We all know that pooches love a good scratch behind the ears or a belly rub. But did you know that the action is even therapeutic for humans, too? It has a real, quantifiable calming effect, which is why many canines are finding themselves employed by hospitals and senior centers to visit patients during the day.
However, in other parts of the world belly rubs, or any form of dog petting, are expressly forbidden. In fact, Malaysia recently erupted after a dog petting festival turned ugly. The organizer, Syed Azmi Alhabshi, even received threats on his life from enraged citizens. Time magazine reported that he has been forced into hiding after religious conservatives protested his “I Want to Touch a Dog” event that was held in Bandar Utama, an affluent neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur.
More than 1,000 showed up to relax and play with various pooches. Alhabshi’s goal was to have visitors learn about Islam’s views on canines and become familiar with dogs, as they’re typically shunned over fear of contracting diseases. Many Malaysians own dogs for security purposes due to rising crime waves in the country. Muslims can have canines as working animals for hunting and other functions, too.
Issues with canines date back to the Colonial era in Malaysia, when an influx of dogs was brought by British officials. This made pooches fashionable among wealthy Malaysians, including members of the royal family. But the event was coordinated to introduce citizens to the calming effect that petting a pooch can have on people.
What are the best spots to pet your dog?
While the Malaysian debate rages on, pet owners around the world continue to love and cuddle their furry friends. Scratching or rubbing the right spot can send them into a frenzy, kicking their legs in enjoyment. But do you know which spots you should aim for to get the best reactions?
In some instances, the age of your pooch can play a role in where you pet him. According to Pets Adviser, gently massaging a puppy’s mouth and gums not only shows affection, but allows fresh blood to flow into the area. Oral health is important for canines, as plaque buildup can cause significant heart issues down the road. In addition, rubbing a puppy’s paws might make nail trimmings more manageable as he’s more used to the sensation.
While most dogs will have their own preferences, many of them enjoy a good belly rub or a scratch on the neck that leads down to their spines. However, it’s important that you don’t try to pet a dog while he’s barking, as he may get frightened and try to bite you.
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