Do Dogs Like Hugs?
Do Dogs Like Hugs?

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Do Dogs Like Hugs?

Most humans recognize a hug as a sign of affection and friendship. In an IAMS™ survey*, 83% of dog parents say their dog likes hugs too. But how do dogs feel about them? Bring it in! We’re going to try and get our arms around this question.

 

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Dogs don’t like hugs: Spoiler alert

Sure, some dogs enjoy a good canine cuddle, but usually only with their owner or household members. Otherwise, they don’t really care for it. “Hugging is too much and overwhelming for many dogs and should be discouraged if the dog doesn’t know the individual very well,” advises 

Opens a new windowJames Serpell, B.S., Ph.D., Professor of Humane Ethics & Animal Welfare at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. 

There are a number of reasons for this:

 

 

 

Four legs vs. two

Hugging is a human behavior, not a dog behavior. They’re just not physically built for that kind of interaction. We stand upright, so we face people. Dogs are on all fours, so it’s an unnatural act for them. They much prefer a friendly sniff to greet other dogs.

 

 

Dominant behavior

To dogs, a hug is seen as a very dominant form of behavior; it feels like a stranger is trying to assert control over them. It can be quite stressful, especially if done by someone they’re not familiar with.

 

 

Freeeeeeeeeedom!

Since ancient dog days, canines’ first instinctive line of defense has been to run away from danger. Hugging takes this primal option away and can make them feel trapped and confined. Remember when you were a kid getting hugged by that loud great aunt you’ve never met at your dad’s second cousin’s wedding? That’s kind of what your dog is feeling. Who is this? What are they doing? They want to escape too.

 

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Signs your dog does not like hugs

You can usually tell by their body language, says 

Opens a new windowDr. Jo Gale, BVetMed CertLAS MRCVS, Senior Manager, Global Science Advocacy at Waltham Petcare Science Institute: “Watch for trembling, trying to get away, raised hackles or whites around their eyes. It’s very important to pay attention to this behavior and respect it.”

 

 

Alternatives to hugging your dog

Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t want to hug it out. There are plenty of healthier ways you can show them you’re still their best friend:

  • Pet them or give them a good, relaxing brush.
  • Take them on walks or play a game with their favorite toy.
  • Give them their favorite food or treats.
  • Give them a verbal hug. Tell them they’re a “good boy” or a “good girl.” They never get tired of that.

 

*Surveyed U.S. dog owners, age 18+ 

Sample Size: n=201 

Fielded May 8-10, 2020

  • How Beet Pulp Ingredients Are Used in Our Dog Foods
    How Beet Pulp Ingredients Are Used in Our Dog Foods-mobile

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    How Beet Pulp Ingredients Are Used in Our Dog Foods

    What Is Beet Pulp?

    Beet pulp is the material that remains after sugar is extracted from sugar beets—not red beets. Beet pulp is a source of fiber in dog diets.

    Fiber and Beet Pulp

    Fiber can be classified as nonfermentable and fermentable. Nonfermentable fiber remains undigested as it passes through the intestines, thereby providing bulk to move wastes out. Cellulose is a nonfermentable fiber.
     

    Fermentable fiber is broken down in the intestines into short-chain fatty acids that provide energy for cells lining the intestine.
     

    Moderately fermentable fiber does both: It provides bulk to move waste and provides energy for cells lining the intestine. Beet pulp is a moderately fermentable fiber.

     

    Myths About Beet Pulp

    "Beet pulp is harmful."
     

    Beet pulp contains no toxins and is a very safe fiber source.
     

    "Beet pulp affects coat color."
     

    There is nothing in beet pulp that can affect coat pigment. The inside is light in color. The outside peel, which is dark, is not used.
     

    "Beet pulp contains sugar."
     

    By definition, beet pulp is the material that remains after the sugar is removed from sugar beets. Therefore, beet pulp contains no sugar.
     

    "Beet pulp causes bloat."
     

    Bloat (gastric dilatation-volvulus or GDV) is related to a stomach defect that delays emptying. It is believed that bloat is not related to diet or ingredients, such as beet pulp. However, the cause of bloat remains unknown.

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