Valentine’s Day is not just for our human family but for our furry family too!! So how do we show that love to those 4 legged friends as well? Let’s look at some ways we can do that.
Several years ago it became a fad to know your love language. You needed to tune into your kids and your spouse’s love language so they “felt” the love. My love language is – Quality Time and Tom, my husband, feels love with – Words of Affirmation. We can love others but it is how they perceive that love that matters. So…….I got to thinking about our pet’s Love Language. And here are a few ideas to express that love that I came up with. They will set your dog’s tail wagging for sure.
1.) Ear scratches are the best!! Have you ever scratched your dog’s ears and saw that look of bliss come over your pet? A dog’s ears are full of nerve endings that send impulses all through the body, triggering the release of endorphins. These hormones act as painkillers and are natural “drugs” that are also released when dogs feel love. When you show your affection for your pups with ear rubs, you can be sure that they’re getting the message.
2.) Treats from your hand – this not only shows your dog that you are a food provider and reduces food aggression, but it’s an intimate experience and creates a strong bond between you and your pup. All of us like to share food with friends and family and your dog is no different.
3.) Spend time with your dog. That raised ear, open mouth, and tail wagging behind when you arrive home after a long day at work means that your dog is happy to see you. They are enraptured to do anything with you!!! Take a walk, play fetch, cuddle up on the couch with them and a book – any activity that means your dog gets to spend time with you shows the love !!
4.) Talk to your dog. Have you ever been in a long conversation with your dog and been caught by someone who gives you a stare??!! It’s OK – know that studies have shown that talking to your dog relieves stress in us humans. Talking to dogs can help children by providing them with a non-judgmental friend and companion. Elderly owners who talk to their dogs concentrate on the present and stay active. But to your dog talking to them just shows love and care.
5.) Boundaries/Consistently – When you notice your dog breaking a rule, don’t just ignore it sometimes and enforce it other times. This will send a confusing message to your dog, so that when you do correct him, he’ll become conflicted and distressed. While to us humans, letting things slide is just a fun little “treat”, this is actually confusing for a pup. Dogs actually feel most secure when there are consistent rules and boundaries. Not enforcing those boundaries can also cause behavioral issues to crop up. The best way to show our dogs love is to remain consistent, firm and warm in both the tone of our voice and our actions. Of course, when your dog does things right, give them lots of praise and belly rubs!! Doing so will increase your dog’s confidence and make them even more eager to please you. And let them feel the love.
My husband Tom asks ever so often – Do you think Halia knows we love her? And I do think she knows. Using the love language of dogs, you can rest assured that your love and care for your sweet pooch is coming through loud and clear. Now go scratch those ears and give some belly rubs!!!