It’s not strange for canines to get a little weird when you try and rub their belly. Some pets can even show signs of mild aggression. If you’ve been wondering what that is – you’ve come to the right place.
Dogs won’t let you touch their belly when they are in pain. Issues such as fear, indigestion, injury, rubbing too much, or pregnancy are also reasons a dog won’t let you touch its belly. Your dog’s belly may also be a sensitive area they are trying to protect.
In this doggy-centered article, we’re not only going to walk you through all the possible concerns behind your pet avoiding belly rubs, related questions, and how you can keep an eye for symptoms of health issues.
Reasons Your Dog Won’t Let You Touch Their Belly
We’ve compiled six reasons why your pet wants to avoid letting you touch their belly. While none of these reasons are out of the ordinary, there’s one that may require some extra attention.
Negative canine experiences may be overcome with time, but till then, you’ll need to respect your furball’s wishes and focus on creating positive memories to overcome the bad. Scroll down to find out how.
Your Dog Is Fearful
How can anyone be afraid of belly rubs? Well, if that anyone happens to a canine, being anxious about someone touching your belly is instinctual. You see, like humans, dogs are also aware of their more vulnerable body parts – and that includes the belly.
Nature has hard-wired animals to look after their well-being by guarding the areas of their body fragile, exposed, and can be open to attack. Just as humans wear helmets to avoid head injuries, dogs are a little territorial about their tummies because they’re aware they can be hurt easily there.
Try easing your pet into belly rubs by gentle petting and giving it the time to understand you’d never harm it.
Indigestion (or Tummy Issues)
Imagine someone wanting to touch or press your stomach when you’re going through a bad stomach ache. That doesn’t sound fun or relaxing.
Similarly, your pet may not appreciate your belly rubs (as loving as they are) when it’s going through a nasty bout of indigestion.
Canine flatulence can develop for various reasons, like eating too fast, eating the wrong type of dog food, or even swallowing air. If you hear your pet’ letting it loose’, so to say, after refusing a belly rub, you can be sure indigestion was the culprit.
Your Dog Has Experienced An Injury
It’s possible your furball won’t let you touch its belly because it has suffered an injury. It doesn’t have to be something visible like a scratch or bruise. But, if your pup flinches or lets out tiny bark when you touch its tummy, you can be sure there’s some trauma involved.
If you notice your other symptoms like reduced mobility or loss of appetite, it’s best to have your dog checked out by the vet. Otherwise, generally, minor injuries will resolve themselves in a few days.
Rubbing The Belly Too Hard
You canine may suddenly be averse to getting belly rubs because you’re doing it wrong. Maybe you’re rubbing its tummy too vigorously or too hard – whatever the case may be; it’s best to keep a gentle touch when it comes to touching your canine’s vulnerable areas – like its tummy.
Your Dog Is Pregnant
If you have a Mr. and Mrs. Canine who haven’t been neutered or spayed, it can that your furbaby (the female ones, that is) is expecting babies of its own. It’s very natural for female dogs to get all protective of their belly when they’re expecting puppies because that’s just their motherly instincts kicking in.
On the other hand, if it’s Mr. Canine who’s avoiding the belly rubs, then it’s likely that your pet isn’t a fan of belly rubs.
Why Does My Dog Growl When I Touch His Belly
Your dog may growl when you touch its belly, especially when it’s experiencing some pain. This can be related to a recent injury suffered on or near the belly area or because its tummy is upset.
If your pet’s slightly aggressive behavior continues for more than a day or two, it’s wise to book a visit to the vet as soon as possible. That way, you can get some peace of mind, and your pet won’t have to stay in pain.
Do Dogs Have Sensitive Stomachs
Even though it may not look like it, but some dog breeds have especially sensitive stomachs. If your pet is a Yorkie or a Scottish Terrier, then you may want to pay extra attention to the brand of dog food you purchase and your pet’s eating habits. Eating too fast can give most dogs indigestion.
Additionally, older dogs and pups are also more susceptible to tummy upsets because their systems are weak. To avoid all digestive-related roadblocks, ask your vet to recommend a brand of dog food that’s both easy to digest and nutritious so that your pet is safe from concerns like flatulence, diarrhea, or vomiting.
How Do You Know Your Dog Has A Sensitive Stomach
Some dogs are born with a sensitive stomach, while others may develop one later on in life because of an inappropriate diet. Nonetheless, if your pet displays symptoms like diarrhea, soft stools, excessive gas, vomiting, excessive salivation, etc., your canine likely has a sensitive stomach.
If the condition is congenital (something your canine is born with), your vet may adopt a multi-pronged treatment with medications to treat your pet’s condition.
Conversely, if the cause behind your furbaby’s stomach sensitivity is diet – the problem should resolve itself when you switch to a brand of dog food that suits your dog better.
Why Is My Dog’s Stomach Tender
If your notice your canine starts pacing restlessly or appears at unease right after eating something fatty like table scraps or bacon, it could be that your pet is suffering from pancreatitis. Before you get too worried – pancreatitis means that your furball’s pancreas (an organ of the digestive system) has become inflamed.
This condition can cause your dog to feel sharp pains or tenderness in the belly area. While pancreatitis can resolve itself in a few days, it’s best not to take any chances with your dog’s health and get it checked by the vet to treat the condition.
How Can I Tell If My Dogs Stomach Hurts
You may be able to tell all’s not well with your puppy’s tummy in two ways – keeping an eye out for symptoms or by gently pressing down on your pet’s belly to observe if its flinches or reacts. Likely, your dog won’t be too happy to let you anywhere near its belly if its stomach is hurting, nor should you force it to.
That’s why you can opt for the second alternative and observe your dogs for symptoms like lack of appetite, gurgling noises from the tummy, excessive flatulence, nausea, vomiting diarrhea, or trying to lick or eat grass.
Trying to figure out why your dog won’t let you touch its belly can get a little complex because there are multiple reasons involved. That’s why we’ve highlighted some tips to help you narrow down the options.
When Did Your Canine Become Uncomfortable With Belly Rubs
Often timing can play an essential role in helping you figure out why your pet isn’t happy to let your touch its tummy. For example, is the behavior recent and accompanied by other indicating factors like flinching, getting aggressive, or barking? If yes, you can be sure the problem is related to injury, tummy issues, or illness because your pet is displaying signs of being in pain.
However, suppose your dog has never been too comfortable with having you or anyone else rub its belly and is refusing to let you touch its belly. In that case, it’s a natural progression from its earlier behavior. Some pets don’t like or fear allowing people near their soft or unprotected body parts.
Differentiating Pain From Apprehension
It can be challenging to tell pain or fear apart in canines because both may result in aggressive behavior. That’s where paying attention to your pet’s body language and any accompanying symptoms come in.
If your canine only flinches away or tries to curl up when you try and touch its belly – without signs like aggression, vomiting, gas, etc., it’s possible your pet is apprehensive and fears your touch on its stomach.
On the contrary, if you notice your dog is off its food, is drooling more than usual, pacing restlessly after eating, and suddenly likes to disappear for long periods, your pet feels ill or is in pain.