If you’re wondering why your furry friend sometimes squirms or runs away when you touch a certain part of his body, the answer is just what you’re thinking. Yes, like humans and other mammals, dogs are ticklish too.
Why are dogs ticklish?
Tickling is triggered by pain receptors. The touch is not strong enough to cause pain and to make you move away from the threat, so the tickle feeling just makes you alert and, in many cases, enjoyable.
Under the skin of dogs, there are many nerve endings that are connected to their spinal cord. These endings cause when they are stimulated through the skin they connect causing this reflex act that is so funny to us and that causes our dogs to tickle.
A sign that your dog is ticklish is the movement of their paws when someone is scratching them, this reaction is known as “scratching reflex” and is produced by stimulating areas with a large amount of nerve endings as they make them more sensitive.
Where do dogs feel ticklish?
- Lower back.
- Belly, near the hind legs.
But, this sensation is not pleasant in all parts of the body, in fact, dogs hate to be scratched in some of them, for example, in the paws and ears because they think they have some insect that must be removed and that is why they run away from us.
How to tell if your dog is ticklish.
One sure way to know if your dog is ticklish is to read his body language.
Watch his reaction when you brush him or pet him on his belly or sides. Most likely, one of his paws will begin to shake intermittently.
Dogs do not make sounds like people, but they often smile, enjoy themselves, come back for more, and even roll over on their back.
Your pet will find a way to let you know if he is at ease or prefers to avoid these “scratching” sections. This way you can build a good bond with your furry friend.
Be careful, it’s not all tickling.
In case you detect that your dog is constantly scratching and is agitated and uncomfortable, it is not tickling, but something that is causing itching in the specific area where he is rubbing his paws, so take him to the vet to check for external parasites attached to his skin.