5 Easy Ways to Show Your Dog Some Love
Admit it: in today’s crazy busy world, spending time with your pooch can fall by the wayside. When you have work, family, errands, appointments and a busy social life to keep track of, it’s easy to forget about your dog. But he needs love too, and there are some simple and easy ways to remind your dog you care. So the next time you’re feeling strapped for time, follow any one of these five tips to show you love him.
1. A Friendly Scratch. What dog doesn’t love a good scratch behind the ears or on the belly? Most dogs are blissfully happy to be pet, so make sure to pet him frequently. Get in the habit of giving your pooch a good ear scratch or a belly rub when you arrive home. It doesn’t take more than several seconds, and once you get into the habit of it, it will become second nature.
2. Massage. It may sound weird, but spending ten minutes or so massaging your pooch is a wonderfully relaxing way to show him you care about his needs and want to spend time with him. The next time you’re sitting on the couch with your dog, gently massage his body with long, connected and soothing strokes. Don’t press too hard; just stroke his back, shoulders, legs, ears and paws slowly and deliberately. You can even knead the tops of his shoulders if you sense a lot of stress and tension in his muscles. Adjust the pressure depending on how your dog responds. He should appear relaxed while you massage him. Some pooches will like more gentle pressure while others prefer a firmer touch.
3. Treats. Man’s best friend is always game for a treat. Toss him one after you’ve walked him or when he’s obedient. It also helps reinforce good behavior and will be an incentive for him to continue to behave well. Just don’t overdo it. You certainly don’t want a dog with a weight problem as a result of overindulging him with too many treats, so set a limit to a few each day.
4. Hug It Out. Who says you can’t hug your canine pal? Most dogs love to be in physical contact with their owners, so they would welcome a hug from you.
5. Quality Time. Spending time with your dog is one of the best gifts you could give him. Dogs need love and attention, just like people, and when you neglect them for an extended period of time, they can become sad or anxious. Even if you’re busy and don’t have the time to block out an hour of your day to play with your dog, include him in your daily activities. Take him outside with you when you check the mail or get the morning paper. Let him sit on the couch with his head in your lap while you pet him. You can even take him with you for a jog, that way you both get good exercise and spend some time together.
Even during your busiest day, you still have time to give your dog a good scratch or hug. If you make it a habit to do one or a few of these tips every day, your dog will always feel loved.