HOW TO SHOW YOUR DOG AFFECTION SO THEY UNDERSTAND
If you’re here reading this, it’s a pretty safe bet you love your pup as much as we do! With Pet Appreciation Week coming to a close, it’s a great time of year to slow down for a moment and reflect on how to show your dog affection in a way that they understand. Your pup probably has an astronomical amount of toys, treats, and maybe even a designer leash and collar – or two! While all of these things are great and can often lead to meaningful interactions with your pup, they don’t necessarily make them feel truly loved. So, it’s not just about showing your dog affection – it’s more so about showing them affection in a way that they understand.
EAR RUBS ARE EUPHORIC
We all know pups in general like attention and love to be pet and scratched. Truth be told, as dog parents we get a lot of enjoyment from those cute belly rubs too! But, did you know that when you scratch directly behind you pup’s ears it actually releases endorphins into their system? These are the same endorphins that reduce pain and are released when you exercise, which explains why pups love it so much!
To show your dog appreciation, set aside just a few minutes a day to sit and relax while you rub their ears. You’ll start to notice when the really lean into your hand – that means you’ve hit the spot! If you are able to devote this time consistently to your pup, it will be a moment the look forward to everyday!
LEARN YOUR PUP'S BODY LANGUAGE
Just like humans, each and every dog is different. This means every pup reacts differently to fun, exciting, scary, and stressful situations. Although your pup does make some feelings obvious, often vocally by barking, other indications of how they are feeling may be more subtile.
By paying close attention to your dog’s behavior in every day situations, you’ll quickly learn to pick up on the communication cues they are expressing with how they act. Look for excessive yawning, aversion of the eyes, and pinned back ears. These behaviors may indicate your pup is stressed by the environment they are in. By understanding these cues, you’ll be able to react to and adjust external situations so you pup is calm and happy. They will love you for considering their feelings!
FEED YOUR DOG BY HAND
Many experts recommend feeding puppies by hand for three main reasons:
1. It can help reduce food aggression when you start your pup out at an early age.
2. It solidifies you role as the food provider and can help you relationship with your pup
3. It’s looked at as an intimate experience, and allows you to bond with your dog.
As your pup gets older, the need to feed them by hand is greatly reduced. that said, when you feed them a treat you can get down on their level, give them a quick scratch, and feed them the treat by hand. This is especially helpful during training sessions to reinforce good behavior. It’s just also a great way to make sure your pup you know you’re there for them, and that you care.
TELL YOUR PUP YOU LOVE THEM
Believe it or not, simply telling your pup you love them can go a long way. Many experts agree that dogs do in fact understand some human speech. Simple, short phrases that are repeated often make it easier for your pup to understand.
In another study, it was shown that it is not just the words, but the tonality and context your pup reacts to. By looking them in the eyes, smiling, and using a higher pitched, happy tone, they know the moment is positive.
Partner this with an ear rub and your pup will be sure to know you love them!
HOW TO SHOW YOUR DOG AFFECTION - JUST A FEW MOMENTS A DAY
Regardless of how you decide to show your dog affection, it’s important to set a few moments aside each day for this special time. We all live busy lives and have a lot going on, but it takes very little effort to let your pup know you appreciate them. Day in and day out, our furry family members are there to make us smile, always loyal and loving, and reduce our stress simply with a cute look. As loving pet parents it’s important we reciprocate our love in a way they truly understand!
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