Dog Belly Rub

Why Do Dogs Like Belly Rubs?

As An Amazon Associate We Earn From Qualifying Purchases At No Extra Cost To You
Dog Belly Rub
Dogs usually are one of the most joyous animals. This is especially true when they are with their family. You see them prancing all around, playing, watching, moving here you for a cuddle and of cause the ultimate, the belly rub. Belly rub is a good trick to make your dog happy. You will see your dog all smiles, paws in the air, lying still and enjoying the interaction. What is it about the belly rub that dog's enjoy so much? Let's find out.

Why Do Dogs Like Belly Rubs?

Dogs enjoy belly rubs for a variety of reasons. The belly is an area they can hardly reach and just like how they scratch their backs on the grass, they enjoy getting belly rubs as it is an hard to reach area for them. Dogs also enjoy belly rubs because it makes them feel good, it comforts them and most of all they get to have a bonding time with you.

Personal Experience

  • Smokey

Smokey really enjoys the belly rub. In fact, once you start petting, it will almost inevitably lie down and literally ask for a belly rub. Like most other dogs, Smokey finds it a good bonding experience and will stay still for you to pet it. If you stop it will quickly jump up for you to pat it on the head or per it some more.

  • Skido

Skido our dog is the complete opposite of Smokey. Skido is not one for belly rubs. It is interesting that dogs do display different personas. If you try and rub Smokey around it's belly region while it is standing, you will get a wary look form it, that suggests it is not about to accept your continuing that. However it very much enjoys the head rubs and other forms of petting.

The Belly Rub

Dogs will roll over and expose their belly's to you either as a show of submissiveness or for a tummy rub. You have to be able to differentiate the two. It should however be noted that not all dogs enjoy belly rubs and sometimes a dog may not be in the right mood for a belly rub. If you notice your dog resisting the belly rubs, moves away or stand up to leave, simply let them be at that moment. Dogs tend to enjoy tummy rubs when they feel relaxed or when they have high serotonin levels, which is usually in the mornings.


In times of submissiveness, dogs roll over as a way to appease you especially after they have done something wrong and they know a spanking is coming. It is their way of begging you and reminding you that they are you friend and wanting you to let go of the built up tension and forgive them. You may not want to pet a dog when it is in the submissive mood because it will be nervous at your touch. It does not know if you have calmed down and are ready to play with it or if the touch is indeed going to be a spanking and hurt.

If you watch closely you will see these signs. They ma show fear on their face, or a peaceful look, they may be quiet, their tails just barely wagging, eyes open and watching for how you will react. In case of extreme fear, they may tuck in their tails.

Dog Belly Rub

All About The Tummy Rub

When it is about the tummy rub, you will see clearly that the dog is excited for it. The will wiggle, wag their tails, roll over with a sparkle in their eyes, tongue usually falling to one side, a smile on their faces. Dogs can barely reach their own bellies so they are happy to have you get it for them. Who wouldn't want their family to help them scratch a difficult itch. 

Why Do Dogs Like Belly Rub

Most dogs enjoy a good tummy rub especially from their owners. This is because it makes them feel good among others. It also shows they trust you, as to accept a good rub, they have to expose their vulnerable belly to you. So lets further examine some of the reasons why.

  • Belly rubs makes them feel good
  • Belly rubs stimulates their hair follicles
  • They find it comforting
  • It enhances social bonding
  • Belly rubs makes them feel good

Belly rubs are associated with the release of serotonin, which makes them happy, relaxed and calm. So they enjoy the belly rub, even almost getting addicted to it and demanding for it by rolling over, when the see you. Then sometimes prefer a good belly rub to patting on the head or down the back.

  • They find it comforting

It also shows that they trust you can be safe with you. The belly is a vulnerable part of their body and they show it only when submissive or to those they trust. The show their trust in the comfortable way the lie down to enjoy the rub. A dog always enjoys comfort from their owners as you are their companion and guardian.

  • Belly rubs stimulates their hair follicles

When the hair follicles on a dog's belly are stimulated, it gives them a relaxed feeling. This is because the follicles are quite sensitive and respond to a good massage. These nerve reactions are associated with the enjoyable experience that your dog senses.

  • It enhances social bonding

Belly rubbing is an amazing social boding activities. Dogs like it when you play with them as they enjoy your attention, time and expressions of affection. Sometimes your dog might roll over on it's back for you to give it a belly rub, just to get a response from you and share some time with you. This increases the bond, trust and affection between the owner and the dog. 

How To Give A Belly Rub

Giving great tummy rubs may be a special ritual between you and your dog. To be able to be good at it and get the most of this bonding time, here are some great pointers to take note of:

  • First of all you have to decipher if your dog is asking for a belly rub or if it is simply doing a submissive appeasement. If it is a submissive appeasement you can simple pat them on the head and they will get up but if it is a belly rub, you can move on to the next steps.
  • Next, you should bend down towards them or kneel down. Have a relaxed demeanor and don't be tensed as the dog also reads your aura and wants to know you are ready to play too.
  • Begin to massage the belly with your palms and fingertips in repeated motions around the belly. 
  • After about 5 seconds of rubbing the belly, stop and see if they dog wants more or is it done. If it is smiling with it's feet and paws up, looking encouraging, you can continue the belly rub for a while longer.
  • You can change up your style of patting and add more excitement for your dog. This can be a rewarding exercise and build more trust between you and your dog.

Final Words

Dogs enjoy belly rubs because it is associated with the release of serotonin, the happiness hormone. Belly rubs make a good social bonding experience between you and your dog. There is nothing wrong in giving your dog a good belly rub from time to time especially when they want.

Back to blog

Leave a comment