10 Ways to Improve Your Dog-Human Bond Through Busy Modern Life!
Dogs are a man’s best friend. They’re our companions, our confidants, our four-legged therapists, and of course, our family.
There’s just no telling how deep that bond can go. From dogs that have travelled many miles to be reunited with their owners, to rescuing their humans from imminent danger - there are countless tales that show the true strength of dog-human relationships.
That bond is irreplaceable, which is why it should be nurtured and strengthened, especially in today’s hectic modern world.
UNDERSTANDING THE DOGGY-HUMAN BOND!
We all know that dogs have a reputation for being loyal and affectionate animals.
But despite what many people may think, the dog-human bond runs far deeper than us simply being a provider of food. In fact, the relationship between dogs and humans has a long history, with evidence of dog domestication dating back to over 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age.
And surprisingly, this bond doesn’t have to be introduced whilst your dog is a puppy - adult dogs are just as capable of forming new bonds and relationships with us humans.
Whilst being raised with the right amount of socialization and training can help your furry friend to make new friends more easily, even puppies with more difficult starts to life are able to gradually form bonds with new people. It comes down to building trust, and if you take the time to create that connection, you’ll find that your bond gradually strengthens over time.
10 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BOND THROUGH BUSY MODERN LIFE
Whilst our natural bond with dogs may have a long history, modern life has certainly complicated our relationships with our pooches. Between urban living, work, and busy schedules, there’s a lot for our furry friends to cope with day-to-day!
So how can we ensure we maintain our special bond in these modern times?
‘Sit’. ‘Paw’. ‘Roll over’. Let’s face it, we all love it when our dogs do cool tricks! It’s cute, fun, and a great way to impress your friends. But training your pooch actually goes much further than ensuring your dog returns when you call them; it’s also a great way to strengthen your bond by building trust.
Training your four-legged friend doesn’t have to be a long, time-consuming activity - in fact, short daily sessions work best to keep your dog focused and maintain a routine.
You want to keep your training sessions fun and reward-based so your dog can create positive associations with the routine. The more time you dedicate to it, the stronger your bond will be with your pooch - not to mention all the cool tricks you could learn together!
Who doesn’t love a good treat from time to time? Much like us humans, our four-legged friends like to feel valued, so rewarding your dog is a great way to strengthen your bond and nurture your relationship.
These rewards don’t always have to be food-based (although a tasty snack every now and then would certainly go down well). Praising your pooch, playtime, or even petting can all be seen as positive rewards by your dog. Try varying the rewards you give your pooch to help with the training process and reinforce positive behaviours.
- Create new experiences together
Dogs love to explore and go on adventures. With lots of new smells, noises and things to see, exploring new places for walks is a great way to keep your dog happy and strengthen your relationship.
Whether there’s a new park down the road that you’ve been meaning to go to, or a new toy that you’ve wanted to buy for your loyal companion - taking the time to do something different together will be good for both of you, and is a great way to create memories with your pooch.
Making time in your day to play with your pooch is a great way to bond with them. Whether it’s playing fetch with their favourite ball or a game of ‘Tug of War’ - find out what games your pup enjoys most - and set aside some time every day to play. Not only will it help burn some energy, but it will also strengthen your friendship.
- Eye contact
Did you know that looking into your dog’s eyes releases the same chemicals that are released when we feel love? The boost in oxytocin for both you and your pooch is a sure way to enhance your bond. Be careful not to hold your face closely in front of your dog however; this could be intimidating - which will not help your bond!
- Petting your dog
Some dogs love a good belly rub. Others prefer a nice long scratch behind the ears. Taking the time to find out where your dog likes to be petted is a great way to strengthen your relationship, and spend some time relaxing together.
In fact, recent research shows that gently petting your dog before leaving them on their own for short periods of time makes them calmer and happier than if they were ignored before you left. ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffusers also help keep your pup calm and supported in new or challenging situations so consider plugging this in where your dog spends most of their time, especially if you often have to go out for work.
- Work to understand your dog’s body language
A strong relationship thrives on understanding your dog. But unfortunately, our furry friends aren’t able to tell us how they’re feeling, so it’s up to us to work it out from their body language. Knowing when your pooch is feeling stressed, anxious or upset will help you put a plan in place to support them, keep your relationship strong, and ensure your dog is happy.
- Make sure all their basic needs are met
You can’t have a happy dog without a healthy lifestyle. That means it’s your job to ensure your pup has access to water, shelter, a comfortable space to themselves, the right food and plenty of exercise.
As reluctant as they may be, your dog also needs regular health checks by the vet for routine preventative healthcare as well as the early detection of potential health issues. A healthy dog equals a happy human-dog relationship!
- Try to create a calm atmosphere for your dog
Modern life is busy, and with visitors, house moves, traffic noises, and work schedules (among other things), there’s a lot for your pooch to adapt to, so creating a calm atmosphere is key to a happy relationship with your dog.
As dogs have a tendency to pick up on human emotions, it’s important that you stay calm around your dog. You and your home are your dog’s sanctuary, so try to keep the stress of day-to-day life away from your pup as much as possible.
- Create a happy modern home together
Ensuring your home is dog-friendly is perhaps one of the best ways to help enhance the bond you have with your furry friend. This doesn’t have to be a full house redecoration - simply ensuring your dog has the resources they need, a private, comfortable area, and somewhere they can go for some peace and alone time is a great place to start. Try and place food bowls away from high traffic areas so your dog doesn’t feel crowded when they are eating.
SUPPORTING YOUR DOG THROUGH MODERN LIFE
We know how challenging modern life can get, especially over the past couple of years. But that’s why taking the time to nurture our relationships with our four-legged friends is so important - not just for your dog, but also for yourself!
Using an ADAPTIL Calm Home Diffuser can help to support your relationship, providing your dog with the reassurance they need to stay confident through modern life events, and enhancing your bond.
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