It’s Valentine’s Day and while humans might crave flowers and chocolates, your dog wouldn’t thank you for either. A dozen red roses would probably just make them sneeze and chocolate is toxic for dogs.
So how can you show your pet pooch some love? Here are a few ideas.
Get the love drug flowing. When people are in love, they gaze into each other’s eyes. And it turns out that when dogs and their owners do the same, it stimulates oxytocin, the hormone that encourages both animals and people to bond. The proof comes from a Japanese scientific study, which suggests that this bonding behaviour may have developed when dogs first became domesticated. So staring into your pup’s eyes will bring you closer together. (The scientists warn, though, that this approach doesn’t work with wolves. And we wouldn’t recommend trying it with a nervous dog either.)
Brave the bleak February weather.Yes, we know it’s dark outside, it’s raining sideways and your umbrella’s just blown inside out. But nothing tells a dog “I love you” like a walk. Go on! Put on your raincoat and wellies and get out there. You’ll feel like a superhero when you get back and that wagging tail will make it all worthwhile.
Make your dog feel like a pup again.Has your dog lost its bounce? Does it find it hard to climb into the car or jump to catch a ball? If your dog is getting on a bit and its joints are stiff, try our YuMOVE. With a special formula that combines top strength ActivEase ® Green Lipped Mussel and Glucosamine for dogs, it’s clinically proven to make a difference in just six weeks. Before you know it, your dog will feel more comfortable, and you might even catch them making a cheeky dash for the cosiest spot on the sofa.
Bond over the dog brush. Whether you’ve got a Staffie or a Spaniel, a Dachshund or a Doberman, your dog will appreciate some quality time with you during a Valentine’s Day grooming session. Brushing redistributes the natural oils in your dog’s fur, and reduces matting and shedding, helping to keep their coat in tip top condition. In the longer-term, keep their skin and coat healthy with YuMEGA, our supplement that’s packed with rich Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. Looking good with a glossy coat, your dog will be able to step out in style, best paw forward.
Put rugs on your hardwood floor. Dog owners often opt for hardwood floors rather than carpet because they find it’s easier to clean up dog hairs. But your pup can end up slipping and sliding around on this type of flooring, like a canine version of Dancing on Ice. It can also be painful for dogs that suffer from stiff joints. So show your dog some love by putting a few rugs across the floor. They’ll be able to get a better grip and walk more easily.
Put your dog in a trance.Find that sweet spot behind your dog’s ears and give it a good old scratch. An ear rub can be an ecstatic experience for your four-legged friend, thanks to a cluster of nerve endings that shoot out feel-good endorphins.
Teach them a new trick.Your dog loves to be with you, loves to go for walks and loves to play. So get even closer by teaching them something new. You could opt for tricks that everyone’s heard of, from shaking paws to walking up and down a see saw. But how about teaching your canine pal to do something more unusual? Give your dog a camouflage coat as a Valentine’s present and train it to do an army crawl, helping to improve its core strength. Another uncommon trick is teaching your pup to tidy up their own toys. And if you can teach your dog to do both at once, we’d love to see a video.
Hand feed your dog. Peer into your local restaurant tonight and you’re unlikely to see venison chews, tripe sticks or pig’s ears on the Valentine’s Day menu. But that’s the kind of treat that really makes your dog’s heart skip a beat. When you hand your dog a treat, you’re ramping up the emotional bond between you as it builds up trust and they associate you with that moment of pure pleasure. Just make sure you only give one or two treats, not three, four or five. And if the mere sight of a pig’s ear makes you queasy? Well, how deep is your love?