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!
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.
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.
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.