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How to Pick Up and Hold a Lap Dog

The Proper Way to Pick up and Hold a Lap Dog

Believe it or not, there certainly is a safer method to pick up and hold a little dog. Understanding the best way to correctly lift and hold your pooch is not only harmless for her, but also for you as well. The secret is supporting a dog’s upper body and backside at all times, which disperses body weight uniformly and keeps a dog and your back pain free.

Please take a moment and teach your children ways to safely lift and hold a small dog. This prevents lap dogs from being dropped on the ground and getting injured.

How to Pick Up a Small Dog

Crouch down, place your dominant arm behind your dog’s back legs and place your non-dominant hand around her chest. As you’re lifting her up, her front and back legs will fold together a bit so her body is resting in your arms.

As you slowly pick her up and stand, bring her body toward your chest to provide extra support for her body while securing her with your arms and removing excessive strain from your lower back.

Never grab a dog by grasping under her front legs and lifting (like a small child). This hurts. Also, never pick up a puppy or dog by her scruff. It’s cruel and will cause irreparable damage. Even if puppies are carried around by their mothers within this manner, it does not give us a license to do the same. We’re not dogs, so we should use our human arms and hands to support dogs.

How to Properly Hold a Dog

According to your dog’s size, weight and body length, safely and securely hold your dog with one or two arms.

Handling a Dog With One Arm

After picking up your dog, stand still and move her body under your main arm (if you’re right-handed, you probably have more strength in your right arm). Now, take your dominant hand and place it under your dog’s chest (between her front legs) while securing her back side between your side and arm. Now, you can safely carry your dog anywhere.

Now, you and your dog are facing the same way, which protects against your dog from being sidetracked by things taking place behind or on the side of you. Plus, your other arm is free to grab your purse, hold treats, close doors or whatever else is needed.

Holding a Dog With Two Arms

For longer or heavier dogs, holding and supporting with two arms is advantageous. Place one arm around your dog’s chest and the other arm around her rear end. Using two arms works best for people with injured backs, especially lower back issues. Constantly keep both arms securely carrying both ends of your dog.

Do not allow a dog’s back side to hang unsecured. It’s extremely uncomfortable for your dog. She’ll most likely wiggle and scratch to get away, and fall down. Plus, securing both the front of her body and rear end keeps back and shoulder pressure to a minimum.