When you love your dog, you’ll want to show you do. While there are many ways to do this, dogs are not humans and do not understand acts of love the way we express them.
You’ll have to do it in a language that your pet will understand, but unfortunately, many dog owners don’t know how to do that. If you’re in that category, this post is for you. Here are 13 ways to help you learn how to show love to a dog clearly, so your dog understands your actions.
1. Rub Your Dog’s Ears
Rubbing your dogs’ ears is an easy way to show that you love your pet. And yes, your dog’s reaction will show you that he understands the affection. Your pets’ ears contain nerve endings, so the area behind his ears is a sweet spot.
When you rub this spot, endorphin (a chemical in the body that causes certain feelings such as happiness and pain relief) is released and sent by the nerves to all parts of his body.
You should see the joy in your pet when you rub behind his ears quite a sight to see.
2. How To Show Love To A Dog By Cuddling
Dogs express love to their fellow animals by cuddling, leaning in, and rubbing against them. By repeating the same, you’ll be passing the same message. However, the best time to go about with this is in the morning as he’s seeing you for the first time in the day.
At the start of the day, catch up with your pet and cuddle and snuggle with your dog for 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Use Facial Expression
Dogs are very facially expressive. You must have noticed your pet raising eyebrows and blinking on various occasions. Your dog is just trying to communicate, and they do this more around humans they care about.
Try to use facial expressions to communicate with your pet. It is best to do this in a very quiet setting. As you make facial expressions, you can say some soothing words in a calm voice.
4. Feed Your Dog Yourself
“The way to a dog’s heart is through his stomach,” you must have heard this many times when referring to humans, but it applies to dogs even more, and it’s factual.
Food time is about the happiest moment for dogs. You can take this further by feeding your dog directly from your hand. When you feed your dog by hand, your pet understands that you care even more.
So, instead of pouring his food and water in bowls and setting them down, try directly feeding yourself once in a while. You can also do this with dog treats.
5. Hang Out With Your Dog
Spending time with your pet is always advisable. Work can make us very busy but do find time to be affectionate when you’re around.
Let your pet hang out with you whenever the opportunity presents itself. Does he want to be around you as you prepare for work? As you eat? As you work? Etc, you should allow him to be near you.
Furthermore, once in a while, hang out with your dog outdoors in more interesting places like parks, beaches, etc. You can even go bike riding with a dog.
6. Give Your Pet Dog Toys To Play With
Dogs love staying active. If you’re not usually around, a great way to make your pet understand that you love him is by making toys available while you are away. You should provide interactive and engaging toys that will keep your dog happy and active.
If you don’t, your pet will be bored and unhappy when you’re away. Leaving your dog like this is not good for your dog’s health and can worsen separation anxiety behavior.
Buy your puppy or dog pet toys to use while at work. You can even buy monitoring pet cameras to watch and interact while you are far from home. See our list of best cameras to watch your dogs at home to use when you are away from home.
7. Allow Your Dog To Sleep In Your Bed
In dog training, it’s required that you teach your dog to sleep on his bed. While that’s ideal, there’s no harm in allowing your pet to sleep in the same bed with you sometimes.
Your dog is at his most vulnerable point when he’s sleeping. By allowing your puppy or dog to sleep with you, it means he can be vulnerable around you and still be safe – that’s love.
8. Give Your Dog Space When He Needs It
Once in a while, your pet will want to have his way, be alone in his territory, etc. You should respect this if you want your dog to understand that you love him.
Children sometimes try to force a pet to play when they may not want to, which can sometimes lead to dog bites. See more in our post on how to stop a puppy from biting children.
Anyway, you’ll be passing the opposite message if you force your pet to do what he doesn’t want to do or disturb him when he’s having me-time.
9. Teach Your Dog A New Trick
Teaching a dog new tricks using reward-based training or positive reinforcement techniques requires you to provide a certain kind of attention and focus on your dog.
You get to have fun activities, lots of laughing and smiling, lots of tasty dog treats for your dog to enjoy, and lots more.
Aside from the treats, your dog gets to enjoy a special kind of attention from you and other people who may be around during training. All these activities help to show your dog you love him.
Do note that this is best for one trick at a time. For more tedious dog training or full training for a new puppy, it may be best to use a dog training course or a reward-based professional dog trainer near you.
10. Stare into Your Dog’s Eyes
You can show a dog your love by gazing into your pet’s eyes. A recent study conducted on 30 dogs and their owners helped explain that Oxytocin, a chemical in the body heightened when in love (actually known as the body’s love hormone), is increased in humans and dogs when they gaze into each other’s eyes.
If your dog stares at you, return the attention give as a way to show you love them too. You may wish to read more about the study here.
This technique is only for dogs you own and know quite well. Animals can be unpredictable, so do not try this with unfamiliar dogs.
11. Learn Dog Body Language
Take step nine a little further by making an effort to learn dog body language. Learning dog body language will make it easier for you to understand your pet. If you understand what your dog is trying to say to you at all times, you’ll be able to read his moods, know what he wants, etc.
Understanding your dog’s true needs will help you respond in the best possible way, which is great if you want your dog to know that you love him. Fortunately, Learning dog body language is easily achievable with the right instruction.
12. Allow Your Dog To Express His or Herself Freely
Humans have a lot of ways they communicate various actions and emotions. Sometimes when people are angry, their voice is raised, they scream and shout, and more.
Dogs are also entitled to have emotions and need to express them. When dogs get angry, they may show aggression and growl to give warning signs before biting. When they are hurting, they may whine and cry.
Allowing your dog to be free to express him or herself without trying to shout him down or screaming at him can be a show of love. If your dog is in pain, patting and caring for him the right way during this tough time will make your dog understand how you feel. See this post on how to help a dog with back pain for various techniques for a dog in pain.
13. Put Down Your Phone Or Keep It Away
How do you feel when you are talking to a friend, and they keep looking at their phone. Do you feel appreciated, loved? I don’t think so. Your dog feels the same way.
When you interact with your dog, leaning in or taking some quick minutes with your dog, make sure you keep the phone away so your attention can be fully on your pet. Your dog will feel loved when you do this.
Dogs need love. According to various experts, they fall into love much more easily than people do; they can’t help it. They are programmed to love you, so you should try to return the favor and show them you love them.
Nevertheless, it’s one thing for your pet to fall in love with you and another thing for your dog to understand you love him too.
However, now that you have learned the tips discussed here, you can use some or all of the techniques mentioned here on how to show love to a dog to help your dog understand you love them from today.
I hope you enjoyed this. Don’t forget to share this post on loving a dog with all your friends before you go.