Unleash the Love & Fun
Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.
Dogs play an essential role in the family unit, and it is one that makes them a very member in the family. For generations, dogs have been a part of the family, but in modern times, this is starting to change for the better. More people are recognizing pets as the sweet and loving relatives that they are—leading a lot of us to look for new ways to give our dogs the lives they deserve. Bonding with pets can, without question, help to improve their presence at home. In this post, we’re going to give you the scoop on bonding with your pup.
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What Does it Mean When We Bond with a Dog?
The bond shared by dogs and humans has changed a lot throughout the years. Back in the day, we loved dogs because they were loyal and liked hunting. This made them an invaluable resource—but how does your 15-pound pug weigh into this? How do we bond with our dogs without asking anything of them?
The answer is simple—treat them like family.
Bonding with your dog means putting in the time and effort to make your dog feel valued and appreciated. It means taking the time to make a stronger connection between you and your pet. You can do this by prioritizing time with them, focusing on what's important to them, or just making sure that they are around.
What Benefits Come from Bonding with Dogs?
Building a stronger bond with your dog isn't just good for you. It's also good for your pet and your family. Pet parents have a lot to gain from building a stronger bond with their pets. You might be surprised by how much your relationship with your pet can change just by focusing on building a stronger bond with them. Over time it might be surprising that you ever felt like your pet was a stranger.
A Deeper Connection
Establishing a deeper connection is one of the automatic byproducts of bonding with your dog. As you spend more time with your dog, you will find that you naturally get closer. This deeper connection can be beneficial for both you and your dog, and it can help you to understand each other better.
A Stronger Family Unit
When you bond with your dog in the same capacity that you bond with other family members, you will find that the entire family unit gets stronger. As you welcome your dog into the fold, it is only natural for them to feel closer to you. This change is likely to spread, and it is one that can be felt throughout the entire family.
Healing From Trauma
As much as we all love dogs, the truth is that they don't always have a simple start in life. Rescue dogs, in particular, can have backgrounds that you might not totally understand. Unfortunately, many pets experience abuse and trauma on their way to these rescues. This can make it difficult for them to connect or feel safe. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way.
With love, care, and bonding, you will find that your pet can start to heal from trauma. While this isn't a guarantee, it does happen. Many pets go from being scared to being valued members of a family. Pets are not the only ones who can benefit from this. Many people find that pets help them to overcome certain struggles of their own too.
More Furbaby Love
The truth is that bonding with your pet is very likely to make them like you more, and this is a wonderful thing. As your dog gets closer to you, they are going to be more likely to shower you in the love and doggy affection that we all love. As your bond strengthens, you can expect even more love from your dog. It only makes sense that as you show your pet more love, they will reciprocate that love in return.
How to Bond with Your Dog and Connect on a Deeper Level
Every single family and every single pet are different. For this reason, there are so many ways to bond with your pet. The ways that you bond with your pet might look different than how somebody else does it. This can really change based on your pet and their preferences. It is important to focus on spending more time with them and prioritizing what makes them happy. Let's explore a few common options for building a stronger bond so you can connect on a deeper level with your dog.
Dogs are surprisingly affected by emotion in a big way. They tend to take what we throw at them, absorb it, and react to it. One of the best things that you can be with a dog is encouraging. When we encourage our pets, we help them to feel more confident in their identity and their actions. This can make them much happier, and as the source of that happiness, they will see you interacting with you to experience joy. Build a stronger bond with your dog by being a source of positivity.
Take Slower Walks
As much as we love our pets, most pet parents are familiar with trying to rush a walk. It might be because it's cold out or because you have somewhere to be, but for pets, this can be very limiting. When we treat walks like nothing more than an opportunity to take our dog to go to the bathroom, we're depriving them of a truly pleasant experience.
Walks are often how our dogs experience the world. It is the way that they get to fill their senses and learn more. This is very important for mental engagement. When we force our dogs along, we're robbing them of the opportunity to experience the world in their own way. If your dog was wild, it is very likely that they would wander around sniffing and looking at everything. They don't want to sit in a small box any more than we do. Taking slower walks that allow your pet to sniff and explore the world can do wonders for their mental health and even help them to calm down.
