Do you feel appreciated by your dog when she runs to greet you at the door, or wags her tail excitedly before you take her for a walk? It’s nice to feel appreciated, isn’t it? Well now it’s time to share some of that appreciation with your dog. Everyone (dogs included) could use a little appreciating from time to time, so here are ways that you can show your dog exactly what she means to you.
Does your dog always run to the door to greet you when you get home? Show her some love back! Make sure she gets lots of petting and ear scratches when you walk in so she knows you missed her too.
Playing with your dog is an easy way to create some bonding time. Tug-of-war, fetch, you name it, your dog will love it. Your dog knows you’d rather be watching television, sitting in front of your computer, or doing whatever it is you like to do in your downtime – so taking some time to do an activity she loves will really show your appreciation.
Sure romps in the backyard or walks around the block are fun, but nothing shows you appreciate your dog more than a day trip to the dog park. Not only will she get an exciting car ride, but it’s a day with you and new territory to explore and friends to be made.
You know the routine: you’re settling in to get your reality TV fix and your 80-pound pooch decides she’s a lap dog and climbs right up. Or you’re about to get into bed only to discover you have to remove a certain someone who has tried to steal your side of the bed … again. Instead of letting these minor inconveniences annoy you, schedule in some snuggle time with your canine pal. This way when she gets kicked out of the bed yet again, she’ll still know she’s appreciated … just not in the bed.
This may seem like an odd one, but there is nothing your dog loves more than to please you. Help her to learn how, so you can always show her how much you appreciate her good behavior, but engaging in some obedience training. This can be a special bonding activity, and every time she does something right, she gets a little appreciation thrown her way.
This is an obvious one – gifts are always a great way to show appreciation. You can go big, like a comfy new dog bed (you know, so she’ll quit trying to steal your spot!), or you can get her weekly or daily reminders of your appreciation, like toys, ropes, or bones.
Prepare an extra special meal for your dog in order to show your appreciation. There are many different specialty sauces you can use on dog food to add flavoring, or you can prepare a home cooked meal. Table scraps aren’t recommended for dogs, but preparing her a nutritionally-sound meal of lean protein and vegetables will be a treat for her, and still healthy.
Invest in a big box of treats, that way, whenever your dog listens really well or does something else you appreciate, you can show her just how much you appreciate it with a treat. Of course you don’t want to overdo it with treats – they can be high in calories. Other low calorie items dogs tend to still view as “treats” include raw baby carrots and ice cubes.
If an eight-foot tall person towered over you, it might be kind of intimidating, right? Well, that’s kind of how your dog feels looking up at you. Next time you want to show her some appreciation, get down on her level. Squat down next to her so you can look her in the eyes while petting her.
Now while your dog may not catch on that her regular veterinary care is an act of appreciation rather than an act of torture, you’ll at least know you’re doing it because you love and cherish her.