There is absolutely no doubt that we love our dogs. They are man’s best friends for a reason, after all. Through generations of domestication, we have created the ability to bond incredibly deeply and profoundly with our canine friends. The one place that domestication is perhaps lacking, however, is in terms of having us speaking the same language.
This is not to say that we should begin barking or dogs should develop the ability to form sentences, but there can be somewhat of a language barrier when we interact with our pets. Some gestures that humans may perceive as sweet could be odd or even threatening to our dogs. Meanwhile, dogs have their own language-free (or at least not a language that we speak fluently) ways of telling both humans and fellow dogs how they are feeling.
That being said, there are ways to bridge this gap between humans and dogs. By balancing both human ways of showing love as well as ways that your dog will understand, we can truly have the best of both worlds. So, without further ado, here are seven of our very best tips and tricks on how to tell your dog you love them.
Give Them a Cozy Home of Their Own
Sharing our home with our dogs is one of the very best parts of having a pet. We truly get to live our lives together through all the ups and downs. While our dogs should always feel at home anywhere in this space, it can mean a great deal for them to have a place that is all their own. Luckily, this is where cozy crates come into play.
To give a dog a crate is to give them a sanctuary that is their space and their space alone. It can be customized with all of your pet’s favorite toys, blankets, and various soft surfaces to make it as comfortable as possible. In essence, a crate can act as your dog’s home within a home—a place where they are totally comfortable and at ease.
Diggs provides a variety of safe, convenient, spatially efficient, and aesthetically pleasing crates for dogs of all ages and sizes. By designating an area of our homes to our wonderful pets, we are showing them that they are a part of our lives in every way. Not to mention the fact that it’s giving them a new soft surface to doze on, which is always a huge win.
Tell Them You Love Them Out Loud
On occasion, there are moments we all look at our dogs and are simply overcome with emotion. At these times, it can be hard to resist a heartfelt “I love you,” or “who’s a good dog?” As it turns out, there is absolutely no reason to resist communicating the affection that you feel. And if you do so in a higher-pitched or exaggerated voice, there is nothing wrong with that either.
There may be a slight stigma against breaking out the baby voice with your beloved pet, but it is completely unwarranted. Just looking at the excitement on a dog’s face when they are being talked to will quickly answer why that is. An overexaggerated baby voice may not go over particularly well with our fellow adult humans, but this tone of voice helps dogs recognize that they are being spoken to, and lovingly at that.
In fact, it has even been studied and found that dogs respond better to this higher-pitched voice. This tone can make them more attentive and better listeners. Our furry friends can recognize that this tone is specifically meant for them, as opposed to when we utilize a normal voice in everyday conversation. Dogs also tend to favor spending time with people who use this cutesy voice.
So tell your dog aloud how much you care and do not hesitate to do so in the absolute silliest voice you can muster!
Reward Them With Some of Their Favorite Treats
There are a few universal truths out there, including this simple one: dogs love food. This fact becomes more and more readily apparent when it is around their mealtime, humans are eating nearby, or they hear the shaking of a treat bag. Few things can get a dog as immediately excited as the promise of delicious treats, and this great power should be harnessed responsibly.
Treats are an immensely helpful tool for training dogs, but they can also be given on special occasions just to show that you care. Take care not to overfeed your pet, as this can lead to obesity and other issues, but the occasional extra treat shows them you love them in a delicious way.
Take Them on an Extra Invigorating Walk
All dogs require varying amounts of exercise to stay healthy, happy, and fulfilled. Taking our fluffy friends on an outdoor adventure is an integral part of having a dog. Clearly, our dogs love it, but it is not just them who benefit. Actually, humans get a great deal out of these walks as well.
Of course, walking our dogs gives us a great source of exercise along with spending quality time with our pets. In addition, taking our dogs on a walk can help us lower our stress levels and increase our overall happiness.
But now let’s get back to why we are all really here—our dogs. An invigorating walk is mentally stimulating for our pets, and adding in some fun stops or detours can make it even more so. Try taking a trip to the dog park so they can get in some fun socialization time with their best dog pals, or simply venturing down a new street with exciting smells and sights. No matter what the thoughtful variation on the norm is, your dog is sure to wag their tail a little harder than usual.
Get in Some Quality Snuggle Time
It has been shown that dogs may not be the biggest connoisseurs of hugs, but it is no secret at all that many of them love a good cuddle. Thankfully, this is something that we as humans can and do dole out often. While the size of the dog may impact the exact type or style of cuddle, dogs of all shapes and sizes will enjoy the warmth and reassurance that a snuggle with their human provides.
Know How To Interpret Their Body Language
While dogs and people do not speak the same language, we have discovered excellent and effective ways to understand each other. For their part, dogs understand some commands, and often want nothing more than to see their humans happy. Often, we humans are much the same. We want the absolute best for our animals, and always want to keep them as happy as possible.
One of the best ways to keep our dogs happy is by doing something that is already an intrinsic part of having a dog: getting to know them. By getting to know our pets, we learn their likes, dislikes, and how they tend to express themselves or their emotions. Understanding your dog and what they are trying to say is crucial to maintaining the trusting bond you have worked to cultivate between you two.
There are a variety of different movements and gestures that dogs regularly employ to tell us how they’re feeling. Just a few signs that a dog should be left on their own for now include:
- Pay attention to their fur. If a dog’s fur is puffed up, especially along their back, it is often because they are trying to make themselves look bigger. In this case, it is possible that your dog perceives some kind of threat or source of excitement nearby, and they are likely on high alert.
- This may go without saying, but a growling or snarling dog is not one to be approached. They are sending you very clear signals that they are uncomfortable or feel threatened.
- If a dog’s tail is tucked between their legs, this typically means that they are fearful of something.
- Similar to a dog’s tail being tucked between their legs, lowered ears can also signify a scared pet.
Meanwhile, there are also many different kinds of body language that signify a dog is ready for attention and affection. Some of those positive gestures include:
- A neutral tail that is slightly below spine level indicates a relaxed, comfortable dog. If they begin to wag their tail in loose motions, it means they’re happy and enjoying the current goings-on.
- A relaxed mouth, possibly with the tongue slightly lolling out or exposed, is another way that dogs show their comfort. They often look like they are smiling when they hold this facial expression, and it is, for lack of a better term, absolutely adorable.
- Entering a “playful bow” stance indicates that your dog is ready to play. This may be followed by some silly and happily excited movement like jumping.
Your dog may display some of these instances of body language, they may display all of them, or they may display none of them. It simply depends on your specific dog. The most important thing you can do is learn to interpret their specific signs and act accordingly. Coincidentally, that brings us to our next suggestion.
Respect Your Dog’s Boundaries
While it is certainly true that many dogs are boundless love machines, even the most docile of animals will eventually reach their limit. Putting in the effort to understand what your dog is trying to tell you and then acting accordingly is a wonderful way to show love. Remember that love and affection is not solely in what we do, but also in what we do not do.
Even if you are in a mood where you’d like to cuddle up on the couch and watch a movie with your furry friend, it is not always a given that they will feel the same way. Perhaps they are feeling more playful, or simply want some uninterrupted sleep. By implementing the previous tip and knowing your dog and their body language, you can easily maintain your trust and powerful bond.
Show Them You Care
We all have our own ways of showing our dogs how much we love them, just like they have their unique ways of showing how much they love us. As long as you know your dog and how to make them happy, they’ll be sure to know how much you care.
The Diggs Team
We believe our dogs deserve safer, better designed pet products.
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