5 signs your dog loves you 

Dogs are renowned for being open with their displays of affection. Many of us treat them as a member of the family and it’s nice to get feedback from them that they love us in return. This Valentine’s Day why not take a look at these five signs that your dog loves you.

Greeting you

If a dog greets you when you arrive home, this is definitely a sign of affection. It shows they have missed you while you’ve been away, and they are happy to see you. Although it’s not always welcome behaviour, dogs that are excitable or jump up when they greet you are particularly open with their affections.

Tail wagging

Contrary to popular belief, tail wagging is not always a sign of affection, but if you approach your dog when they are happy and content and their tail starts to wag, this indicates that they are happy to see you and they are welcoming your attention.

Eye contact

Looking into someone’s eyes is a sign of trust, so if your dog looks directly into your eyes, it shows they are completely comfortable in your company. Gazing into your eyes also releases oxytocin (the love hormone) in your dog.

Looking into their eyes is a great way to hold their attention when you’re playing or training them. Try not to stare into their eyes too much though because it could make them feel uncomfortable.

Bringing you toys

If your dog brings you toys it not only shows that they enjoy playing with you, but also that they trust you to have possession of their favourite things. Dogs can become very attached to their toys, so you should consider it an honour if they want to share them with you!

Sleeping in your bed

Not all dog owners like this, but if your dog wants to sleep in your bed, it shows that they consider you to be part of the pack. When dogs are asleep, they are at their most vulnerable, so sharing their bed with you shows that they feel safe in your company. This feeling of safety can work both ways. You might feel a sense of security having your dog in bed with you who might alert you to any night-time disturbances.

Caring for your dog 

1. Give your dog an identification tag. Every pet should always wear a collar that sports an identification tag with your name, telephone number and address. It is a fact of life that dogs can sometimes get out of their houses or yards, and may need a little help getting back home. If your dog’s got some sort of identification, it will greatly increase the chances that he will be returned safely to you.

2. Talk to your veterinarian or local animal shelter about the rules and regulations governing pet ownership in your area. Know the type of licensing and vaccinations that are required to keep your pet legal and up to date on health essentials.

3. Whenever you take your dog outside the confines of his house or yard, make sure that he is on a leash. No matter how well-trained your pet might be, you cannot guarantee that you will be able to control your dog under all circumstances. Some breeds, like Siberian Huskies, are bred to run, and will do so at the first opportunity. Keeping your dog on a leash is best for you, your dog and your community.

4. Dogs are social creatures that like to be with their families, which is why it is important for your dog to spend time indoors with you. While a fenced yard and dog house are both good ideas for your pet, they cannot replace the companionship of people. Give your dog a pleasant outdoor space, but don’t leave him out there alone for long periods of time.

5. Just as people need regular checkups to stay healthy; your dog needs an annual visit to the veterinarian for a thorough examination. If you don’t have a veterinarian yet, there are plenty of resources that can help you find a good one, including the local animal shelter, or a friend who has dogs. A regular relationship with a vet is a key to maintaining your pet’s good health.

6. By spaying or neutering your pet, you are doing much more than just helping to control animal overpopulation. Dogs that are “fixed” tend to live longer and healthier lives, and have fewer behavioral problems like biting. Spaying or neutering pets should be one of your first steps on the road to responsible pet ownership.

7. A conscientious dog owner will make sure that his pet has a nutritious dietevery day. Your veterinarian can recommend a food for your dog, and advise you on appropriate portions. Your dog also needs to have fresh water readily available 24-7.

8. You wouldn’t think to refrain from training a child in appropriate behavior, and your dog needs the same loving care from you. One of the best ways to learn how to train your dog using positive methods is through a training class. Not only will you learn how to properly control your pet, but you and your dog can enjoy the bonding experience as well as the opportunity to socialize with other dogs and their owners.

9. Your dog needs to stay physically fit to stay healthy, and it will be up to you to see that he gets sufficient exercise. Finding plenty of time to play with your dog, combined with a daily walk or two, should give your canine companion the level of physical activity that he needs. If you are in doubt about how much exercise is enough for your dog, you can talk to your veterinarian about what is appropriate for him.

10. You can bet that your dog is going to offer you plenty of love and loyalty, and this is primarily what he will want from you in return. It is important that you show patience when working with your dog. If he is exhibiting some behaviors that you are having trouble controlling, you can contact your veterinarian or animal shelter for additional advice and guidance.

A dog can be a wonderful addition to your family. With the proper care, he will be a welcome member of your clan for many happy, healthy years.

" Thank you to all the team at petwear - Spicey loves his new bed."

Tabitha O’Kelly

More tips 

  1. PROVIDE A PROTECTED AND CLEAN LIVING ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR DOG. Shelter from the elements and hazards, as well as good hygiene, are basic to a quality life.        
  2. ALWAYS KEEP FRESH WATER AVAILABLE. Maintaining optimal hydration is important for health and energy.
  3. FEED A QUALITY DIET AND PREVENT OBESITY. Overweight humans and animals can adversely affect health in many ways. Follow the dietary recommendations that your veterinarian will make according to the nutritional needs of your dog, based on size, age, level of activity and breed. Remember to provide healthy treats rather than table scraps, as rewards.
  4. HAVE YOUR PET EXAMINED BY A VETERINARIAN ON A REGULAR BASIS. Your veterinarian will provide you with the information on vaccination schedules, deworming and external parasite control. Keep a copy of your pet’s vaccination records in your home or with you when you travel. Contact your veterinarian if you believe that your pet may be ill, injured, or if something just doesn’t seem right. Your veterinarian is the expert on keeping your dog healthy. Work as a team with him or her.
  5. PROVIDE AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES TO EXERCISE. Make sure your dog gets the regular exercise needed to enable it to be fit. By being in shape, your dog will be more capable of participating in the activities that it enjoys.
  6. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR DOG AND DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP. Dogs are social creatures and they need to interact with their owner. Quality time will help you get to know your dog and understand particular needs that it might have, as well enhance your ability to recognize early signs of an illness that could be developing. In addition, time spent in developing a relationship will help prevent many undesirable behavioral patterns.
  7. TRAIN YOUR DOG TO FOLLOW THE SIMPLE COMMANDS. Puppy and dog training classes can be very helpful. The better your dog is at following basic and necessary commands, the greater the chances are that your dog will live a safe and long life.
  8. PRACTICE REPRODUCTIVE CONTROL. If you do not intend to create puppies, spaying or neutering is a certain option. If you plan to breed your dog or are opposed to spaying and neutering for other reasons, take appropriate measures to prevent mismatings. Consult with your veterinarian in regard to other options that are available.
  9. DENTAL CARE IS VERY IMPORTANT. Many breeds are prone to gum disease, which can have serious implications. Infection resulting from this condition leads to premature tooth loss, and can commonly cause infections in major organs, including the heart valves.    
  10. DON’T OVERLOOK GROOMING AND NAIL TRIMMING. Long coated dogs are prone to developing matts and ice balls in their hair. Overgrown nails are common in elderly dogs and can make it more difficult for them to walk. In addition, such nails are much more prone to breaking, which can be quite painful.    


Dr. Stuart Nelson, Jr., DVM