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Dogs Can Get High When We Rub Their Ears

Dogs release hormones when their ears are rubbed making the dog happy and relaxed.

Dog happy about having their ears rubbed
Shutterstock/Bachkova Natalia

You may have noticed some signs with your dog where they constantly lean closer to you when having their ears rubbed. This is because nerves within the ear release endorphins, making your dog feel relaxed and comfortable.

Dogs’ ears contain a network of nerves that extends to the internal organs, sending impulses throughout the body. Nerves are passed through the pituitary glands and hypothalamus. This secretes endorphins that make dogs feel relaxed and happy.

“Rubbing a dog’s ears stimulates sensitive nerve endings, leading to the release of certain endorphins. Endorphins are the “feel-good” hormones that can calm and relax your dog. So if that’s the definition of getting ‘high’—then yes, your dog will feel loved and relaxed,” said Dr.Candy Akers.

A dog becomes relaxed and happy when endorphins are released, which helps reduce depression and increase pleasure for dogs.

By rubbing your dog’s ears, they are getting high off of their hormones.

Effects of rubbing your dog’s ears

Massaging a dog’s ears meets the basic needs for communication and affection from pet owners.

“All I can say is that I get extremely relaxed; other than that, I don’t notice much, although my dog’s favorite pet spot is his ears, so I’m constantly scratching them. Hard for me to say, but I’d wager it’s not entirely true, but again, I’m always scratching his ears.”

Izzac Haug
Rubbing a dog’s ears releases endrophins. Image: Bachkova Natalia/Shutterstock

A dog gets so much joy and relaxation from having their ears rubbed that they will start to lean in closer, roll their eyes up to the ceiling, and may even sigh at you. Dogs are always receptive to human touch unless something is wrong.

Rubbing a dog’s ears may freeze them in their tracks to enjoy the feeling of having their ears rubbed. Dogs can be rather selective over who gives them the pleasure of an ear rub. Some dogs become nervous over strangers bothering them, while others welcome it.

Strangers and Dogs

Some dogs can be timid or nervous when strangers pet their heads. Dogs associate the height of their heads and any touching to their heads as a dominance issue. Rubbing your dog’s ears while at the vet could be very useful in making your dog more comfortable in these stressful situations.

Whenever a dog puts their head on top of another, it is a sign of respect. Dogs naturally associate a person’s hand resting on their head or rubbing their ears as dominant.

“This activity not only benefits dogs but also us humans, as petting releases endorphins that can reduce our anxiety as humans and improve our well-being,” said Dr.Candy Akers.

The two main parts of the root of a dog’s behavior are reflexology and endorphins.

Reflexology in dogs

Reflexology is a type of massage based on the concept that reflex points are in the feet, hands, paws, and head. Maps of the dogs’ ears show where to massage and apply pressure.

By studying reflexology within a dog’s ears, you can learn how to rub their ears to make them happy and relaxed. Dogs enjoy having their ears rubbed because they feel pleasure through reflexology.

Canine massage therapy can improve your dog’s physical and emotional well-being and be beneficial to the dog’s anxiety, nervousness, and hyperactivity. Reflexology, such as foot manipulation and pressure points, can help soothe and refresh your dog. Some reflex points in the paws, ears, and head correspond with every joint, muscle, gland, and organ.

Dogs have more than 150 pressure points throughout their bodies. These pressure points are the face, head, ears, wrists, paws, and sides. An ear rub may be better than a treat for a dog. Positive rewards can encourage your dog to continue to perform such a task by saying “Well done” or “Good boy.”

One of the reasons dogs go to the vet is for ear infections.

Ear infections within dogs

A dog’s ear canal bends and curves sharply, making them prone to ear infections. To avoid an ear infection, regularly cleaning the dog’s ears will go a long way.

“I’ll add one more note that it’s important to observe your dog’s reaction, as not all dogs enjoy ear rubbing, particularly if they have sensitive ears or past discomforts,” said Dr.Candy Akers.

Be careful when massaging a dog with clipped ears because they may be sensitive to having their ears touched and will not feel pleasure in having their ears rubbed. The dog may get upset or aggressive when their owner touches their ears.

If a dog shows pain when having their ears rubbed, schedule an appointment with your local vet immediately.

Written By

I am currently at UNCP in North Carolina working of my mass communication with a concentration in journalism degree. I am 21 years old. I am a big fan of movies and Tv series that i still buy DVDs even though I have apps like Netflix and Max.

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