How do you know if your dog loves you?
You love your dog, but do they love you back? If you may not be sure since they don’t share our body language, so here are some signs that yes, they do love you back!
Makes Eye Contact
Such a simple concept in the human world – normally we use eye contact to show we’re paying attention and engaging in what the other person is talking about. But for dogs, this changes entirely. If a dog locks eyes with another dog, it can be considered an act of aggression. So, if your dog is holding eye contact you with little to no white in their eyes, it means they’re happy and comfortable around you.
This one seems easy but is a more complex signal than humans realize. Tail wags can have various meanings around them, not all of them friendly. If your dog’s tail is over their back and stiff, don’t interact as they are likely tense. To tell if your dog loves you, see if their tail is mid-height at swinging back and forth in a wide arc. Alternatively, for dogs with much shorter tails, they might just end up wagging their entire butt.
For humans, leaning on someone is a sign of trust that they will not let you fall. For dogs, this can be very similar – but keep other body language in mind when you look at this. A dog that is making eye contact, with their mouths hanging open, looking calm, and a wagging tail is a happy one. Otherwise they might be anxious or trying to exert control.
Jumping is seen as a negative to a lot of humans – especially for bigger dogs at the risk of knocking someone over when they do. But that does not mean this is their intent – quite the opposite! Most times, when a dog will jump they are trying to get closer to your face to observe things like your eyes and give you that big “welcome back” lick they’ve been wanting to give you. If your dog gets bouncy when they’re around you, they might just be showing how much they love you.
These are only some of the ways your dog expresses caring, but what about you?
How can you show your dog how much you love them in return?
Leave their Toys out
If you must leave for work most of the day or go out for an extended amount of time, try to leave your dog’s toys out. This allows your dog to remain distracted and gives them plenty of mental stimulation instead of worrying if you’re every coming home. And bonus? There are toys made to put treats in, so your dog has an incentive to play and stay engaged in their toy!
Let Your Dog Come too
If you need to go to work, see if you can have your dog come with you! Even if you make sure they do nothing but lay under your desk while you’re working, it will help them feel loved! Bonus points if they can lay their head in your lap or cuddle up against your feet. Stress relief while you’re busy writing that last minute project!
Going for a Drive
If you can’t take your dog to work, you can take them for car rides! If it’s a short errand like going through the Starbucks Drive Thru for their latest specialty drink, or picking up someone, let your dog join you. They’ll love the car ride, plus often they get to sit in the passenger seat – without that scary vet at the end of the ride. Just take caution, if you do bring your dog with you, be sure to not leave them in your car. Even on cool days, the temperatures in your car can reach sweltering levels.
We all love telling a dog they’re a good boy/girl, and that can really make them excited! But there are other ways to give them attention as well – and it helps enforce positive behaviors too. If they’re lying on the ground while you watch TV, give your dog a treat or some love. This might also help calm them! The same can be true with when they’re doing something adorable or laying by your feet calmly while you’re at your job. Pay attention to your tone when you do this, make sure you stay calm and kind. Getting excited can excite them.
Reduce Stress and Keep Them Healthy
Stress in pets is caused by many things, such as being separated from owners, being given a different diet, having to cope with other animals (or humans), or simple changes in regular routines. Ex-rescue dogs have undergone acute trauma in their work; other adopted pets may have had similar experiences leading to stress. Poor nutrition and infections also contribute. Stress can be tough on non-complaining pets. Help keep your pet healthy with Pet Stress Relief. It is the nearly perfect supplement for tuning up your pet’s health, immune function and providing ongoing support against illness and disease.
And if all else fails, learning how they show their love can go a long way! Just by you recognizing their affections and responding appropriately, you can help them feel loved.