Believe it or not, about 5 percent of the people that have a cat or dog do not touch their pet for days at a time. My question is, why have pet if you are not going to love and pet it?
It is said that petting a dog or cat can lower your blood pressure, relax your nerves and soothe tempers.
Oddly enough, by petting your cat or dog you are helping them do the same thing.
Petting will keep your dog or cat's blood pressure lower for at least 24 hours.
Touch is very important to animals, like the rest of their senses touching gives them needed information regarding the world around them.
Human touching in the form of pets and scratches brings a sense of love to your pet.
While hitting or other mistreatment can produce a sense of fear.
Puppies and kittens are born blind and their sense of touch along with smell helps them find mommy and the milk supply.
In the case of kittens, whiskers are formed while they are in the womb and at birth they can use them to “feel” their way around.
Interestingly, we all use the sense of touch along with certain nerve endings to determine when things are hot or cold, if we have pain and as a way to judge any amount of pressure on our bodies.
Dogs and cats have some super nerve endings in the pads of their paws that are called Pacinian corpuscles.
Some dogs are capable of foretelling earthquakes by what they can pick up through vibrations felt in their paws.
When you think of dogs, you think of how they love to be scratched and petted; that makes you think touch is probably more important to dogs than anything else.
Dogs rely more on their noses than any other of the senses.
Cats, on the other hand are very dependent on touch.
Cats are hunters and stalkers, they usually work during the dusk to dawn hours searching for unsuspecting prey.
Not only do they use their sense of smell, they also have “guard hairs” that grow on various parts of their body that send signals to their brain when something is touched.
Whiskers are another great tool.
A cat can use all its whiskers to get a read on its current world, plus a whisker can warn of a danger close by that might hurt a cat’s eye.
A slight breeze against a whisker can alert a cat to the scent of a mouse in close range.
Whiskers even let kitty know if it can fit through the fence or not.
Dogs on the other hand, have whiskers, but mainly for good looks.
Touch between humans and pets is very important.
Since dogs do not roam in packs anymore, they crave human contact.
Dogs will settle for almost any kind of pet or pat.
They especially love scratches under their chins, chest and backs, base of their tails and it is pure heaven to get a nice long belly rub. For a belly rub most dogs would “purr” if only they could.
Believe it or not, for dogs, scratches or pets on top of the heard are really not one of their favorite things.
It seems back in the “old days” of running with the pack, head rubs were a sign of authority by the head dog.
However, in true dog form any pet is a good pet, just give me more.
Cats on the other hand are a wee bit more particular when it comes to receiving pets and scratches.
Cats love human touches, but only for a limited time. Most cats enjoy a few minutes of head and ear rubs with a few scratches thrown in, then it is “please let me go.”
Most cats do not like tummy rubs, but if you find one that does, they generally will allow you to do it for a fairly long time. Be careful though if you see a hind leg beginning to flex.
Cats in general like the “nearness of you” much more that the constant touch of you, so give your pats willingly, while making them beg for more.
It is said that “love makes the world go round” and that is so true not only in our world, but the world of our pets.
By touching your pet and loving your pet you both will reap great benefits and joy.