3 Reasons Why Cuddling Sessions With Your Dog Could Help In Quick Health Check Up

Health, last updated 24th, Sep 2017, Anshika Saxena

There’s no better way to connect with your dog than a loving snuggle. Both dogs and humans share a primal need for touch, whether it’s spooning while we sleep, or being comforted during a storm. Petting our furry best friends actually has health benefits for both parties; physically connecting with your dog releases the “Happy Hormone” oxytocin in humans as well as dogs. But beyond the science that drives our need to cuddle, we snuggle up with one another because it just feels good.

By understanding the power of cuddling, and how to do it in a way that’s beneficial to your canine companion, you’ll be able to share the love with your best friend. The 'cuddle hormone' oxytocin is traditionally the way mothers bond with their children. But researchers now believe it could be behind another long lasting relationship - between dogs and their guardians.

Patting your dog for about 3 minutes and talking to your dog has been found to increase oxytocin levels in the blood stream of both human and dog, researchers say. Here’s how to do  a quick health checkup while cuddling your dog

  1. Body check

As you run your hand over your dog while watching TV, be on the lookout for bumps that shouldn’t be there. Especially on long-haired dogs, you may not see a bump with the naked eye. A quiet evening on the couch together can make you more aware of what is going on under that hair, and give you a hint of the condition of his skin. Red rashes, hot spots, bald patches, bumps of any size… these can be detected as you give a belly scratch while watching a movie together.


2. Eye contact

Have you gazed into your dog’s eyes lately? Louie looks me in the eye when I have treats ready for him, but otherwise his gaze is focused on the chicks in the incubator, whatever the kids are doing, his tennis ball collection… When he’s cuddling beside me on the couch, I have the perfect opportunity to gaze fondly into his eyes. (Even if they are mostly closed as he naps beside me.) This is when I usually notice if his allergies are flaring, because I can clearly see the red-rimmed eyes under the hair.

3. Ear check

I know immediately when he needs them cleaned, which sometimes needs to happen between baths as he’s prone to lots of ear wax. If your dog has floppy ears, take a peek inside when you’re snuggling on the couch. He’ll appreciate the checkup disguised as an ear scratch.


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