Pugs love for you to pet them, but when it comes to touching their paws, they flinch and pull back. This behavior has you wondering “why don’t Pugs like their paws touched?” Well, let’s take a look at why dogs are sensitive to you touching their feet.
Why Don’t Pugs Like Their Paws Touched?
Most dogs don’t like their paws touched because they are extremely sensitive and the tops of their foot are made up of sensitive nerve endings, ligaments, connective tissue, and tendons. For others, it can be fear, dominance issues, and etc. We’ll discuss this further below.
This sensitivity enables them to get sensory information about their environment. Their toenails provide stability and maneuverability when walking and running.
Their feet are extremely important and have many roles, which is why some dogs bite when their paws are touched. Other dogs will scream like they are being killed when their nails are being trimmed.
Before you can understand why dogs hate their feet touched, you first have to understand how dogs use their feet.
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They Are Loaded With Nerve Endings
Your dog’s feet may seem tough, compared to our feet. They walk around barefooted on hot surfaces, rocks, sticks, and all kinds of terrains, without wearing shoes.
Yes, it’s true that dog’s feet are rugged, but the truth is that they are loaded with nerve endings on the pads of a Pug’s paws that make them sensitive to touch, heat, and touch.
Touching their paws may be similar to when someone tickles the soles of your feet. Some people hate it and others love being tickled.
Even though your dog has been domesticated, they are not inclined to understand certain human behaviors such as kissing, hugging or shaking hands.
Instead, when they meet a new dog they sniff their butt, which is how they get to know each other.
Now let’s look at why some dogs hate it more than others,
Most pet owners never touch their puppy’s paws when they are a puppy. We tend to touch them when your dog has a splinter in the paw pad or they need their nails trimmed. Here’s how to trim your Pugs nails step by step.
Your dog remembers these experiences and when you touch their paws, they associate it with pain, which makes them fearful of having their feet handled.
Problems With The Claws
It could also be that your dog’s nails have become too long and it’s time to cut their nails. A dog’s nails will naturally wear down when they walk on hard surfaces.
That being said, a Pug’s nails still need to be trimmed on a regular basis to prevent their nails from growing extremely long or curling into the paw pad.
This would be similar to you having a having an ingrown toenail and having someone press or touch that toe. It’s extremely painful and you don’t want anyone messing with it.
Your dog’s paws play important roles in their everyday life, so it’s important to keep them in good condition.
They Could Have A Cut or Sore
As mentioned your Pug walks around barefooted all day on different types of terrains. If your Pug doesn’t mind you touching their paws and all of a sudden flinches or tries to bite you, it could be that they have a cut or thorn stuck in their paw.
This usually happens when your dog lets you touch one paw, but won’t let you touch and not the other. You’ll also notice that they may be licking their paws excessively to help soothe it.
You’ll want to inspect your Pug’s paws carefully to see if you can help alleviate the pain. If your dog is still in pain it’s time to contact your local veterinarian.
Bone and Joint Problems
A dog has 6 bones in their rear paws and 7 in their front paws. Dogs are digitigrade animals, which means that they carry most of their weight.
Imagine how you feel when you stand on your feet all day. When you get home, your feet are sore and you just want to soak your feet to make them feel better.
If your Pug has problems with their bones or joints, that can be the reason your dog doesn’t want their feet touched. Joint problems can be the cause of arthritis, injury or your dog carrying too much excess weight.
Contact your veterinarian if you believe Fido is dealing with joint problems.
Something Stuck In Their Toes or Under The Nail Sheath
Maybe your dog has a foreign object stuck between their toes? It’s easy for burs, splinters, rocks, grass seeds, and etc to become lodged between your dog’s toes or can easily be lodged under the nail sheath.
This will be painful for your dog and they’ll be reluctant to let you look at their foot, even if you’re trying to relieve their pain.
Pad Corns or Warts
Yes, Pugs can develop foot corns and plantar wars like we do. Although they are rare in most dogs, it is possible.
You’ll notice a growth growth on the bottom of their pad, and even becomes painful for your dog to walk.
Some dogs will start limping or may even become reluctant to walk. If you notice this, it’s time to get your Pug’s paws checked at your veterinarian.
Your Pug Could Be Ticklish
Finally, it could just be that your Pug is ticklish. If you touch your Pug’s paws gently or lightly, it could trigger a ticklish sensation to their paws.
Most dogs will find this annoying and will flinch or pull their paws away.
What To Do
Now that you know why Pug’s hate having their feet handled, you might be interested in knowing what you can do to make their experience less uncomfortable.
These tips will help make better for both you and your pooch.
It’s easier to train a puppy than it is an older dog. They haven’t been conditioned to like and dislike things yet.
Start touching your puppies paws as early as possible to get your pup used to you handling their feet. You can even give them a treat to help them associate it with a good experience.
If you have an older dog, you may want to consider touching their feet more often, other than just trimming their nails. This will help your pooch start associating it with a good experience instead of a traumatic one.
Use Paws Wax
If your Pug spends a lot of time outdoors, you may want to consider using paw protection such as Musher’s Secret Paw Protection Natural Dog Wax.
This will help them walk on sandy beaches, pavement, snow, or hot sidewalks without issues. It’s like wearing doggie shoes, without the discomfort!
Your dog’s feet will be protected year-round and they’ll be less likely to suffer from painful foot pain.
Inspect Their Feet More Often
Most pet owners only think about their dog’s paws when it’s time to trim their nails or they see their dog in pain.
Start inspecting your dog’s feet after every walk, even if your dog doesn’t have any pain. Leave the nail clippers in the closet and just examine your dog’s feet while praising them for allowing you to touch their feet.
This will help your dog get used to you handling their feet. Before you know it, your dog won’t mind when you touch their paws, although they will still hate getting their nails trimmed.
Final Word On Pug’s Paws
Your dog’s feet play a huge role in their everyday life. If your dog doesn’t like you touching their feet, it may be best to respect their wishes.
Use the tips above to help your pooch accustomed to you touching their feet. Give them time to get used to it.
And don’t be upset if your dog never likes it, some dogs are just sensitive when it comes to their feet!
References And Further Reading
MNN – Melissa Breyer – 18 Things You Didn’t Know About Dog Paws
Veterinary Practice News – Richard W. Doughty, M.SC., MB ChB (Hons), BVSc, and Michael Guillard, MA, VetMB, CertSAO, FRCVS – Pad Corns: A pain for both dog and veterinarian