24 September 2021
A dog’s need for affection and attention varies, just like humans. Some dogs require more than others to be happy. It can also change over time as they age. So, there is no recipe for the perfect amount of attention your dog should be getting daily. But what we do know is that most dogs will never pass up on a belly rub or a treat. Your dog may be subtly showing you that they are lacking attention. How can you tell? The following are a few telltale signs:
Some of these behaviours can be caused by a health condition, which is why we always recommend having your pet examined by a veterinarian if you notice any sudden changes in behaviour, especially vital ones such as loss of appetite. If your pup is otherwise healthy, then you may want to consider the fact that they’re not getting enough attention or affection. Your first reflex may be to ignore them or punish them for any bad behaviour such as barking or chewing on your favourite pair of shoes, but this will only exacerbate these behaviours. Your dog cannot talk to you, so they often resort to doing things they know will get a reaction out of you… even if it’s a negative one.
Of course, giving them lots of pets and belly rubs is a great way to show your dog attention. However, simple things, such as being in the same room as them or making sure to walk them for at least an hour a day will brighten up your dog’s mood. Talking to them, playing with them, and walking or training them are also great activities to show your dog that they’re important to you and to keep their brains stimulated. If you feel your dog is continuously demanding attention throughout the day, try reserving time for them when they have your full attention. For instance, that could be bringing them to the park to play fetch or playing tug-of-war in the backyard for 30 minutes after work. Your dog will also appreciate simple acts of kindness such as getting them a new toy, preparing an interactive feeder to play with throughout the day or even brushing their fur.
Dogs also need attention from others which is why frequent socialization is important. This can be done by bringing them to a dog park or allowing them to greet and play with the guests that enter your home.
Remember that physical and mental stimulations are the best ways to keep your dog healthy and happy and will also help prevent unwanted behaviours.
Dogs will show affection and attention to humans in a similar way, through touch, body language and actions. Wagging tails, loving eye contact, leaning, licking and nudging are all signs your dog is trying to show you they love you. Other signs of affection include following you around, bringing you toys, and soft vocalizations. These behaviours are indicative that your dog is content and enjoys your company. Unlike humans, a lot of dogs do not like to be hugged. Don’t be upset if your dog backs away from a hug, they might simply prefer a belly rub or a pat on the head. In fact, experts say that when your dog is leaning on you or pressing their face against you, they are giving you their version of a hug.
We hope this article helps you understand your furriend a little better and if anything, serves as a reminder to give your dog a few extra cuddles today!