We all love our dogs, but it’s easy to get into a rut. You keep to your routine, your dog is happy, but when was the last time you really showed your dog how much you care? Today we share 9 ways to show your dog you appreciate them.
Take Your Dog Shopping
It might be a strange idea to take your pup out to the store. The truth is that there are many stores that allow dogs. The most obvious stores that welcome dogs are pet stores of course. Get your dog out to your local pet store and let them find some toys they’d like to take home.
Pet stores are the obvious choice if you want to take your dog out, but there are many other stores that allow pets as well. Some pet-friendly stores include:
- Home Depot
- Bass Pro Shop
- The Apple Store
Most farm supply stores will also allow pets inside. Before taking the time to head over for a new wardrobe or iPhone, it’s probably a good idea to call your local store to make sure they are pet-friendly. Speak with a store associate to make sure your dog will be welcome. And always remember that not everyone likes dogs, so be courteous to other shoppers.
Fit an Extra Walk in This Week
Sometimes we get caught in our own routine. Life can quickly go by, and you may find that you are just going through the motions. If you really want to show your dog that you appreciate them, why not give them some extra attention? Throw an extra walk in this week.
It’s sometimes hard to figure out where an extra walk would go into your routine, but you can certainly find some place it will fit. You might fit in an extra walk before bed or before dinner. If you’re having a hard time finding the time, you might even consider getting up earlier for a walk. You might not love the idea of waking up early, but your dog won’t mind it at all.
Find a New Dog Park to Visit
Even if you frequent a certain dog park, changing things up can be a fun way to show you care. Check your area for a new dog park for your dog to enjoy. You’ll be able to get out with your dog and meet new people as well. Your dog will enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a new place.
Just make sure you check any posted signs for etiquette at the new park. While things like cleaning up after your dog and making sure their vaccinations are up to date is common sense, keep your eyes open for other rules. Some parks might ban food or children from being in the park.
Look Your Dog in the Eyes
Your dog might give you a nice, long stare if you’re sitting down for dinner. But even when just relaxing, eye contact helps improve your relationship.
According to a report in Science, eye contact between humans and dogs can help both feel better. Japanese researchers tried understanding the relationship that eye contact plays between humans and dogs. What they found was that when dogs and humans make eye contact, both dog and human have elevated levels of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the “feel good” hormone that is associated with attachment. Making eye contact with your dog can literally make you both feel better and love each other more.
Take a Nap Together
Once in a while it’s really nice to just kick back and relax. If you’ve spent the last few days running your dog to the dog park or the store, maybe you two should reward yourselves with a nice lie down. Dogs are actually really comforting to sleep with. On average, a dog’s body temperature is a few degrees higher than the average human’s temperature. This means that snuggling next to your dog on the couch is going to keep you much warmer. That’s not to mention the bit of insulation they will give you as well.
Napping together is a great way to show you care for your dog. The fact that you can both fall asleep shows that you both have respect and trust in each other.
Find a Pet-Friendly Outdoor Cafe
A great way to show your dog that you really care about them might be sharing a meal together. There are many outdoor cafes or restaurants that are happy to host four-legged guests and their human companions. Check out your local outdoor cafe to see if you can enjoy a coffee or a meal with your dog. Alternatively, there are restaurants and bars that also offer areas to sit and eat that are dog-friendly.
Buy Them a New Bed
New bedding is great for dogs and humans alike! Show your dog you care with a new bed or blanket to lay on. There are lots of pet beds available online, in stores, and at discount stores. If you’re crafty, you can even make your own bed for the dog! All it takes is some scrap fabric and bedding. You can even embroider their initials on their bedding to make it extra-special.
Do a New Activity Together!
Bonding happens when two people (or a person and a dog) try new things together! The challenges we face when trying new things bring you closer together. If you’ve never been to a dog park, now’s the time to try! Did you know many drive-thru cafes offer puppy treats like whipped cream in a cup? It might even be time to take up a new sport! Take up agility or obedience training with your dog in order to compete at a novice level. Whatever new activity you choose, you’ll be sure to show your dog how much you appreciate them.