4 of Your Pet’s Biggest Pet Hates
As a nation of pet owners, we really do love our pets. And we’re sure they love us back, or at least they do a good job of pretending. Our dogs love a good belly rub, while our cats can rarely resist a little chin scratch.
But there may be some acts of kindness that our pets really don’t enjoy at all. If you find yourself doing any of the below, it might be time to think twice before you do it again!
To hug or not to hug?
It might not be easy to tell, but there’s a good chance your dog doesn’t enjoy a cuddle as much as you think. A study last year that examined pictures of dogs being hugged, found that 80% of dogs in those images showed visible signs of stress.
This sign may be as subtle as folding their ears down or avoiding eye contact, but the evidence is there to suggest dogs simply don’t like to be cuddled. When a dog is hugged, it restricts their movement and this is at odds with their very nature.
Dogs are built for swift running and a big squish immobilises them. This inability to run away could increase stress levels and in extreme cases could lead to dogs showing you their displeasure with a bite.
But all dogs are different. Some may love nothing more than your warm embrace, while others may be more uncomfortable. Tell us, do you hug your dog?
Don’t throw sticks to your dog
Okay, your dog may love nothing more than chasing a big, woody stick in the park but it may be the most dangerous act you do on a daily basis.
Sharp ends can give your dog scratches and cuts and in extreme cases can result in potentially life-threatening injuries.
It’s much better to give your dog the run around with some throw balls or rubber fetch sticks, and it’s a good job we have plenty of dog toys to choose from! Fetch is a great way to keep your dog active - just don't throw them sticks!
B&M Top Tip: speaking of active dogs, B&M have a great range of dog food like Bakers Complete, for a healthy hound!
Don’t stare at your cat
It might seem like your cat is a staring contest champion, equipped with those non-dry-out eye balls, but it turns out it might not be a good idea to stare back (and that’s not just because you’ll probably lose).
In cat language, extended periods of eye contact are a sign of aggression and is used between felines to exert dominance. So if you don’t want to make your cat hate you, just remember to look away or blink.
B&M Top Tip: rather than make your cat cross, why not reward it for being such a good companion with some Felix treats and cat food? See the whole range online and in-store
Don't wait to punish/reward your dog
Dogs are pretty smart animals, but their memories are pretty leaky. This is a vital part of understanding your dog, especially during puppy training.
When you want to reward your dog for good behaviour, you make slushy noises and give them a treat. They in turn will love you forever. When you want to punish your dog after they’ve behaved badly, you look cross, wag your finger and make a noise of disapproval.
But the timing of your response is crucial. It’s no good punishing them once you get home and find they’ve chewed up half the sofa. You need to catch them in the act or dish out the punishment immediately after the devilish deed. Otherwise, they’ll simply have no idea what you’re going on about.