1. Lots of cuddles

Whether it’s just a scratch behind the ear or a full movie in bed, contact with your dog is one of the best ways to improve your bond. Honestly, it’s probably more therapy for you than them!

frenchies sleeping
Which spoon are you?

2. Keep them mentally stimulated

Mental health is important for your dog too. Take some time out of your day to practise tricks and commands. A good way to keep it consistent is to get your dog to do a few tricks for their daily meals. Reward them a few kibbles for a sit, paw, or roll-over, then make them stay before giving them the whole enchilada! This also let’s them remember who’s the hand that feeds them.

Sugar the Golden Retriever has unparalleled focus

3. Make your walks eventful

A walk to the park might be your dog’s favourite part of their day. Go exploring with your dog! Bring toys, treats, practice commands and walking techniques. This one on one time is the perfect time to bond.

Maybe not this eventful…

4. Gaze into each other’s eyes

Direct eye contact is usually interpreted as a threat by many animals but with your already bonded dog, it can improve your relationship! This study suggests that this can increase both of your oxytocin levels (making you feel good)! In the study, dogs that sniffed oxytocin increased in gazing behaviour. This positive loop was not found in wolves, which makes sense because they haven’t been bred to be our companions.

Feeling happy yet?

5. Remember that small moments might mean the world to them

Let your pup follow you around while you do laundry. Bring them on a car ride that doesn’t lead to the vet. Let them lick the peanut butter off the spoon. It’s your choice what your boundaries are with your dog. Not everyone wants a jumping dog when they get home, or one that sleeps with them in bed but you get to choose the moments you have with your dog. Just remember how important they are to the both of you.
“They might only be here for a part of your life, but for them you are their whole life.”