Showing Some Love

The season of love is here, and while some of us have humans to show some affection, the rest of us are moping about being alone and all anti-Valentine’s. The reality, though, is that there’s a whole lot of love waiting for us, and it doesn’t just come around for one day a year! We sometimes forget that our animal family members give us endless unconditional love, and perhaps it’s time to dedicate a Valentine’s Day to them for once.

It’s important to remember that dogs don’t speak the same languages as humans do, so they can’t always tell us directly when they’re sad, unhappy or sick. We can’t forget to show our dogs some love every now and then – keep in mind that it will always be only a fraction of the amount of love they have for us!

Many of us think we don’t have enough time to spend with our pooches. Work, family and our lifestyles take up so much time that we often put our dogs towards the bottom of our priority lists, while they sit at home with nothing to do for most of the day. Having a dog is a responsibility as well as a privilege; they need a bit of your time every day where they can show you just how much they love you.

Going for walks with your dog is a great way for you and your dog to spend time together and get a bit of exercise in too. It’s not just about the responsibility of doing it – going for walks strengthens your bond with your dog, improving trust and obedience.

Dogs generally love physical contact. Playing, patting and belly rubs are sure to get their tails wagging – but of course, since every dog is different, learn what it is that they do like and what they’re sensitive about.

If you really can’t give your dog as much attention as they seem to need, there are ways to keep them occupied on their own with DIY toys – they’re inexpensive but effective, giving your pooch a good amount of play time that can be unsupervised. A great toy that dogs love is a frozen block of beef stock (or even plain water if you don’t want to go through the process of making stock) with kibbles or rawhide treats frozen inside. It’ll keep them busy for hours if you make the frozen block big enough! If you have any tennis balls lying around (and are willing to see them destroyed), cut a small hole in one and fill it with peanut butter. Dogs love to be rewarded by their toys, and if you can couple them with a bit of food, you’ve got a winner. Remember not to involve too much extra food too often, though, for the sake of preventing overfeeding or managing potential obesity.

However you do it, remember that your dog appreciates every bit of love you give them. Our pets are worth celebrating this Valentine’s Day, because you can be sure that they will be by your side in sickness and in health.

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