If you have a dog, you may notice that he or she appears distressed or uncomfortable when you pick them up. Learn how to pick up your dog correctly, as well as what to avoid when doing so.
Why Should You Pick Up Your Dog? Correctly
Picking up your dog the right way ensures that you are not injuring or distressing your pet. Incorrectly picking up your dog can result in strained muscles and torn ligaments. It could even cause your dog to bite you.
5 Tips on Picking Up your Dog
Here are some things to remember when picking up your dog:
1. Give your dog a signal. Unexpectedly picking up your dog can cause stress and anxiety. Teach your dog a verbal command like "up" to indicate that you are about to lift them so they can prepare. Use dog treats as a reward whenever you use the cue to encourage your dog to cooperate.
2. If necessary, seek the assistance of a second person. If you struggle to lift your dog, he or she may become anxious and try to wiggle away. When lifting a medium or large dog, enlist the assistance of a friend or family member, especially if your dog weighs more than forty pounds.
3. Bend down to your dog’s level. Squat down by bending your knees rather than bending over at the waist as you reach for your dog. This will reduce back strain when you stand up and give you a better grip on your dog.
4. Slide your dominant arm under the dog's chest for small dogs and puppies. Place your dominant hand between the dog's front legs and support the dog's back end with the other hand. Hold your dog close to your chest to ensure their safety as you lift.
5. Wrap one arm around the chest and one around the back end of a large dog. To avoid choking, keep your dog's chest above the front legs but below the neck. The arm that is wrapped around your dog's back legs should support the back end. This method should also be used when picking up pregnant dogs to avoid pressure on the belly area.
What Not to Do When Picking Up a Dog
Here are some things to avoid when picking up a dog:
Picking up your dog by the legs or underarms is not a good idea. This can result in injury by putting undue strain on your dog's joints. Furthermore, your dog can easily wiggle out of this position and fall.
Pick your dog up by the scruff of the neck. Mother dogs carry their newborn puppies by the scruff to quickly remove them from danger. It is unsafe to carry puppies this way after the first few weeks of life because they weigh too much to be lifted by the neck and can cause injury.
Picking up your dog by the collar is not a good idea. Lifting your dog's collar puts too much strain on his or her neck, potentially cutting off their air supply or causing permanent trachea damage.
Do not lift your dog by the tail. Your dog's tail is sensitive and easily fractured because it is an extension of the spine. Dogs frequently appear uneasy when humans (or other dogs) even lightly touch their tails, so avoid putting any pressure on it.
If you wish to contribute to our blog, please email us on email@example.com.