Our dogs love us! They show us in some obvious ways, like jumping up on us or licking us, which are behaviors we don’t always want to encourage–also less obvious ways, like leaning against us or nosing us, or perhaps looking into our eyes.  But what do they need, in terms of love?

How can we best show our canine Valentines we love them?

Some of us may want to hug our dogs, but that’s not something dogs typically enjoy.  Here are 5 easy things you can do to make your dog love you even more:

  1. Speak their language by looking into their eyes (very gently – not aggressively);  research indicates that making gentle eye contact with our dogs releases oxytocin in both pets and pet owners
  2. Lean against them gently instead of hugging (cuddling up for a nap is an example)
  3. Talk to them; their FAVORITE word to hear you say is their name!  On Valentine’s Day, pet them and say their name over and over!
  4. Play with them!  Just 5 minutes of tug-o-war can make your buddy’s entire day!
  5. Take them for a stroll; if weather doesn’t permit this, even a walk to the mailbox or a short car ride gives them some new things to smell and a change of scenery.

Your dogs already adore you, day in and day out.  I mean…that’s why we love dogs so much, right?!

Why not set the oven timer and dote on your pet for a set amount of time?  Intentional, loving communication with your pet on a regular basis is a great habit.  Start on Valentine’s Day and make sure they know and feel your love!

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