The Three Things That Can Hurt Your Dog’s Feelings, Backed by a Vet

A video explaining three things that can hurt your dog’s feelings, including rushing their daily walks, has gone viral on social media.

The viral clip, shared on TikTok by Buddysmartz earlier in March and featuring Buddy the golden retriever, claims that three particular actions by pet owners may involuntarily hurt your most loyal furbaby’s feelings.

“[The] 3 things that can hurt your dog’s feelings,” a caption says. “1 – rushing your dog on a walk – dogs love taking time to sniff around while on a walk, hurrying them up when they’re exploring can be frustrating for them.

“2 – forcing them into uncomfortable situations – your pup might be afraid of thunders, fireworks, and vacuum cleaners, or dominant dogs in dog parks, the best thing you can do is read their body language and understand how they feel and remove them from the uncomfortable event when needed.

“3 – ignoring their pain – dogs don’t speak our language so it’s your job as an owner to be a pain detective and understand how they feel by recognizing any signs of discomfort like paw licking or head shaking. Make sure to get to know your dog to avoid hurting them.”

Stock image of a sad golden retriever. A veterinarian has confirmed a viral internet claim that these three things you do can hurt your dog’s feelings.
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According to the East Valley Animal Hospital, dogs can experience five core emotions that we humans experience—fear, anger, disgust, joy and sadness. They can also feel more nuanced emotions like excitement, distress, contentment, anxiety, shyness, anticipation and even love.

Moreover, because a dog’s emotional maturity correlates to that of a two-year-old child, they aren’t capable of feeling emotions that develop after this age, including shame, guilt, pride or contempt.

Dr. Christine Barton, veterinarian at The Vets, told Newsweek: “I think reducing the dog’s walk time may ‘hurts her/his feelings’ as they are not getting enough enrichment time which does not only include walks but also play time with toys and interacting with other pets and people. This is not a one size fits all by any means, but with some breeds, it can very seriously impact their behavior and relationship with their owner (e.g. dogs being destructive with furniture, cats urinating outside the litterbox).”

“A lot of owners are not familiar with what dogs are truly saying with their body language. A lot of folks take on owning animals with the expectation that they should have nothing wrong with them. I always discuss body language and what this can mean for gauging how your pet is feeling (pain, nervousness, happiness).”

The video quickly gained popularity on social media, and it has so far received over 541,700 views and 33,100 likes.

One user, Mei, commented: “4) leaving them for college.” And Thearyniest said: “I wish I could tell my dog I’m not TRYING to rush him, he just can’t eat all the garbage on the sidewalk.”

Zoe wrote: “It hurts my feelings when my dog sniffs a spot for 10 mins, decides he’s done, and then yanks me back to it.” And Ftk231 added: “I understand not rushing my dog, but if I don’t, my 30-minute walk will literally last the entire day. There’s a point where I have to.”

Carface commented: “I now regret every rushed walk I took my dog on. I wish I had those walks back I miss her.”

Newsweek reached out to Buddysmartz for comment. We couldn’t verify the details of the case.

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