Dogs are always trying to communicate with their humans, either through wagging their tails, making noises, or jumping on you to tell you something. And as dog parents, part of your job is to observe your dog’s behavior, so you can understand and comprehend what your dog is telling you. So if you are asking, “Why does my dog put his paw on me?” Here are some possible answers.
Why Does My Dog Put His Paw On Me? 7 Reasons
#1. They Want Attention
When your dog places his paw on you, an obvious reason for it is that your dog is vying for your attention.
This is more likely to happen if your dog is frequently left alone or is bored. They want to remind you of their presence and that they need some attention from you. This can be from the lack of mental stimulation, your dog is bored, or is missing some TLC from you.
Your dog putting his paw on you is somewhat similar to saying, “Hey! I’m here!”
#2. They Are Anxious
If your dog is feeling anxious, fearful, and stressed, they will depend on you for assurance and safety.
Just like humans, dogs also feel anxious. So, by keeping his paw on you, your dog is seeking comfort. This behavior may also be accompanied by your dog repeatedly yawning, licking his lips, and pacing, which are common signs of a stressed dog.
There are many factors that can contribute to your dog feeling anxious, like a change in family dynamics, moving houses, or even fireworks. When this happens, offer your physical presence to assure your dog that everything is alright.
While you may always want to comfort your dog, it is equally important to be discerning. Because there are instances when practicing restraint and not offering your comfort can be best for them. If you console your pet every time, it can turn into a reinforcement of your dog’s negative feelings, which can then lead to more mental anguish.
All you can do is make sure your dog feels safe and comfortable with you.
#3. They Are In Pain
Your dog putting his paw on you is also one of their ways to tell you that they need you because they’re not feeling well.
And you will know if this is the “I am in pain” pawing, because there will be other signs like an arched back, excessive licking, lethargy, and quite a lot of whining and whimpering. You can also look for other physical signs to know if your dog is not feeling well.
Look out for signs of your dog in pain. And if your paw puts his paw in you, this might be a major indication that a veterinarian trip is needed.
#4. They Want To Play
When your dog has his paws on you and it is accompanied by some enthusiastic tail wagging and excited little leaps, it is an obvious sign that your dog is inviting you outside to come out and play.
Sometimes, your dog may even bring their favorite ball or toy and drop it at your feet while pawing at you. This is your sign to drop what you are doing and give your pup some playtime.
This is why it is so important to keep your dog active with regular exercise and play. It helps keep your dog active, gets their excess energy out, and is very beneficial to your dog’s overall health. You can also buy a PAWAii Super Chewer for your four-legged friend to help release the extra energy.
#5. To Tell You They Love You
Your dog putting his paw on you is one of their most endearing ways of telling you how much they love you. This is their personal way of comforting you and letting you know that “I am here for you, and I love you!”
Your furry best friend may be simply returning the favor of you petting them by petting you, too. Usually, a paw (or two) on you is accompanied by plenty of snout pushes, head nudges, and excited body movements.
It feels good when your love is returned, and your dog certainly knows how to return the favor a hundred times over!
#6. When They Want Food
You might have been too busy to remember that it is past your dog’s mealtime. So, an easy way for your dog to just put their paw on you to remind you that they are hungry. This may even happen when your dog realizes that their mealtime is getting close and want to remind you to feed them soon.
Although this is a cute and creative way to remind you to feed them, especially when your pup starts nudging their food bowl, it’s not a good idea to tolerate this behavior all the time. This constant demand for food can lead to problematic behaviors.
This is a demanding tactic that you can stop by ensuring that you feed your dog on time and that you make your dog wait patiently until mealtime. You can assure your hungry pet that you didn’t forget his meal by establishing a solid routine.
#7. They Want You To Pet Them
Every pet parent would always love to spend time with their dog, cuddling and petting them. And when your cuddle sessions come to an end, you can expect your loving dog to throw one or both of their front paws on you to ask you for more pets.
This action from your dog is a clear indication that you need to continue petting your dog. When you show love to your dog by petting them, it releases oxytocin — the “feel good” hormone. So, you absolutely must continue making your dog feel happy and loved.
At the same time, your dog putting their paw on you can also be their way of reciprocating your love and attention.