Safe dog handling is vital to the safety of both the pet and the person. Here are five things your dog wishes you knew about picking him up.
1. My Limbs Are More Delicate Than You Think
They aren’t designed to support the entire weight of the dog when he’s suspended in the air. The most common form of dangerous pet handling is when we lift a pet by the front limbs as if it were a doll. Incorrect!
2. It Hurts, Even If You Think It Doesn’t
All dog owners should know the basic signs of anxiety in a dog: avoidance, struggling, averting his gaze, licking his lips, and yawning are just a few. These signs are indicative of a dog who is uncomfortable, and that means you need to stop what you are doing and reassess the situation.
3. I Haven’t Been Scruffed Since I Was a Puppy
Lifting a dog by the nape of his neck, is not a normal way to pick him up. After all, that’s how his mother carried him when he was a puppy. Just as our mothers stop carrying us on their hips after a certain point, scruffing is not comfortable or natural for grown dogs!
4. I Don’t Want to Bite You
While a dog owner may claim a bite is unprovoked, the truth is there is often provocation, but it is simply missed. Children from 5 to 9 years of age are at highest risk. There’s no excuse for picking up a pet the wrong way, which brings us to the final point…
5. Picking Me Up the Right Way Is Easy
If the dog is small, place your dominant arm under his chest, between the front limbs, while tucking his back end between that same arm and your torso (what some of us might refer to as the football hold).
For medium-size dogs place your dominant arm behind the dog’s back legs, and your non-dominant arm around his chest, in front of the limbs and stabilize the dog against your chest as you lift. This helps ensure the pet is properly supported and comfortable.
Finally, larger dogs really require two people to be picked up properly: one lifting from beneath the chest and the other lifting from the abdomen and rear.
- photo is from Instagram
- vet advices are BY DR. JESSICA VOGELSANG