Dogs and the 5 Love Languages

New Pet Owners  •   Pam Karkow  •   May 10, 2018

Our dog rides carpool pretty much every morning.  She helps me drop my two big boys off at the bus stop and then acts as copilot as I go through the carpool line to deliver my youngest to preschool.  The teachers love getting puppy kisses out the window, and I love having my furry buddy along for the ride. 


This morning when I dropped my little guy off, the teacher who helped him out of the car gave Hattie a pat on the head and then told me she gets up early on the days she works at the preschool so she has time to throw the ball for her boston terrier.  I LOVE fur mommies like her!  It is so important to MAKE time to interact with your dog.  Otherwise, you run the risk of your dog feeling left out and forgotten.  And those feelings can lead to your dog acting out to get your attention.  Because to your four-legged friend, negative attention is better than no attention.


So, how can you show your dog a little extra kindness in honor of Be Kind to Animals Week (May 7-13)?  As I was researching for this post, I started thinking about the Five Love Languages (Gary Chapman) and wondering if dogs have a love language.  Since your dog can’t tell you what he appreciates most, let’s tap into each love language so we have them all covered.  Check out the list below for ideas…


  • Words of Affirmation A good way to bond with your dog is via training (surprisingly).  Your dog loves nothing more than to please you and hear you say good things about him.  So why not work on a few commands and training exercises, so you have plenty of opportunities to affirm him?
  • Acts of Service Make him some homemade treats (see this DIY video), come home early from work, or take him on an extra long walk.  You dog serves you every day by being your constant companion, so when you find some ways to serve him, he will be extra appreciative.
  • Receiving Gifts This one’s easy!  My mom recently had to throw away one of my dog’s toys because Hattie was beginning to ingest pieces of the fabric she had torn apart.  I found Hattie sulking in the corner until my mom showed up with a new stuffed giraffe dog toy for her granddog.  Hattie was over the moon with Jeffrey, the giraffe (doesn’t everybody name their dog’s toys?) and she and my mom were friends again.  It’s the little things.
  • Quality Time I’d venture to say that this is every dog’s love language.  And it doesn’t even require you to spend money!  Just BE with your dog.  Scratch behind his ears (and anywhere else he can’t reach), take him to a dog park, take him to dinner with you (there are tons of dog-friendly restaurants these days), or play a game of fetch. 
  • Physical Touch Every night after dinner, my husband stretches out on the floor next to our sweet Hattie and cuddles her.  The look of sheer joy on her face when he wraps her up in his arms is priceless.  Dogs need to be hugged every bit as often as we do, and the love language of physical touch is crucial.  Go ahead, embrace your pup!!!


So, have you figured out what your dog’s love language is?  Try something from each of the five love languages for Be Kind to Animals Week.  Your dog will thank wet kisses.

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