If your dog is known to pull, the speed of the walk might not be the problem. In this case, you will simply want to focus on taking long walks so that your dog can experience more. Putting aside the time can help your dog to feel much better daily, and since you will be joining them, your bond will strengthen. Try to focus on what catches their interest and let them take time to enjoy it.
Work on Training
Training is one of the simplest ways to bond with pets, but many dog parents stop after their dogs have learned the essentials. While we might prioritize things like potty training or walking appropriately, there is a lot that your dog can learn. Instead of simply accepting that some of your pet’s habits are not pleasant, work with them on it.
When you work on training with your pet, you are putting aside the time and helping them to learn a job. This can lead to smarter, happier, and healthier pets. Even if your dog is getting up there in the years, you can still teach them new tricks and work on behaviors with them. This can stimulate your dog and curb frustration on your end, leading to a stronger bond overall.
Learn Their Interests
Just like us, dogs are completely unique. Every single dog that you meet is going to have a different personality, so why would we treat them all the same? Your pet has unique interests, and as their parent, it is your job to understand what these interests are. Figure out what kinds of toys your pet likes and the ways that they like to pass their time. If their habits are not destructive or dangerous, find out how you can help them to enjoy these things more.
Try to Understand Their Behavior
For the longest time, we were presented with the idea that pets were simply animals and acted in certain ways because they were animals. While this might be true to an extent, it really does oversimplify the complexities that dogs and other pets have. Every action that your pet takes is motivated by a specific cause, and understanding what causes this can help you to understand them better.
When you understand their behavior better, you are going to understand them better, and this will help you to anticipate their needs and connect with them on a deeper level. A dog does not bark because they want to be loud. They bark for a reason. Find out what that reason is. This is a great way to improve your relationship with your dog.
Encourage Them to Spend More Time with You
As silly as it might seem, sometimes our pets are waiting for an invite. When you encourage your dog to spend more time with you, you create a habit that they feel comfortable with. This means that they are more likely to spend time with you by their choice. Making it well known that they are welcome can help them to choose to spend more time with you, even in instances that are not necessarily designated as dog time. Over time, you will find that dogs that used to keep their distance are more likely to come up and sit by you when you watch your TV show or sign into work. Being closer with your dog doesn’t need to mean going to the dog park.
Pet Them Often
Physical affection can help to establish bonds with any living creature. While we often see the importance of hugging children or snuggling with a significant other, we can easily forget that this is also relevant for our pets. Though it is true that some pets do not like to be touched, at least at the beginning, you might be surprised by how much the simple act of petting your dog can help them to warm up to you. Even a small pat on the head can remind your pup that you care about them and help to stimulate a stronger bond. Instead of just petting your dog when they come up and ask for affection, incorporate more casual petting. Sometimes, bonding with your new dog just takes a few belly rubs.
Let Them Eat Meals with You
Families often bond over a good meal, so it only makes sense that dogs can bond over this too. Instead of making your pet feel left out, why not serve their dinner up when you eat your own? Doing this can help them to feel included, and it can lessen the feeling that you are depriving them of what you were eating. In the wild, meals are often shared. While you won't want to share your every meal with your pet, you can still choose to feed them at mealtimes.
Include Them in the Holidays
We often think of holidays as a celebration for humans, but we don't have to limit it to that. Holidays are about sharing time with the people that you love, even if that person is small and furry. Instead of leaving your dog at home for the holidays while you go to enjoy celebrations elsewhere, ask yourself what you can do to make the holidays special for your dog too.
Take Them on Vacations
Every single year, pets are placed in hotels, boarded with family, and left with pet sitters. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does set a precedent that many pets are left at home while families go on vacation. Being separated from the family can be very stressful for pets, even if they are staying somewhere fun. The world is changing to include more pet-friendly spaces, so why not ask yourself if your pet can come on that next vacation?
The TakeawaySHOP NOW
We believe that all dog parents should be focused on providing their pets with a better life, and this often comes down to bonding. If you want to show the world just how close you are with your pet, consider doing so with our Who Rescued Who Dog Hoodie.
This adorable design is available in a variety of different colors, and it can remind you to prioritize time with your dog. Made for pups who love attention, this hoodie is as comfortable as it is cute.
Until next time, thank you for reading!