Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

Ear Rubs

Oh just to have someone rub my ears, he thinks – the pleasured look on your dog’s face tells you how wonderful it feels.  Why is this so enjoyable?  It’s because there’s an entire network of nerves that extend to the internal organs sending impulses throughout the body.  Acupuncture and acupressure practitioners have been targeting the ears for years for this reason.Dori ear rub

If your dog has ever zoned out or fallen into a light sleep while having his ears rubbed it’s because those nerve impulses are sent to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands which secrete endorphins. We all know about endorphins – they’re the pain-killing, feel good hormones that are released when we exercise, among other things.  The same ones make your dog feel relaxed, mellow and happy, even euphoric.  Dr. Allen Schoen, director of the Center for the Advancement of Veterinary Alternative Therapies says when you rub your dog’s ears he’s essentially getting high on his own hormones.  In addition, Schoen says massaging a dog’s ears meets a basic need for affection and communication from pet owners.

Here’s something to think about – have you ever noticed that some dogs shy away from people putting their hand on the dog’s head or rubbing their ears?  Ear rubs may be pleasurable, but dogs may also be selective as to who is going to provide that pleasure.  Dogs naturally associate a person’s hand resting on their head or rubbing their ears as dominant and they may not enjoy strangers doing this.

When you’re rubbing your dog’s ears, start to notice how relaxed you become – it can even lower your blood pressure.  Those endorphins are not only flowing through your dog, but through you.  More ear rubs, please!!!

Category: Massage, Relationships