In a recent survey we asked pet owners 'what areas of their pet’s body do their pets disliked being touched' either by the owners at home and by the veterinary team in practice.
The areas that were listed included ears, mouth, head, limbs/feet, tail/bottom, and tummy/abdomen. Does your dog or cat let you touch them easily in some or all of these areas?
The result of the survey showed that 66% of cat owners thought their cats disliked being handled and specifically disliked being handled around their mouth and feet.
Our dog owners fared much better with only 20% of dog owners perceiving that their dogs dislike being handled with specific areas being around their mouths and tail/bottom.
These results are not surprising to those working within the veterinary or animal behaviour industry and may also not be surprising to you.
Firstly, cats by nature are less demanding or reliant on relationships with humans than dogs. Therefore, cat owners in general can enjoy having a cat as a companion animal without having to put in as much time as dog owners. Cat owners tend to handle their cats when the cat allows them to do so and often only for being stroked or limited groomed.
Secondly, dogs need far more from their owners and being able to handle them is an important part of that bond. Dog owners do not only need to be able to train them to behave well in all situations but also to prevent accidents happening. Owners need to be able to touch around their dogs mouth in case they pick something up that they shouldn't have and either teach a leave or drop it command or be able to remove something from their mouth without it being a problem .
Why you should be able to handle your pet.
The simple answer is that it makes your and their life a bit easier!!!!
If your pet is comfortable with being handle then when it comes to visiting the vets, groomers or doing something to them at home then its better with cooperation rather than have a battle on your hands. The stress levels will be lower for all concerned and that can only be a good thing.
By being able to examine your pets mouth and teeth will help you to spot dental disease. If you can learn how to brush their teeth then this could delay your pet needed to have a dental.
By being able to touch your pets feet with enable you to check for any cuts or thorns/stones in their pads. You could also learn how to clip their nails if they are indoor cats or dogs that have trouble wearing their nails down.
By being able to handle and touch your animal will also make it easier when they are examined by the vet if they get ill. We occasionally get animals that dislike being touched so much that they will growl and this can make it difficult to tell if it’s a pain response or a handling issues, another valid reason to make sure your animals is happy about being examined.
If you want to learn how to handle your pet better then book a session with Problem Pet Solutions in Brighton and Hove and South West London.