The first time you pet a dog, it’s generally an involuntary response. You see the soft fur and wagging tail, and before you know it, your hand is gently resting on their head. But have you ever stopped to think about why dogs like being pet? The answer lies deep in their animal past—and in our human history with them.
The origins of petting dogs
Have you ever wondered how long humans have been petting dogs? Well, we can look to history for an answer. Dogs were first domesticated about 15,000 years ago in the Middle East! At this point in time, humans had already been living with wolves for quite some time; however, it wasn’t until they began to actively breed these wild animals that they turned into our beloved pets.
Nowadays there are lots of people who love their dogs so much that they want to express their deep affection by giving them kisses and cuddles—and what do dogs do when they feel loved? They wag their tails and bark! So now you know why your dog loves being petted: It makes him feel good because it reminds him of all those years when he was first domesticated by humans.
A dog trusts you when it allows you to pet it
Dogs are social animals and enjoy the companionship of other dogs, as well as humans. They also like to be petted by people they trust. If you’re walking your dog and stop to pet him, he will usually allow you to do so even if he doesn’t know you very well or even if he dislikes being touched by strangers at all. This is because dogs are naturally friendly towards humans; they associate them with food and shelter, which they need in order to survive in our world today!
Most humans can tell the difference between a dog that wants to be pet and one that doesn’t
Most humans can tell the difference between a dog that wants to be pet and one that doesn’t. Happy dogs will wag their tail more when you walk up to them, and they’ll lean into your touch while they’re being petted. Unhappy dogs, on the other hand, might sit stiffly or even growl if you try to touch them.
Petting a happy dog relaxes you, too
Petting a happy dog might just be the best stress reliever around. Our pets are known for their affection and loyalty, but did you know that they can also help us feel better?
- Petting a happy dog reduces your stress levels: We know that petting a dog reduces blood pressure, but it’s also been shown to lower cortisol levels and increase oxytocin (the “love hormone”).
- Petting a happy dog improves your mood: Studies have found that even just one minute of petting or stroking can significantly improve how we feel about ourselves in general—and what’s more, this positive feeling lasts longer when we do it with our own pets than when we do it with unfamiliar animals!
- Petting a happy dog helps you sleep better: People who suffer from insomnia tend to have lower levels of serotonin, which is associated with happiness and relaxation. Fortunately for those who need their beauty sleep every night (or at least try to), studies show that interacting with pets may help increase serotonin production—making them excellent bedtime companions!
You don’t have to be stressed out or experiencing anxiety before trying this one out; there’s plenty of evidence suggesting that simply having a furry friend nearby can make all the difference when you’re feeling down.
Petting your dog can help you live longer
There are many reasons to pet your dog, but one of the most important is that it can help you live longer. Stress has been linked to health issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Being pet by a furry friend is a great way to relieve stress, and that can have a positive impact on your longevity.
In addition to reducing stress, being touched releases oxytocin—a hormone that helps us feel connected with others and less stressed out overall. Studies show that people who get more touch in their lives tend to be more happy than those who don’t receive as much physical affection from others or from animals! If you’re interested in learning more about how petting your dog might improve your life, check out this article: Do dogs really help reduce stress?
Petting a dog is a two-way street
The most important thing you can do is pat your dog when he comes to you. You can also place your hand on his back, but touching the top of his head is a good way to let him know that he is doing a good job. This will help him relax and enjoy the petting experience.
If you have more than one dog in your home, it’s important for each of them to get attention when they need it so that no one feels left out—or worse, jealous.
Many of you probably have a dog that is eager for your attention and wants to be pet. You may even have a friend whose dog seems a bit standoffish. Either way, there are plenty of reasons why dogs like to be pet and why you should go ahead and give your furry friend some love when he asks for it! Just remember that each dog has its own personality, so always be mindful of what makes him tick.