So you tell your dog daily how much you love him and are constantly worried about his happiness -- which is all well and good -- but it's also important to make sure that the little fella gets the message loud and clear through your actions. Thankfully, you can show your pet your sincerest love in so many different ways including playing with him, rubbing him in all the right places, and making sure he's in tip-top health.
Partaking in fitness activities with your dog is not only beneficial to both of your physical conditions, it can serve as an effective bonding tool, too. Extended walks at the park, for example, can get your pet's body moving, and can also help strengthen the interaction between you and your furry cutie. Hide-and-seek and fetch are also fun games that you can play with your dog -- even when you're cooped up indoors on a major snow day.
Make your doggie feel all loved up by setting aside plenty of cuddle sessions on a regular basis -- but avoiding hugging or squeezing too tightly, which may actually cause your pooch to get stressed. Soothe your pet by massaging his tummy, petting his ears and simply decompressing together on the couch as you catch up on your favorite television shows.
As easy as it might be just to let your dog get away with misbehaving, in the end that always results in bigger problems -- and an unhappy pooch and owner, to boot. Establish some order to your pet's life and make a point to always abide by it. Never get lazy when it comes to correcting your dog in a loving way. Whether your dog has a penchant for chewing on your household furniture or barking at you for treats, don't ignore any behavioral issues. Defined boundaries are important, and your dog will be happier as a result.
Regular exercise isn't the only component to keeping your dog healthy and feeling loved. Proper nourishment also is a big deal. Don't offer your pet meals of "people foods" that don't provide his body with the nutrients he needs. Instead, opt for complete commercial dog foods that will keep him feeling energetic and happy, hopefully for years to come. Although your pet might dread them, routine appointments at the veterinarian's office also are a must. If you need suggestions for specific types of dog foods, your vet can help.
Allow your dog to feel like a king by designating a cozy spot in your home just for him. A clean and soft sleeping area -- devoid of any mess or clutter -- can go a long way in making your dog feel content and most importantly, loved.
Regularly grooming your dog -- think brushing and bathing -- not only can help keep the furry guy healthy, tidy and comfy, it can also be excellent for working on your pet-and-owner connection. Interactive Toys Demonstrate your adoration for your dog by making sure that he constantly gives his brain workouts. Interactive doggie toys can be beneficial for these purposes, whether puzzles or toys that conceal yummy "treat" prizes. Give your dog's brain something positive to focus on, rather than ever allowing him to feel bored and frustrated.
By Naomi Millburn
Juan Tabo Animal Clinic: 10 Ways to Love Your Pet!
Tips from Matty: Bonding With Your Dog
PetMD: Top Ten Ways to Appreciate Your Dog
ASPCA: Teaching Your Dog to Play Fetch
North Shore Animal League America: Show Your Pet Some Love This Valentine's Day
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Veterinary Medicine: Top Ten Ways to Love Your Pet
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.