Love is in the air with the upcoming Valentine’s Day celebration. How will you say I Love You to your dog? Do you know your dog’s love language? Of course it’s not as simple as a Puppuccino from the drive through, there’s so much more you can do to show your dog how much you love them.
The Ears Have It
When you start rubbing your dog’s ears, it almost immediately will send them into a state of bliss and relaxation. The ears on Fido are a hot spot for nerve endings. When you gently massage this area, it sends off a firecracker release of endorphins throughout their body. You want to apply a soft, circular massage with two fingers (one behind the tip of the ear and one inside the ear at the tip) to really send them into a state of happiness. Dogs will find their zen when they get this type of touch.
We Need To Talk
While they may not understand all your words, having a conversation with your dog is a great way to bond. Your dog will pick up on your tone and affection in your voice and will immediately respond with good feelings. While you are speaking softly to them, maintain eye contact. These quiet moments can stimulate the release of Oxytocin in the canine brain-the same hormone that bonds mom and child. In addition, the more facial activity (raising eyebrows, large smiles) you display when talking to your dog, the more they know they are loved. And don’t forget to use your “baby voice” when talking to your dog. You know the one! It might be embarrassing for dog lovers to admit, but dogs actually enjoy it. They respond well to the exaggerated emotions in your voice, and it helps them know you’re addressing them.
Let’s Hug It Out
Believe it or not, experts in dog behavior believe that, in general, dogs do not like hugs. Essentially it may make your dog anxious and give them discomfort from an embrace. Of course, most four-legged children will tolerate a hug from their dog mom or dog dad. However, what a dog really loves is a good lean-to. You know when you are standing in the kitchen and your dog comes and leans their body weight into your legs…that is the doggy equivalent to a hug. To reciprocate and show them a “hug,” gently press your weight into them and apply light pressure. In addition, adding extra touch to your dog’s routine, such as a massage, grooming session, or extended petting time, might make your dog feel more loved.
Believe it or not, there are actually big mutts that are not allowed to sleep with their human. However, if you are the opposite and allow your pup to snuggle with you in bed, that is the ultimate display of love and trust. A sleeping dog is at it’s most vulnerable, so allowing your dog to snuggle up to you, is a sign of pure adoration.
It is also just the simple act of spending time with your dog that shows them how much they are loved. Going for walks, playing fetch, taking a car ride are easy activities that your dog understands as their love language. Not to mention the added health benefits for dog and human by getting outside and burning the calories!
Make It A Party
Does your dog enjoy the company of doing the zoomies with other pups? Then host a puppy party and invite your dog’s best doggy pals to a romp in the backyard. Even better head to your local dog beach and make it a wet and wild playdate. Or maybe a hike through the forest with their favorite canine friends is more their speed? Whatever activity you choose, your dog will be happy, loved and tired at the end of the day!