How To Carry A Dog

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How To Carry A Dog

Regardless of whether you’re planning on introducing a little dog into your home, or you’ve had a four-legged member of your family for years – it’s very important to make sure that you are correctly carrying your pooch, no matter how small or large your four-legged pal might be.

Now, though it may not seem like an overly difficult task to do, many dog owners do unfortunately carry their dog improperly.

Even though this is often unintentional, it is very problematic to carry a dog in the wrong way, as not only can it hurt them, but it can cause them to become injured and even distressed. So, how do you carry a dog?  This is where we come in.

If you’re currently asking yourself this question – you’re in the right place! Below, we’re going to be talking you through the correct method to ensure that you’re properly able to pick up your dog.

Along the way, we’ll also be sharing with you some advice on what you shouldn’t do when picking up a dog so that you can pick your dog up as safely as possible. Let’s jump in! 

How To Pick Up Small-Medium Dogs:

If you have a little, small breed dog or medium-sized dog, then the best way to pick up your dog is by sliding your dominant arm right under your dog’s chest.

Then, after you have done this, slide your other hand around the belly of your dog, so that your dog is positioned directly between your arm and your body.

After you have done this, spread your palms and fingers outwards to help cover more surface, and then when you’re ready, gently lift your dog upwards in one gentle motion.

As a side note, if you have a small dog, we strongly recommend that you only pick up your dog as and when necessary, rather than just for fun.

Many pet owners of small dogs do tend to pick up their pet dogs more frequently than medium or large dogs, and this can sometimes cause small dogs to become distressed or irritable in response.

For this reason, try to refrain from picking up your small breed dog unless absolutely necessary, as well as ensuring that any children that are going to be carrying your small dog are following the correct steps above.

How To Pick Up Large Dogs:

On the flip side, if you have a large breed dog, then the method required for picking up your dog correctly is slightly different from that of a small or medium-sized dog.

To do this correctly, take one arm and place it gently behind the back of your dog’s back legs, and then place your other arm around the chest and front legs of your large breed dog.

After you have done this, you can then go ahead and proceed to gently lift up your large breed dog. 

As a side note, it is important to keep in mind that, unlike small to medium-sized dogs which are more mellow in nature when it comes to being picked up, most large breed dogs do not like to be picked up due to their size, as it can make them feel uncomfortable.

For this reason, prior to picking up your large breed dog, we recommend that you take a few moments to gently pet your dog and make sure that it is in a relaxed position and calm mood prior to proceeding with the picking up.

What To Avoid

Even though carrying a puppy by its scruff is an entirely normal thing for a mother dog to do, it is not recommended that you try and do the same while attempting to pick up your pet dog.

Mother dogs know instinctively how to correctly pick up their puppy by the scruff of its neck, as well as understand how much pressure to apply to make sure that their baby does not get injured. 

1. Don’t pick up your dog by its scruff

It’s also highly important to remember that mother dogs will only carry their baby dog by the scruff of its neck while they are a youngster, and will immediately stop doing this when their baby begins to grow and become a young dog.

For this reason alone, it’s very important to make sure that you are avoiding trying to carry your dog by the scruff of its neck, because it may cause your dog to become injured, especially if you have an older dog.

Additionally, as a dog gets older, they instinctively do not like to be carried around by the scruff of their neck, and so trying to pick them up using this technique will likely cause them to react in a negative and defensive way out of fear or irritation. 

2. Don’t pick up your dog by its neck collar

When it comes to picking up dogs, one of the biggest things that you should always avoid doing is trying to pick up your dog by using its collar.

Not only is this going to be a very painful and traumatic experience for your dog, but it will also potentially cause fatal damage to the trachea area of your dog’s neck, while also potentially even cutting off your dog’s air supply. 

Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t gently hold your dog’s collar in the event of an emergency to keep him from running away or hurting himself.

However, it is extremely important to note that you should never attempt to pick up your dog by its collar under any circumstances. 

3. Don’t pick up your dog by its underarms

One of the most common mistakes that people make when carrying their dog is by opting to pick their dog up by its underarms.

Besides putting pressure on the muscles and arm area of your dog’s body, it will also put your dog at a higher risk of becoming injured due to pressure or even from being accidentally dropped.