Hey, Hey, You, You ... I Need Your Attention! 5 Simple Tips For Building A Better Relationship With Your Dog
Sometimes they are a lot of work and will run when you’ve asked them to sit, or bark when you’ve clearly told them to “ZIP IT”. But, the work is worth it and you love them more than you love some humans. Your pets need your attention and approval more than you may realize, and for them, it doesn’t matter that you’ve had a long day or just don’t feel up to having a squeak party. Even when it’s tough, remember to be there for them, just as they are for you. Here’s how:
1. Pucker up. Bond like crazy and improve your mood with regular kisses. Get as slobbery or stay as dry as you wish here, but just remember to pucker up and do it often!
Whether it’s your dog, kitty, pet rat, or human partner, kissing increases your “cuddle hormone” levels, A.K.A. oxytocin. An increase in oxytocin levels can boost feelings of connectedness and lessen stress levels for you and your pet. The same applies to the effects of increased dopamine levels. In fact, dopamine is, in part responsible for those awesome feelings of pleasure and the desire to have positive, pleasure-filled engagements.
The benefits don’t just apply to humans, so remember your pet can’t wait to get a smooch from you too :)
2. Get loose. Even if you have to schedule time each day to do it, be sure to have a little fun with your pet each and every day. Choose a favorite game or toy and stick to the amount of time you already had planned or even go over, if you can. If others can join in, even better. The more attention your pet gets, the happier you will both be. They’ll be able to blow off a little steam and so will you!
3. Make their day. We all have a favorite treat or a favorite way to be touched. Your pet has the same desires and ensuring their wants and not just their needs are met, is incredibly important. By doing something or giving something you know will send them spinning with joy, is a way to show appreciation and acceptance. Even if you are short on time, do your best to make their day, every day.
4. Pet with purpose. I’m sure your canine kid gets plenty of love and your petting skills are second to none. But, did you know that regular eye contact with your little pooper strengthens your bond? What’s more is that pet-human bonding holds the same biochemical basis as what’s seen in mother-child bonding. And, studies have shown that eye contact with your pet increases that bond. Make it a point to share a loving gaze during your petting sessions from time to time and you just might find yourself running home early to stare the little cutie down!
5. Keep it simple, stupid. For the record, we would never call you that! But, it may be what your pet is thinking. They really just want to see simple signs of love and affection and giving those signs won’t require too much of your time … promise! As humans, we love random displays of affection and your dog is no different. When you pass your little (or big) guy or girl in the kitchen, give a little pet or smooch. Remember, a little goes a long with these guys, so just keep it simple!
Keeping your dog happy is rewarding for both sides. Remember how much you love and need each other and you’ll find giving that much deserved and needed attention to be easier each day. And, don’t be afraid to use these tips for all pet species … no favorites!