You’re absolutely wild about your dog, and you’re not afraid to show it. But all the treats, toys, fancy collars, and comfy beds can’t let your dog know just how special they are to you. Sure, they appreciate all that stuff. But in order to show your dog love, you have to speak their language. However, just because you don’t speak dog doesn’t mean you can’t convey your love in a way your pup will understand.
Here are a few ways you can express your true feelings to your dog that will leave no doubt in their mind about your love and devotion.
1. Ear rubs make your dog high on love
Have you ever scratched behind your dog’s ears only to find that they lean into your hand and slowly drift into a sort of doggy trance? That’s because ear rubs literally make your dog high.
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. Try feeding your dog by hand
Some experts recommend that, especially with puppies, you try feeding your dog by hand. This not only shows your dog that you’re a food provider and reduces food aggression, but it’s an intimate experience that creates a strong bond between you and your pup.
As your dog grows older, the need to feed by hand may fade, but offering treats during training is still a great way to show your pup that you care. Just don’t overdo it.
3. Just tell them you love them
A study published in Science found that dogs do, in fact, understand some human speech.
Dogs were studied in an MRI scanner that showed that they experienced the most happiness when they heard not just a praising tone, but words of praise, as well. This suggests that they don’t just listen to our tone of voice, but they interpret meaning from words, too.
So sometimes just telling your dog how you feel is a great way to express your love.
4. Train your dog
Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to communicate your love, and training your dog will give you that opportunity. It will also make your bond stronger.
It will let you present your dog with their favorite forms of motivation, whether that’s food, praise, or play, and your dog will come to see you as a provider of the things they love the most. They’ll see that when they work with you, they’re making you happy, and your rewards will make them happy in return.
When you both work to make each other happy, you’re both showing your love for each other.
5. Learn what your dog is saying
Did you know that many dogs don’t like to be hugged? And sometimes they really hate when you approach them directly. Others are not excited to meet your friends or strangers.
Dogs can express a lot through body language if you know what to look for. By learning how dogs communicate, you can reduce their stress and work on making them feel at ease. This will increase their trust in you and build your loving relationship.
When you’re their protector, guardian, and friend, you can be sure that your dog will be feeling all the love.