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How Can I Show My Dog That I Love Them?
Feb 21, 2024 - Antelopepets

It’s no secret that dogs are masters of showing their affection. Whether it be through little things like wagging their tails or grander gestures like staying by our side when we’re sick, there’s never any question about their love for us. But are dogs capable of understanding the love that we as humans have for them in return? And how can we show our dogs love in a way that makes sense to them? 

The Dog and Human Bond

The bond between dogs and mankind is one that’s been in place for thousands of years. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be another animal that has been so deeply ingrained in human history as dogs are. What started out as a mutually beneficial relationship has since evolved into a complex bond founded on love and trust. Today, around sixty five million households in America own a dog. 

Though the relationship between dogs and humans used to be purely symbiotic, it now resembles the bond that a parent and a child might have. In fact, when you stare at your dog, oxytocin — also known as the love hormone — is released. And if you’re asking yourself what oxytocin has to do with anything, it’s what causes us to melt when we see something adorable.  

How can I show my dog I love them? 

Spend time with them

Just like humans, dogs are incredibly social animals who enjoy being around others. That means that quality time is as important to them as it is to us. You can easily show your dog how much you love them simply by spending time with them. Going on walks, playing together, and even snuggling up on the couch are great ways to signal to your dog that their love is reciprocated.

Baby talk them

This one might sound silly, but studies have shown that our dogs actually enjoy it when we speak to them using baby talk. Also known as dog-directed speech, the high-pitched voice we use when we talk to our dogs isn’t necessarily the same thing that we use on small children, but is close enough to elicit a similar positive response! In our dog’s eyes (and mind!), this voice is most often associated with positive thoughts and feelings, which is why they tend to enjoy it so much. In fact, dogs were shown to respond better to people speaking to them using dog-directed speech over a regular speaking voice. 

Establish a routine

Like humans, dogs thrive when they have a routine. Though it may not seem like much, providing your dog with a consistent structure to their day will help eliminate anxiety and insecurities that they might have. Try feeding them, taking them on walks, and playing with them around the same time each day; it’s a simple way to make them feel loved!

Say their name 

Showing your dog that you love them is as easy as saying their name often and with lots and lots of enthusiasm. Similarly to how dogs enjoy hearing baby talk, they also recognize and love hearing their names. Praise your pup often and sprinkle in their name so that there’s never any question about how much you adore them. 

Some signs of love that your dog might not like 

Excessive hugging 

Hugging might be considered an easy way to express affection between humans, but some dogs won’t be as thrilled to receive a hug as we think. If you’ve recently added a dog to your family or have a dog who isn’t keen on physical contact, we recommend avoiding excessive hugging, especially because they can misinterpret it as an attempt to “cage” them in, so to speak. Before wrapping your arms around your dog, make sure you know for certain that they won’t mind!

Being picked up and carried 

Just like hugging, some dogs won’t be interested in being picked up and carried around. Though it might seem like a cute idea to cradle your pup close, they can panic and that panic can result in accidental injury if they manage to slide out of your grip. It’s best to stay on their level and carry your dog only when you know that they won’t mind. 

There really is no denying that dogs are man’s best friend, and with these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to show your pup that you love them as much as they love you! Want to show off your close bond with your dog? Snap a picture and tag us @antelopepets on Instagram for a chance to be featured.