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So it turns out, dogs kind of hate hugs.

You may be thinking: "Not my dog! She loves our tender embraces."


But odds are, your pup is not nearly as happy about them as you are.

After watching students interact with dogs at a "Doggy De-Stress" event, psychologist and dog expert Dr. Stanley Coren decided to look into research on human/dog hugs.

Despite how often humans hug dogs, there was little research as to whether the animals actually enjoyed it. So Coren grabbed a couple hundred images of humans hugging dogs off the internet and looked for signs of stress (things like lowered ears, lip-licking, turning their heads away from the source of stress, and more). It's not exactly a perfect science, but Coren's methods revealed some interesting findings.

A pug gets a hug from its owner at a Halloween parade. Photo by istoletheTV/Flickr.

In 81% of the photographs, the dogs appeared to show at least one sign of discomfort or anxiety. Around 7% appeared comfortable, and the remaining dogs had ambiguous or neutral responses.

So knowing what we know now, here are 10 simple (and a few slightly silly) ways to show your furry friend how much you care, without trapping them in a serious stress-fest.

1. Take your dog on the adventure of a lifetime ... or just a walk.

Taking your dog for frequent walks can promote a healthy digestive system, keep their weight under control, prevent hyperactive behavior, and fosters a strong bond between the two of you.

2. Welcome them home sweet home.

The best way to show a dog you care is to make sure it has a safe, loving home. Even if you don't have the time or resources to be a pet parent, you can support the dogs in your community by volunteering or donating supplies to a local rescue.

These strays picked up by an animal shelter await forever homes. Photo by Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images.

3. Listen to "Lemonade" with them.

The music of Beyoncé is the greatest gift you can give a human, plant, or animal. Nothing says, "I love you" like inviting your friends, (furry and otherwise) to get in formation.

GIF from Beyoncé's "Formation."

4. Teach your old dog (or young dog) some new tricks.

Learning new tricks and skills can provide a dog with much needed mental stimulation. Depending on the trick, it can improve their physical stamina as well. And knowing how to "shake hands" or "play dead" may prove useful when care providers like the groomer or the vet need to assess your pet.

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images.

5. Give them a j-o-b.

For some dogs, learning tricks isn't enough, and they need the thrill and challenge of a K-9-to-5. Whether it's chasing sheep, fielding golf balls, sniffing out cancer, or cheering up residents at a hospital or nursing facility, every pup deserves the positive feeling that comes from a hard day's work.

A South Korean girl holds her trainee guide dog during International Guide Dog Day. Photo by Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images.

6. Roll down the windows and roll through town.

Some dogs love the wind in their face and plenty of things to see and bark at from the comfort of the backseat. Bonus points if you avoid the route to the vet.

Photo by Daniel Ramirez/Flickr.

7. Be their wing-human at the dog park.

The dog park is a great place for your dog to expend some energy, smell all the smells, and play with a bunch of new friends. These interactions allow your dog to practice reading dog social cues and body language, a useful skill that could protect them from aggressive animals.

You don't see much of this at the dog park, but maybe you'll get lucky.

8. Be the bearer of belly rubs.

While hugs may make your dog a little nervous, belly rubs could have the opposite effect. When a dog is comfortable with the way they're being touched, they may roll on their bellies as a submissive display and to increase belly access. If you're meeting a dog for the first time, just make sure to watch for signs of stress, even during a belly-rubbing sesh.

Photo by Jen Arbo/Flickr.

9. Write them an impassioned letter telling them how much you care.

They can't read, but they'll appreciate the effort. Especially if your paper goods smell like treats.

GIF from "Adventure Time."

10. Better yet, just give your dog some treats.

Belly rubs, walks, tricks ... it's all just a long con for the thing your dog wants most: treats. Don't be stingy. After all, he's your best friend.

And after all of those potentially stressful hugs, you kind of owe him one.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via LinkedIn

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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