Can There Actually Be A Wrong Way To Pet Our Dog?


This is one question I had never thought about:  Can I be petting my dog friends the wrong way?

Can there actually BE a wrong way to pet my friends?

After reading an article on Mother Nature Network by Mary Jo DiLonardo, I understand why being more aware of how I pet my dear friends can contribute to their well-being.


Here’s an excerpt from Mary Jo’s article:

 …we have a tendency to rub and massage our little guys behind the ears because we love them so much. And those long wispy hairs form a nest of a mess…

“Some dogs have a really fine undercoat and around their head it’s really soft so we tend to play with their hair there,” says Lori Bierbrier, DVM, staff veterinarian with the ASPCA.  “I don’t think we totally make (a mat) happen by petting them, but we can add to it,” she says. “Like some people have the habit of twirling or twisting their hair, it’s like that.”

Mats usually form whenever there’s rubbing or some kind of movement, says Bierbrier. That’s why it’s common for dogs to get mats between their legs, near their tail, by their collars and behind their ears. If you work the knots out early, they’re relatively harmless and not too uncomfortable for your pet. But as they grow, they can cause irritation and lead to problems like bacterial and fungal infections.

You can read the entire article here.


Article source:  Mary Jo DiLonardo  on Mother Nature Network

Image source:  Shelley Groomer on


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