalities, loyalty, and ability to cheer up their owners make them “man’s best friend.” However, as much as we love them, there are certain things that dogs don’t enjoy, one example being when we touch their paws. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why dogs do not like their paws being touched.
Dogs’ paws are essential to their everyday life as they are in direct contact with the ground. Unfortunately, this constant exposure to the ground puts them at risk of getting hurt at any time. Wounded paws are common and difficult to treat because of their constant use. Despite appearing strong and durable, the pads on a dog’s paws are susceptible to hot and icy surfaces. It is important for dog owners to build up tolerance in their dogs to make them less sensitive to their paws being touched. If your dog has an extreme reaction to their paws being touched, it is advisable to look for wounds or burns. However, if you notice that your dog is walking strangely, it is best to seek the help of a local vet since it could be indicative of illness or wounds. A common condition found in a dog’s paws is pododermatitis, an inflammation of the paw’s skin. This condition often causes dogs to lick their paws constantly and behave as if they are experiencing pain.
The sensitivity of a dog’s paws also factors into their behavior regarding humans touching their paws. In the wild, dogs depend on their paws for survival. They travel miles to find food and must be as strong as possible to survive. Injured paws make it impossible for them to hunt for food and can make them easy targets for predators. Even though dogs are now considered friendly, they still retain their instinctual behaviors, such as protecting themselves. Instinctively, dogs may not like it when humans touch something they depend on, such as their paws.
Unlike humans who can balance automatically by standing on two legs, dogs require all their extremities to maintain balance. As a result, they may not like it when someone lifts or touches their paws because it makes them feel vulnerable and unprotected.
4. Negative Experiences
Dogs, like humans, have episodic memories. This refers to the ability to recall events or circumstances that happened in the past. Negative experiences related to paw touching can make dogs defensive and guarded. For instance, a human or another dog could have hurt their paw in the past, or they might have stepped on a sharp object, causing them to become overprotective of their paw. This behavior is common among stray dogs that carry a lot of trauma from their past.
5. Nail Trimming
Dog owners must make sure their dogs are always in good health and happy. However, some grooming practices that are necessary for your dog’s health and well-being, such as nail trimming, are not always popular with dogs. Dog paws are very sensitive, and dog owners need to handle them with care when trimming their nails. Prior to nail trimming, consult with your veterinarian to learn how to do it correctly. Always use dog-friendly clippers or grinders and be careful not to cut the nail too short. In the event that you accidentally cut a nail too short, keep styptic powder or other clotting powder on hand to stop the bleeding. Also, it is critical not to stress your dog too much during nail clipping, as they may develop a negative association with the experience.
How to Make Your Dog Feel Safe While Handling Their Paws
The first step in handling your dog’s paws is to calm yourself to avoid stressing the dog further. You can give them something to eat, like a safe treat, to keep their focus away from what you’re doing. Showing them the clippers before starting can help keep them calm. The same goes for simply touching or petting their paws – reassure your dog that their paws are safe in your hands and that you are not a threat. Begin by gently touching and petting their paws. As they get used to it, gradually hold their paws for longer periods.
Dogs are wonderful companions that bring joy and happiness to our lives. Their reaction to paw touching can provide insight into their health and past trauma. When in doubt, it is always best to consult a veterinarian. If your dog becomes aggressive during nail clipping or paw touching, it might be best to seek the help of a professional. With proper care and handling, we can ensure that our furry friends remain happy and healthy.