You know how to tell if your dog loves you, but do you know how to tell your dog you love them right back? Check out these 8 ways to say ‘I love you’ to dogs so they intuitively understand.
1. Talk to your dog
Studies using MRI technology show dogs understand human language better than previously thought. So talking out loud to your dog isn’t as crazy as you might think.
Reading to dogs has been shown to calm anxious and high-energy dogs in shelters, and brings shy dogs out of their shells.
2. Be a good listener
Dogs rely on facial expressions and body language to communicate. The better you understand how your dog feels, the better you’ll be able to empathize and bond with them.
3. Share soft, deep eye contact
While staring down a dog in a forceful manner will spark aggression, when a dog gives you long, lingering eye contact, it’s a way of saying “I love you.” A recent study shows that oxytocin, the ‘love chemical,’ goes up in both dogs and humans when they share a kind gaze.
4. The brows have it
Scientific studies prove that dogs can read human emotions through our facial expressions. When a dog loves someone, they often raise their eyebrows—the left one more than the right—so greeting your dog with raised eyebrows and a relaxed smile tells your dog how happy you are to be reunited.
5. Lean on me
Did you know that a dog leaning against you is a sign of love and trust? Leaning against your dog is a great way to add a little love boost to your dog’s day.
6. Sleep next to each other
If you don’t care to let your dog in bed with you, even an afternoon snooze on the couch together will relax both you and your dog.
7. Walk together
Shared experiences and training sessions build trust, communication, and partnership. Walks and adventures give plenty of opportunity to work on skills like loose leash walking and recall. Dogs thrive on routine and schedule, so a daily walk with training mixed in help them understand how much you love and care.
8. Share a relaxing massage or groom session
This one’s a no-brainer. Just touching your dog releases oxytocin in the giver and receiver, so a soothing massage, gentle grooming session, or extended petting time will tell your dog in no uncertain terms how you feel.
Featured image: Ragnar the Red Husky