The Real Puppy Love: How Dogs Love and Perceive Love
Veronica DeLisle | August 22 2018
What better way to spend time with your dog than by showing them just how much you love them? Spending time with your pup and giving them oodles of affection is not only a great mood booster for the two of you, but can also help your dog live longer!
Signs Your Dog Loves You
Dogs have a different language than us when it comes to showing affection, so it’s important to know what that language is in order to love them back properly. One of the most obvious ways we can tell our dogs love us is if they greet us at the door with a wagging tail. My pup likes to bring me his favorite toy as well to show me how much he missed me! Be careful though, if your dog’s “welcome back” is over the top it could be a sign of separation anxiety. While you and your pup are relaxing on the couch and they look at you with relaxed, “soft” eyes, it’s most likely a sign that they do in fact love you just as much as you love them. Dogs who cuddle with their owners unprompted or bring a toy over to play are also showing signs of affection!
Telling Your Dog You Love Them
As mentioned earlier, dogs view affection different from us. If you want to show your pooch how much you love them, here are some ideas. Do what they do by looking back into their eyes in a relaxing, non-threatening manner. Studies show that raising your eyebrows is also an indication to dogs that they are loved, weird right? You can also lean on your dog, it’s kind of like their version of a hug (just less restricting). Just be sure to know your dog’s limits when it comes to physical affection, some dogs love to be pet and others don’t. Above all however, just be yourself! Dogs love unconditionally, so they’ll love you for who you are!
While looking into your dog’s eyes to say “I love you” is one way, there are plenty of other ways to show that affection. One of the best ways to show your dog you love them is by petting them! Make sure you know where your dog is comfortable being touched, you want it to be a pleasant experience rather than a stressful one. A lot of times dogs interpret head pats as a sign of dominance, so stick to shoulders or the chest. Belly rubs are great too! Petting your pup is great for you as well; studies show that petting a dog releases oxytocin in a human’s brain as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate. Praising your dog for good behavior shows them that you pay attention to when they do good things, not just their bad actions. Lastly, spend time with your dog! Companionship is a solid way to show your dog you love them. Take them on daily walks, set aside special morning cuddle time, even take them along when you run errands (so long as they aren’t in the car too long by themself). You dog just wants to be with you for as long as they can, so help them by setting aside time to love and care for them!