In light of World Kindness Day today, we thought we would share 10 tips to help strengthen your bond with your beloved pup. Our dogs have many mental and physical health benefits for us, so here are a few easy and simple things you can do to repay the kindness.
- Quality time
This may be a glaringly obvious one, but dogs will value your quality time over anything. They may only be a part of your life but to them, you are their whole world. All it takes is time and attention whenever possible to make your dog happy and content. This may just be the easiest act of kindness ever but it is also the most effective!
As I’m sure you’ll already be aware, the key to most dogs hearts is through their stomachs. Treats can be a great incentive for dogs, so giving them the occasional treat really helps grow a strong bond between the two of you. If your dog is trying to loose a few pounds, there’s no reason to cut out treats completely, just switch to healthier alternatives like carrots or broccoli!
3. Play time
Most dogs love a good play around, especially younger pups. Neoteny actually refers to a dogs lifelong desire to play, resulting from their domestication. So play time isn’t just fun for them, it’s part of their DNA! Dogs love games like hide and seek (again especially if food is involved that they have to hunt down), running around and fetch are easy crowd-pleasers! We love toys by Tug-E-Nuff for releasing energy and bonding at the same time.
4. Walk the walk
Again, a very obvious one, but walking your pup is one of the best ways to release their energy. Going for walks, especially after a long day at home, can be a great stress reliever for you both! Your dog will love all the new sights and smells that have appeared since your morning walk, and it gives them (and you!) a chance to socialise with the other neighbourhood dogs and owners. Walking different directions, new locations or allowing your dog to choose make for new interesting walks.
5. Groomed to perfection
As humans, we love a good pamper session, and dogs are no different. You may think grooming your pup may just be another chore on your to-do list, but its something that can really help strengthen your bond. Plus if you start from an early age and do it regularly, the easier it will become! It also gives you a chance to keep on top of your dogs ear and teeth hygiene and keep their coat nice and shiny. Lots of fuss and attention at the end (and maybe a few sneaky treats during) will keep your dog happy. We love this organic doggy shampoo by Wild For Dogs and £1 from every purchase goes to help dogs in need with the Wild at Heart Foundation.
6. Toy, toys, toys
There seems to be an ever-growing list of new dog toys on the market nowadays. Having a dedicated toy basket for your pup is a great idea, so they know where to go when you’re out to kill their boredom (rather than playing with something they shouldn’t like furniture or shoes). Just ensure all toys are durable and don’t contain any choking hazards for when they play unsupervised. Complex ‘brain game’ puzzle toys are great for when they are left alone too, again these have the option to be be food motivated or not. We love this personalised toy box on Etsy
Like grooming, this may be considered more of something that you need to do rather than an act of kindness, but you will be doing your dog a huge favour in the long run. By having a well-trained dog, you are setting them up for a sociable adulthood, as they will be welcome in more places and get to meet more furry friends compared to an unsociable, poorly-trained dog. Your dog will definitely feel the benefit from all the positive experiences that you’ll open them up too and know how to navigate the human world. Why not try and teach them to talk with buttons like these from Fluent Pet
8. Puppy play dates
Leading on from the previous tip, play dates and socialisation from an early age are super beneficial for your dog. Your dog will have a great time playing round with new friends, while learning life lessons and growing out of habits such as mouthing and nipping. Play dates will also a good way to satisfy a pups pack mentality.
Your pup will love a holiday of it’s own! Dog-friendly accommodations and visitor attractions are becoming more and more common, so with a bit of research you’ll be able to find the perfect destination that will welcome you with open paws. Your dog will love all the new sights and sounds, especially if it’s a beach-based location you are headed to. As long as you keep your dog on the lead where necessary, you and your dog will have a great time exploring all the new sights and playing together. Dog friendly is a great website to begin your search.
10. The fix
While many dog owners are hesitant about the dreaded surgery, it can be the kindest thing you can do for your adolescent dog. It is a misconception that neutering or spaying your dog once they reach the appropriate age is cruel or unkind, but this simple procedure can make their life (and yours) a lot easier and enjoyable. Your pup may not enjoy it at the time while recovering, but there are so many health benefits to the procedure like avoiding certain cancers and other medical problems. Behaviourally, especially for male dogs, there are multiple other benefits such as, reducing humping, marking and roaming. Read our blog on what to expect post spay here