Why do dogs hate when you touch their whiskers? Essential Tips

Can I pluck one of my dogs whiskers?

Despite what the mama cats may do, you should never trim or pluck your dog’s or cat’s whiskers. … Cutting or plucking out whiskers before they are ready to fall out not only will cause your pet to become disoriented (and probably stressed) for a few days but can also cause infection.

What are whiskers?

Even though whiskers erupt from hair follicles like other hairs, they really stand out on a dog’s body. Whiskers are coarser and thicker than regular hair and have roots that are three times deeper. Unlike regular hairs, whiskers do not cover the entire body. They are strategically located above the eyes, on the chin, and above the upper lip. The exact pattern and location of whiskers varies with breed. Unlike humans, dogs of all ages have whiskers. Newborn pups do not need to reach puberty before growing whiskers, which are among the first hairs to develop and are present at birth.

Whiskers are more sensitive than regular hairs because the follicles from which they originate are packed with blood vessels and nerves. In fact, a dog’s whiskers are as sensitive as a human’s fingertips. So, while human’s sense of touch is in the fingers, a dog touches the world with his face.

7 reasons why your dog doesn’t like you touching his face

Sometimes a simple caress can bring pain to pooches. That’s when your pooch would try to avoid your touch.

The pain that face touching brings could be due to toothache, jaw pain, and skin tumor.

Let’s look at these in-depth. Shall we?

Toothache in dogs comes from a broken tooth, cavities, tartar build-up, and swollen gums.

As a result, touching the face near your dog’s mouth will cause pain.

According to Dr. Malcolm Weir this condition happens when the immune system targets the dog’s own muscle tissue.

The masticatory muscles are responsible for your dog’s chewing movement.

MMM causes these muscles to become swollen and painful. Which makes the pooch become sensitive to any touch on their face.

Veterinary Surgeon Joan Rest defines CCH as a benign tumor that affects the dog’s skin. Any dog breed can develop this, but it’s common in Bull Terriers and Boxer Dogs.

Symptoms of this skin condition include:

These symptoms are painful. Specifically, if someone touches their skin.

Warning: The CCH condition is contagious. A CCH-carrying tick can send it from one dog to another by biting on the dog’s skin.

Why Do Dogs Have Whiskers? 3 Things You Didn’t Know Whiskers Do!

Last month, author Lexiann Grant discussed the benefits of touching for dogs and humans (“Pet the Dog“). I was graphically reminded of those benefits recently when our beloved 15-year-old Pomeranian, Dusty, succumbed to an ulcerated cornea and eventual rupture of his left eye. This is an extremely painful condition, and given his failing ability to use his hind legs, refusal to eat, and signs of obvious depression, we sadly opted for euthanasia.

We spent our last afternoon together sitting in the sun, on the grass lawn of our new farm in Maryland. As I stroked Dusty’s soft golden fur and massaged his limbs and frame, I could see the tension leave his small, frail body. His pain seemed to fade at my touching; he stretched out on the grass with a sigh, more relaxed than he had been since his eye ruptured three days earlier. I could feel my own tension lessen as well, as I savored what I knew were my last moments with this gallant little boy who had shown me that small dogs could be every bit as big in heart and mind as their larger brothers.

I’m grateful that our dogs enjoy being touched, and that we can share the gifts that such healing contact offers. But not all dogs like – or even tolerate – being touched. Fortunately, a dog’s negative association with touching can often be changed through the use of counter-conditioning and desensitization (CC&D).