Whether you just adopted a four-legged best friend or you are a seasoned dog guardian, one thing is certain: you always want what’s best for your dog.
Chances are, these are 8 things your dog wants you to know about – even if you don’t speak fido’s language!
1. “Let’s Go For a Walk”
Exercise is good for you and your dog!
The amount of exercise your dog needs on the regular basis depends on their age, breed, and health.
If you have a puppy, most dog owners know that they need exercise and play time at the park. But did you know that senior dogs need exercise too? While a senior dog may not be able to go for a five-mile walk with you, they still need physical and mental stimulation such as learning new tricks or doing dog agility training.
Exercise is one of the most important factors to avoid obesity in dogs. Make sure you are giving your dog daily exercise. A 30-minute walk, twice a day is ideal.
2. “Ouch! Don’t Pull On My Leash!”
Please never pull or yank on your dog’s leash!
For smaller dogs especially, you could hurt their fragile necks. If you are still using a leash connected to your dog’s throat collar, consider opting for a body harness that will make walks much easier and comfortable for both you and your pup.
A full body harness with the right leash will help to avoid skeletal injuries.
Often times, these injuries don’t show up until your pooch is much older and you’ll wish you never yanked on them!
3. “Don’t Yell at Me, I Don’t Understand!”
We’ve all been there: “I can’t believe you pooped on the floor!”
While you may be mad that your dog destroyed the carpet, dogs are just like small children and can’t understand why you are upset with them.
Instead, dogs pick up on the TONE of your voice. And they also can’t make the correlation as to why you are yelling at them.
If it looks like a toy and smells like a toy, then it’s a toy in your dog’s mind.
Many dog lovers are familiar with the “guilty” look that a dog gives, such as when they avoid eye contact and hide from you, but in reality, fido is trying to appease you with their body language.
“People anthropomorphize dogs quite a bit. We give them so much credit for being masterminds, but fail to recognize if the dog is so smart and understands they’re going to get into trouble for a behavior, why would they do it again and again?
To make their human, the people they love most, super mad for fun? That makes no sense,” said Kris Crestejo, a certified dog behavior consultant to PawCulture.
Next time your dog misbehaves, try using positive reinforcement techniques such as using praise and food for good behavior.
4. “Pet me more please!”
Some dogs don’t like cuddles and pets and can exhibit signs of stress, such as lip-licking, turning away, and moving away from you when you stop. If your pup likes to be pet, massaged, and/or cuddled, give them what they want!
Not only will your dog enjoy the attention, spending time with your dog is known to reduce stress in people.
Cuddle bug or not, don’t let young children hug dogs. If the dog suddenly becomes stressed, the child’s face is directly in the dog’s bite zone. On a similarly important note, if you are out on a walk and see a dog, always ask if you can pet the other person’s pup!
5. “Don’t Leave Me Outside in the Summer Heat”
Summertime can certainly be fun, but the soaring temps can also be dangerous and sometimes even fatal for our furry friends.
- Never leave your dog alone in a car during the summer, even just for five minutes.
- As the Humane Society of the United States notes, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees in just ten minutes.
It’s also important to keep in mind humidity.
“Animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly,” said Dr. Barry Kellogg, VMD, of the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association.
During the summer months, you’ll want to limit your exercise time outside. Always carry fresh water with you when you are with your dog and don’t let them walk on the hot asphalt, walk on the grass instead. Add some refreshing ice to their water bowl and/or make some doggy popsicles to help your canine BFF cool down!
6. “I Want to Be Comfortable, Too”
Dogs truly don’t ask for much: food, clean water, toys… and a cozy bed!
Investing in a warm, plush bed (or maybe two) for your house will let your dog know they are part of the family.
Better yet: you can let your dog come up on the furniture with you for cuddle sessions while watching TV… but if you don’t like having companion animals on your furniture, at the very least offer them their own bed!
7. “Play With Me”
When you’re away at work, it’s important to give your pup something to do so that they don’t get lonely or bored.
Take your dog to your local pet store and let them choose a toy that they like best. Not only will your dog get a new toy to play with, but a trip to the pet store together makes for great bonding time!
When you are home, spend 20 minutes a day or more playing fetch (or whatever your dog’s favorite game is) to give them the mental and physical stimulation they need.
A well-engaged pup is a happy pup!
8. “You Are My Entire World”
While you have friends, family, and work engagements, your dog only has YOU!
Your dog wants nothing more but to love you unconditionally and make you happy. It’s important to keep this in mind when caring for your dog or when making the decision to adopt a new family member.
Your dog puts you first, so you should put them first too!