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Do Dogs and Cats Like to be Hugged?
As devoted pet parents, we want to show our pets love in every way that we can. While a nice hug person-to-person is a sign of love and affection, the same is not always to be said for our pets. Although our pets are members of the family, they do not communicate in the same way, and a hug might cause them more stress than comfort.
However, every pet is different with their own unique personality. In this article, we’ll go over how to tell if your dog or cat likes to be hugged, as well as other ways to show your pets the love if hugging isn’t their thing.
Do Dogs Like Hugs?
Let’s start with dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, dogs do not like hugs. Dogs understand the action of putting an arm over a dog as an exertion of dominance; it can be quite intimidating. If this is the case for your dog, you’ll likely feel them stiffen up when hugged—a clear sign they are not enjoying the interaction.
However, many dogs will happily accept a hug from their owner! There are even therapy dogs trained specifically to understand a hug as a sign of love and not as a threat. If your dog leans into your embrace or shows other signs of relaxation, such as panting or licking your face, that’s a pretty good sign that they’re enjoying the interaction. Check out what your dog’s sleeping positions mean for more insight into their unique personality.
Do Cats Like Hugs?
Just like dogs, personality varies from cat to cat. If you go in for a hug and your cat runs away, that likely means they aren’t interested. If you hug your cat and they tense up, squirm, growl, or lash out, it’s a clear sign from them that they are not happy.
There are plenty of cats who will tolerate or maybe even enjoy a hug, purring and relaxing into it happily. However, don’t be alarmed if your cat does not feel the same way. A human scooping a cat up from the floor to go in for a hug can trigger a fight or flight response in your cat.
You know your pet best! It’s crucial to read their body language to determine how they might be feeling. If you think your pet is suffering from separation anxiety, check out this article on reducing separation anxiety in pets for more tips on creating a comforting environment for your pet.
What If My Pet Doesn’t Like Hugs?
If your pet isn’t so keen on the idea of a hug, there are lots of other ways to express your love for them. Petting them, playing with them, or giving them their favorite treat are all great ways to show them affection.
If you haven’t already, installing a pet door is another great way to enrich your pet’s life. Allowing them the freedom to come and go is a great way to boost their confidence and improve their daily routine. Be sure and measure your pet to ensure the proper fit. The Endura Flap is great for cats too!While every pet is different, many dogs and cats will not enjoy being hugged. Make sure to read your pet’s body language to understand whether this sign of affection works for them. Thinking about installing a new pet door? Check out Why an Endura Flap will Make your Life Easier.