Is your cat or dog left-handed or right-handed? What can that tell you about his or her behavior and health?
Our handedness is a part of our identity. For those of you lefties who make up approximately 10% of the population, your handedness can be a point of pride and a source of frustration, having to live in a world designed for right-handed people. It is suggested that your handedness may even be linked to certain personality traits. But have you ever thought about whether your furry friends might have a paw preference? And if so, could there be a link to certain personality traits or health implications?
How do you know if your pet has a paw preference?
There are a number of tests that can give you a sense of whether your pet may have a paw preference. It is best to track paw preference over time to determine if there is a strong bias. Some dogs or cats can be ambidextrous, showing no bias.
For dogs, the first foot placed forward when walking from a standing or sitting position, is often the dominant paw. Dogs will typically use their dominant paw to remove a blanket from the head, a piece of tape from the nose or to stabilize a toy. (more…)