I’m a pet parent if there every was a pet parent. I don’t have human children, I have fur children. Caring for dogs is obviously different than caring for a child, but to me, the love is still comparable.
I show my dogs I love them in many different ways, however, I feel like these three ways really stand out as exceptional pet parenting. I challenge you to give one or all three a try.
1. A Doggie Massage!
Who doesn’t love a good massage?
I’m not talking about regular petting here, I’m recommending slow, relaxing strokes to calm your dog and stimulate blood flow to every muscle. Most dogs receive rapid pats or exciting scratches on a daily basis, mix it up every once in a while with a much needed tranquil massage and see if you notice a change in their demeanor.
There are lots of videos and articles out there that dive into the details of doggie massage, but for convenience sake I’ll explain the basics. Sit down with your dog and give her time to calm down and relax. Start by using long soft strokes, then gently knead once your dog is warmed up. I like to begin at my dog’s head and work my way down her neck, shoulders, back, sides, tummy, and hindquarters, I knead with my entire hand, not just my fingertips, and put my whole arm behind the motions. Listen to your dog. She’ll move around to a spot she find the best.
Start with short periods of time and work up. It will be relaxing for both of you and it makes your dog feel good! It can also help prevent and heal injuries.
2. One on One Time or Solo Adventures
You want your dogs to love each other, but you also want your dogs to love you, too. Sometimes, dogs can get very attached to each other and it can leave pet parents out of circle. If you have more than one dog, like I do, try taking them out for a walk one at a time instead of always walking together. It’s nice to give each dog individual attention and see their personalities shine through. Your dog will also be grateful to spend alone time with you.
I notice my older dog has an extra pep in her step when we go for a walk without her rambunctious little sister. They love each other, though it is nice to spend time apart occasionally. You don’t have to do this everyday, maybe take one dog on a hike once a week and another to the park! It’s like spending time with your children, you want to give them each individual attention to strengthen your bond and show you care about them as separate units.
3. Long Lasting Chew Bone
Most pet parents like to give their dogs treats everyday as a way to show their love. The problem with treats is that the joy doesn’t last very long and the excess calories can cause weight gain over time. I love to give my dogs long lasting chew bones once or twice a week, usually if I’m going to have a busy day and we can’t fit in a long walk. I like to give my girls bully sticks or soup bones from the grocery store!
Chewing is a primal activity for dogs. It releases stress, drains excess energy and keeps them occupied. There are lots of chew bones out there to choose from; do some research to see what fits you and your dog’s lifestyle better. Remember to always monitor your dog when they’re enjoying a long lasting treat!
I hope you and your dog enjoyed this list. Have you implemented any of these in your life already? What extra special way do you show your dog love? Let me know in the comments!
Sierra Molesworth is a dog behavior enthusiast currently pursing a career as a dog trainer and a veterinary technician. She currently resides in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge in Oregon with her two dogs Norma and Tesla. Norma is a 9 year old Cardigan Welsh Corgi who is perfect, and Tesla is a year old mutt who is an aspiring agility and freestyle competitor. She runs the blog sierralikesdogs.com and has a YouTube channel (Sierra Likes Dogs) demonstrating humane training techniques to help pet parents!