As dog lovers we collectively embrace a number of pet holidays and observances that take place in the month of April, ranging from such serious fare as World Stray Animals Day (which occurs every April 4th) and National Lost Dog Awareness Day (which falls on April 23rd) to happy happenings like Bulldogs are Beautiful Day (April 21st) and National Little Pampered Dog Day (April 27th). On April 10th we are reminded to squeeze in time for a few extra cuddles with our canine companions in celebration of National Hug Your Dog Day!
To Hug or Not to Hug
Although as pet parents we may want to give a big bear hug to show our dogs how much we care, studies have shown that canines can actually feel uncomfortable wrapped in someone’s arms.
Since even the most loving embrace can make a dog feel trapped, dog devotees should try to read Rover’s reaction (for example, does his body stiffen when hugged, or is he giving you a panicked “whale eye” look?) to see if the situation is stressful for their four-legged friend.
As a substitute for a hug, dog lovers can opt for another way to display their affection for Fido. Why not pamper your pup with a shoulder massage or a simple belly rub instead?
Give A Virtual Hug
Along with giving your own tail-wagging chum some extra attention on National Hug Your Dog Day, remember that you can also give a “virtual hug” to a dog in need by signing up to volunteer at your local shelter, fostering a shelter animal, or by making a donation to an animal shelter or rescue!