8 WAYS TO SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’ TO YOUR DOG………AND 8 WAYS THEY LOVE YOU BACK!!

A loved dog is a happy dog, so show them you love them by:

Time is love

Give them your undivided attention! Spending quality focussed time with your dog is the best way to reinforce your emotional bond. Play more, affectionately pet them, and be fully present on your walks! 

Don’t be embarrassed to use your ‘dog voice’

Studies show that our dogs understand human language better that previously thought. They like to hear words relating to them: walkies, treat, good.  They also like you to use the high-pitched tone aka ‘baby talk’. It has even been scientifically proven by research at York University which concluded that ‘adult dogs were more likely to want to interact and spend time with the speaker that used dog-directed speech (high pitched rhythmic speaking) with dog-related content, than they did those that used adult-directed speech with no dog-related content.’

So, holding that one-way conversation with you pooch isn’t as crazy as you thought….it is building a deeper bond.

‘Walkies’

Dogs thrive on routine and schedule. Daily walks and training will help your dog understand how much you love and care for them. These shared experiences and training sessions help with communication and build trust. Also remember to allow them to have play time, plenty of sniffing and to express ‘normal’ canine behaviour.

The food of love

There are hundreds of dog foods to choose from.  Educate yourself so that you can pick one that is nutritionally optimal and species appropriate. Giving your dog the best diet will keep them fit and healthy and they will love you for it! Spoil them with natural treats. Here at Pawfect Nature we have a large online selection available. Look out for our new and inspiring enrichment toy with fillings and toppers combinations, the Mindful Mutts Club.  

Share a long, lingering gaze 

Staring down in a forceful manner can be a signal of aggression to some dogs. However, as the dog-owner relationship grows so does the amount of eye contact. Research has shown that when you and your dog share a long, lingering gaze, the oxytocin levels go up in both human and canine. Oxytocin is the ’love hormone’ which improves the friendship and leads to a stronger connection.

Be a good listener

You should watch and read your dogs’ body language. They are continuously communicating if you know what to look for. A wagging tail, eye contact and a raised eyebrow is good. Warning signs of an anxious dog include lip smacking, tucked tail and popping-out or averted eyes.

The touch of love

Just touching your dog has been shown to release oxytocin in you and your dog. A soothing massage, gentle grooming session or extended stroking and petting time will tell your dog in no uncertain terms how much you love them. The ears are packed with feeling receptors, so a good place to start.

Cuddles and naps

Like humans, dogs thrive on physical contact. Even if you don’t let your dog sleep on your bed with you, an afternoon nap on the couch together will deepen your connection.

Just a note about human signals of affection that may make no sense to your dog (depending upon its nature), so watch for their reaction.  Some dogs feel trapped or pinned down when you hug them! A quick kiss on the head may be misread as a nip or gesture of domination! 

…….and 8 ways they love you back:

Warm welcome

Does your dog go crazy when you come home? Does he eagerly greet you with a toy in his mouth, with lots of wagging, jumping and joyful squeaking? He is showing his excitement to see you in any way he can.

Leaning

If your dog leans their weight against your legs in a relaxed and calm way, they’re showing that they trust you implicitly. It is their way of giving a full body hug. They may show other signs of relaxation, a slightly open mouth, soft eyes and a gently wagging tail. You can mimic and reciprocate this, so lean to show a little love back.

Eye contact

Eye contact for a dog is an intimate act, usually a display of trust and affection. If your dog can maintain prolonged eye contact with you they are showing a high degree of attachment.

Nose nudging

If your dog gives you a nose nudge, especially if followed by a soulful stare and/or full body contact, it is their way of showing affection.

Sighing

Soft vocalisations, like sighs or low groans are signs of contentment in dogs. When your dog snuggles up next to you and sighs, it means they feel safe and comfortable.

Licking

Dogs instinctively lick and groom themselves and each other. Some dogs feel the need to lick their favourite person in the world. Maybe it’s a sign of respect and love for you….or that there are crumbs left over from lunch!

Rolling

If your dog rolls onto its back and their overall body language looks loose and relaxed, they are probably asking for a belly rub.  Much like the lean, it is showing a high degree of trust and relaxation.

The look of love

You will know that our dogs are sensitive to our emotional states. Did you know that scientific studies have shown that dogs can see, hear and even smell our emotions? They can read human emotions through our facial expressions.

Yawning is contagious between humans and is said to demonstrate empathy. Did you know that dogs may experience the same sensation? It is difficult to measure empathy in dogs but it is thought that yawning symbolises a bond to their human. Yawn and see if your dog copies! 

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!

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