“Belly Rub Addiction” Why do they enjoy it so much?

“Belly Rub Addiction” Why do they enjoy it so much?

It is well known that if a dog loves and trusts you, he will roll over and offers you his belly for rubbing. Why do they enjoy it so much? Frida, my youngest, can’t see me passing by her side without pulling up her legs and follow me with her eyes, and I could swear with her little navel too.

The softer and practically hairless skin is also the most vulnerable place of their anatomy, expose it to express submission towards you is a form of demonstrating how much they trust you. Whoever has pet a dog in the belly knows for sure: belly rub must feel good.


According to science, there is an important connection between the activation of pleasure through contact with the hair follicles in their bellies, which trigger a great sensation of satisfaction in our dear friend’s brain.

Also, the twitching they sometimes present in legs during petting isn’t a demonstration of pleasure, as we’ve always believed, it’s instead caused by the stimulation of an involuntary reflex similar to the one we have in our knees.

To rub or not to rub

However, as pleasant it may be, if a dog doesn’t want to be petted and doesn’t happily deploy his belly to be petted, it’s best not to force them as it could generate stress, even aggressive behavior. Remember, it’s the most vulnerable place of their bodies, we don’t always want to be “invaded” with love, or do we?

As a matter of facts, few dogs doesn’t enjoy this type of love. It’s okay if your pooch enjoys games more than physical contact, however, if a dog refused any type of physical contact, it’s important to warn others about it, so we can prevent any discomfort to the dog and to others.

On the other hand, if your dog’s attitude has suddenly changed from one day to another, and is currently not enjoying petting as he used to, there could be an underlying condition that affects him. Take it as a sign of caution cause it could be alerting you about diseases or behavioral disorders that require ruling out the causes and, maybe, a trip to the vet.

About the Author


Hi! My Name is Nataly and I´m in a long serious committed love story with both of my rescued dogs: Frida and Amelia. I use the time that's left, between fetching balls at the park and tummy tickling, to collaborate here at CatchFred.com with heart melting dog stories and tips to take better care of our furry friends. I’m also developing a career as a Fashion-Beauty writer and Makeup Artist. Follow me on IG: Soy_nats to meet my babies and check some of my work. High Paws!

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