Having a dog in your life can be a very rewarding experience. When you have a pet, it is proven that you experience improved mental health as a result. However, there is a difference between just owning a pet and experiencing them as a true friend. Here are five ways that you can grow closer to your canine companion.
Enjoy Playtime Together
If your dog could verbalize what the favorite part of their day is, they would likely tell you that it is the time when they get to enjoy playtime with you. This shouldn’t be much of a surprise to those of us who have children, should it? Research has shown that parents who spend time playing with their kids develop a closer bond with them. Your canine likely feels the same.
Spending time each day playing with your dog helps to keep them mentally healthy, and protects them from boredom. You also promote their physical well-being as they are getting exercise during playtime.
Whether you go out for a simple walk or play at your nearby dog park, playing with your dog will help you grow closer to them. By providing them with an opportunity to have fun, you earn more of their trust and loyalty.
Share Quiet Time Together
Spending quiet time with your dog is just as important as having playtime with them. Quiet moments are extremely helpful in reducing their stress. A good time to spend some quality quiet moments with your dog may be late in the evening, before bed, for example. Instead of making them share your attention with the television or computer, give them your undivided attention.
You can tell them about your day, hug them, brush them, or just quietly be with them. Try to spend time with them in an area of the house where you won’t be disturbed. Even just spending 10 or 15 minutes quietly enjoying each other’s presence will make the both of you feel more relaxed and your dog will feel particularly special.
Practice Basic Training
When you take the time out of your day to train your dog some basic commands, your dog is sure to appreciate the time and instruction you are showing them. You can take this time to teach your dog some new tricks or just reinforce those that they already know. Giving your dog this attention helps to strengthen the bond between you. Your dog is sure to especially enjoy the treats and belly rubs you give out as a reward for a job well done.
Learn Your Dog’s Body Language
Dogs use their posture, facial expressions and other body languages to communicate with you. For example, you might assume that when your dog wags their tail, they are happy. However, this form of body language is commonly misinterpreted.
According to the AKC, tail wagging simply means that the dog is emotionally aroused. It is possible that the dog is excited, but it could also mean that they are frustrated as well. When a dog is twitching its tail quickly, this means they are on high alert.
Do you know your dog well enough to know what all of its body postures and facial expressions are telling you? If not, you should spend more quality time with your pup and become accustomed to its non-verbal cues so that you can gain a deeper understanding of your furry friend.
Much like it is when people take a trip together, traveling with your pup can really bring the two of you closer. Whether your travels include hiking, camping or just exploring around a new location, your dog will be in a new territory and looking to you for direction. The one-on-one attention that you give to him during this time is something that they are not going to soon forget.
Bonding with your dog is essentially about spending more time with them. Help to take care of their body and mind and they will reward you with their unconditional love.