There’s nothing purer than unconditional love between humans and animals. As we celebrate a day of love, read on to discover just how dogs impact our lives and relationships on Valentine’s Day and beyond.
How do you bond with your furry friend?
Dogs can’t speak to us verbally but their body language and heaviour will communicate to us how they’re feeling in a certain way. Vocalisation comnes secondary after body language, so if your dog can’t speak or hasn’t been taught to speak on cue say “I love you”, here are some ways you can understand what they are thinking to help you communicate with them better.
In general, a lightly wagging tail and even a slight pant is an indication of a happy dog.
Dogs also play as a way to express their affection. If you notice two dogs meeting for the first time and one of them is play-bowing (elbows flat on the ground with the rear in the air), this is a sign that they are inviting their companion to play. This is friendly body language that signals welcomeness with another dog or their human. If they are comfortable enough to be around you, they will be comfortable enough to turn their backs to you at moments in time, signaling that you are a real friend.
Dogs have been bred over the years to become more domesticated and to use facial muscles to express themselves. Your dog may well yawn after you if they are attached to you.
If your dog’s eyes are wide open and looking directly at you, it means they trust you. This is the same for when a dog rolls over on their back and exposes their belly. They want to please you. If you also happen to be petting their head, they may squint their eyes with pleasure and their ears may be pulled back, showing comfort.
A dog may rub up against you with their head on your knee, showing that they want attention or affection with petting for instance. They may also paw you as a sign of dominance in an effort to play and show their stance. Licking is a natural action for dogs that humans commonly refer to as ‘kissing’. A puppy or dog will show affection this way, as they were groomed in this way by their mothers. It can also be attention-seeking if they have had previous experience with licks followed by laughter, petting or smiling.
The hormone oxytocin is released in both dogs and humans during petting and eye contact, as it releases relaxation and causes greater attachment between the two.
Dogs have become an important part of the family, bringing us closer together — both humans and animals. Here are some ways in which you can celebrate with your furry friend in spite of pandemic lockdowns. You can show your dog love by:
Gifting Special Treats
Order a pack of special treats for your doggo and treat yourself at the same time with a celebratory meal together. Order in a pizza from Dough Bros and have a special sweet snack for dessert with their limited edition raspberry-filled doughnuts.
Intuitive games are a great way to get treats involved as a reward for your pet, but also helps utilise a dog’s best natural canine behaviour — sniffing. This lowers the heart rate while stimulating the mind and will keep them busy for a while. A way to do this is to use a snuffle mat, but you can also make your own DIY creation on short notice with a muffin tray and tennis balls or an empty egg carton and a few scraps of paper. Simply, place some treats into alternate holes and place tennis balls on top or place the treats into scrunched up paper and then place them into an empty egg carton. Alternate up the cartridges which hold treats, so that your pooch is kept guessing and it makes the game more fun for them.
Spending Quality Time
Watch a dog movie together. What better time to pass the time away indoors than to watch a feel-good film about our best friend(s). Some top hits on our Netflix listing are below.
The Healing Powers of Dude
An uplifting film about an qq-year old boy with social anxiety disorder starting middle school and finds strength ins a scruffy emotional support dog named Dude.
Delve into a several hour or days marathon with this Netflix series about an old-school Brooklyn native who spends his days devoted to Bruno his dog and makes sure the neighbours show his adorable pooch the proper respect.
This heart-warmingly fun movie is about a broken family and the young boy and sister who come to the rescue of a dog who helps heal them while they stumble into danger.
A nostalgic classic about a father that is reluctant to agree to let his children keep a St. Bernard puppy that stumbles into their lives and begins to create destruction with his playfulness.
The Secret Life of Pets
Pure animated fun that we can all relate to, complete with talking pets and humour about two pet dogs that fight and then begin to find common ground against angry animals that are preparing an attack on humans. Follow it up with The Secret Life of Pets 2.