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Dog boops have become all the rage on the internet. But this booping nose gesture isn't just a way to melt the hearts of your social followers. It's also a seriously loving way to connect with your pup.
But is there a thing as too much booping? And do dogs actually like being tapped on the nose? Let's dive into the basics of dog booping so your family can find that sweet spot.
What Are Dog Boops?
A boop, simply put, is a gentle tap on the nose. In doing so to dogs, humans like to say "boop!" aloud — though, that's certainly not a requirement. Through this fun booping nose action, you can form a deeper connection with your dog. It can also be a sweet way to greet them. You might even see your cat giving your dog a gentle boop from time to time, or vice versa!
Are Dog Boops Safe?
A boop shouldn't hurt your dog, so long as you're being gentle with your approach. Just keep in mind that while your dog might enjoy this moment of connection, too much of a good thing might annoy them. Keep the booping limited to once or twice each occasion and you'll both be happy to embrace it as your special "handshake" of sorts.
Should Children Boop a Dog's Nose?
Your children will enjoy booping a dog's nose, but have them proceed with caution. Not all kids will have the impulse control to be gentle with animals or to stop booping after a few times. So before you let your child loose on a pooch's nose, make sure they've been trained on how to interact with animals safely.
You'll first want to assess if they can pet and touch dogs gently and that they avoid swift movements or actions that may make an animal feel threatened, such as grabbing their tail, trying to take their food or toys away, or backing them into a corner. Once you feel confident in their ability to gently interact with animals, let them do so, using your hand as a guide over theirs to show the level of touch a boop should entail. Then, supervise any future dog boops until they get the hang of it.
Very young children, such as babies and toddlers, shouldn't be booping an animal's face. At this developmental stage, they're unable to understand and interpret dog body language and will not be able to perform this cute gesture safely.
To ensure your pet's comfort, it's always a good idea to keep a healthy distance between them and anyone who may play a little too rough.
When to Avoid Dog Boops?
Not all dogs will appreciate this action. If you notice that your dog pulls their face away when you try and tap them on the nose, they are most likely signaling that they are not a fan. In these cases, a gentle back or head scratch will suffice as a bonding opportunity that they're sure to love. If your dog growls, cowers or in any other way shows non-normal behavior, it is best to avoid boops too. This is particularly true with children that haven't quite learned the differences between a happy dog and a scared/anxious dog.
Other times to avoid booping your dog's nose are fairly straight forward. If they have a sore nose either from a health condition, an injury or something like a bee sting, it is best to let them heal to avoid aggravating a sore nose or associating a painful feeling with a normally pleasant experience. Also, avoid this action when your dog is eating. The last thing you want to do is scare or confuse your dog while they are in an eating mindset.
Dogs Like to Boop Too
We aren't the only ones who like to boop: dogs and other animals have been known to boop their loved ones from time to time — and that includes humans just like you!
Your pet may go for this in one of two ways. First, your dog may boop you by lifting their paw and touching you gently with it. The second — and more likely — option is that your dog will use their snout to boop your body, most commonly your hand, legs or even your face, if you're close enough.
Take it as a sign of affection if your dog snuffles into your hand or your face. They're making the effort to physically connect with you, and physical affection is a universal sign for love.
So what's the verdict on dog boops? As long as you're gentle and your dog feels safe, this fun activity can help you bond as a family. So boop away!
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Twitter @ReinventingErin or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.