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Hug Your Hound Day
The 14th of September signals the very fun and important International Hug Your Hound Day.
“This is a great day to celebrate everything we love about our dogs,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “It’s also a good day to talk to children in regards to the safety message when it comes to hugging dogs.”
PIA is quick to remind readers that some dogs do not like to be hugged and the importance of reading your dog’s body language.
“You see many photos circulating on social media of children tightly hugging dogs who are showing ‘moon’ eyes, or the whites of their eyes,” Crighton warns. “This is a clear indication that the dog is not comfortable with the affectionate squeeze from the little person.”
On the other hand many dogs simply adore a good cuddle from their owners.
“I think it’s a case of reminding children how to correctly interact with a dog, nice pats on the side or chest, and to never hug or pat a dog they do not know,” Crighton says. “Getting your little people used to asking owners if they can approach their dog is also advised.”
Body language is key when it comes to dogs. Teaching small children how to read a dog, and how to correct interact with a canine companion is very important.
Signs a dog is not happy;
- Moon eyes/whites of eyes
- Low growl
- Hackles raised (hair on the back of the neck)
- Hiding/running away/anxious behaviour
- Showing teeth
- Yawning/licking lips
- Stiff body
“These special days are a great excuse to bring the subject up with family and friends,” Crighton suggests. “Sometimes just talking about these subjects may enlighten some families to possible behavioural problems their pooch may have. This can then lead to help with training, understanding and veterinary intervention.”
Great way to celebrate Hug Your Hound Day:
- Take your dog on a special adventure to the beach or park
- Bake some tasty dog treats
- Treat your dog with a game
- New toys and bedding
- Big pats
- A good grooming session