Sharing love with our pets can sometimes be a tricky proposition. While some breeds love snuggles, others would prefer a distant romance. Understanding not only the way different animals show and receive love is pretty important and then taking into consideration your pet’s personality. We wanted to explore love from the perspective of different pets.
The information gathered for this article, the ideas shared and the tips noted are the sole opinion of the Wild Love Tails Team. We know there are animal specialists who know the science behind pet love and we do not claim to have the scientific answers, but we do hope to inspire you to think about the way we show our pets love and what we can expect in return.
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Dogs show love in different ways from licking to nuzzling and from making eye contact to bringing you their favorite toy. Each breed handles their affection a bit differently and is often dependent on their demeanor. While a few dog breeds are standoffish, most dogs are able and very willing to show their affection. Parade.com shares their top 15 picks for most affectionate dog breeds in their article 15 Most Affectionate Dog Breeds to Give You Emotional Support (and Puppy Cuddles). If affection is at the top of your list when finding the right dog breed for you and your family, doing the research is so important. You want to not only choose a breed for their snuggling ability, but keep in mind their size and who they will be cuddling.
If you are wondering the best options for showing your pup love, they love to have their ears rubbed for starters. Dogs are very aware of your attention and when you give them your full attention they know it. Eye contact is another way to show genuine love to a dog and this often works with pups you don’t know to create instant bonding. Last, but not least, treats are one of the best ways to show your love, appreciation and positive support. Test a number of treats to find your pet’s favorite and always have some on hand, in your pocket and when you are out and about to praise good behavior, say thank you or just because.
Boxers, Pugs and Bichon-Frise are among the most affectionate dog breeds, while bloodhounds, Shih Tzus and Chinese Shar Peis are often considered to be not very cuddly. When finding the right breed for you and your family, the affection aspect of each breed should be taken into consideration and the size of the breed and their affection level can often be too much for young families.
While loving on our fur babies comes very naturally, it is important to avoid allowing them to get away with bad behavior. You and your pup will live a much better life when love is show through snuggles, eye contact and treats and not through allowing them to get away with doing things they should not.
Here are a few books you might want to check out for your and your family:
Providing your dog with training is one of the best ways to show your love. A well behaved dog will make loving them all the easier and reduce the need for scolding and reduce stress.
Cats show affection in many different ways from purring and meowing to licking and gifting you with prey. While cats may seem a bit standoffish to some, they get very attached to their humans and will make sure that their affection is known.
Petting your cat is often thought of as a way to show your love and bond with your kitty, but this is not the case for all. Some cats are very sensitive and when you pet them too much they will move away and in some cases even nip at you. Don’t take it personally, they just don’t know how to tell you that you are loving on them a bit too much.
While head scratching and petting are not always welcomed love, kitty treats are almost always welcome. Find the treat your cat loves the best and always keep them on hand. Cats love consistency and look forward to your love ‘rituals.’ Unlike dogs who are often given treats for good behavior or appreciation. Cat treats are more expected as part of your relationship with your cat. It may not always seem like your kitty is thankful for the love, but they absolutely look forward to it and will often remind you if you forget. Eye contact is one of the best ways to show you love your pet and that goes for cats too. To gain more insight into How Cats Show They Love You check out this article on the SprucePets.com website.
Here are our favorite books that provide insight into cat love:
Rabbits and Bunnies
Bunnies are very affectionate and have many ways to show love and connect with you. Nose nudges, like a human handshake are a good way to start every engagement with your bunny. This is best done when you put yourself at their level by laying on the floor or sofa when you interact with them.
They also love their heads rubbed, a good massage and are fond of getting the gift of a toy. We would love to introduce you to Lorelei Carlson, a bunny mamma who has amazing insight into the mind of a bunny. Here is her Youtube video 10 Ways to Tell Your Bunny You Love Them!
Here are a few top rated books that will guide you in raising and understanding pet rabbits and bunnies.
Backyard Chicken And Chicks
Backyard chickens are very affectionate creatures. They take good care of each other and their chicks. Chickens are intelligent animals and teach us how to nurture, stay organized and know the world around you. It is important to know that chickens do not show or receive love through being handled or nuzzled.
Spending time with your chickens in their environment is the best way to show your love. Chickens love to eat and treating them to a range of lettuces and fruits in moderation is always a great idea.
Here are some great reads for those interested in getting to know their backyard chickens better.
Horses show and receive love in a more subtle way. They actually prefer to to lick you rather than nuzzle, but humans are caught a bit off guard with a little horse love. Some horses love to have their face and neck rubbed, while others do not. While all pets have their own personality, their age, size and breed are big contributor.
Horses love a new adventure, time out in the sunshine and everyone knows a good carrot.
Here are some great books to get to know your horses better
Like many other pets, these cuddly creatures have a mind of their own and may choose to not show their love. Native to Africa, a warm, dry climate is best. When a hedgehog lays their quills down they are showing you they trust you, which is a huge sign of love. Hedgehogs will lick and even bite you, which could be interpreted as love, but actually they are just tasting you.
Hedgehogs are solitary creatures who good with their own company. While they may be ok by themselves, as a pet you will want to spend time with them every day, allowing them to become comfortable with you. If you want to show your love, treat them to their favorite insect. Mealworms, wax worms, silk worms and crickets are among their favorites.
Understand Better How to Hug, Love and Care for Hedgehogs…
Birds show their love through wagging their tail feathers and flapping their wings. They may even nudge you to let you know they care. Birds have their own style and personality, so your pet bird might how their love in their own way.
Birds make music and in turn they enjoy hearing it, show your love with soft music, slow and deliberate moves and of course bird treats. Fruit, just about any fruit make the best bird treats. Find out which ones are your favorites and keep them on hand. You might want to also make your own bird food, making sure their favorite seeds are always included.
Here is a simple recipe for making your own bird food – 1 part black oil sunflower seeds, 1 part chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, 1/2 part black-oil sunflower seeds and 1/2 part cracked corn (smaller size for smaller birds.) You can add 1/8 part dried fruit or provide fresh fruit as a treat and health benefit for your bird.
It can be a challenge to build a relationship with your bird, here is a great video with plenty of tips to help you create a bond with your bird.
Having a fish for a pet is very different from a furry companion, but you can still show them your love. Pet fish might not nuzzle and give fish kisses, but some fish actually do know the faces of their people who care for them. Batfish are known to be the most affectionate fish and make a great addition to your fish tank. Be aware of the other companions you add to ensure they are not aggressive tank-mates.
While there are no snuggles going on, you can show your fish love by adding a toy for the fish tank, making eye contact or making your own fish food. Giving your fish a treat of peas, nori or grapes is a great way to say I love you!
Of course there are other pets from lizards and snakes to hamsters and guinea pigs. All of which you can share a treat to show your love. Most pets are happy when you spend time with them, even if they do not all show love back in the same way.
Here are 5 fun ideas to share love with your pets:
1. Take Pet Photos
Pet Photos – Cut out paper hearts, grab a stuffed animal, create a backdrop or introduce a new toy. Take candid photos, try a few posed and don’t forget selfies. Now you might not be able to do this with your fish, but you can create fun spaces for a holiday or any day for most pets.
2. Make Homemade Treats
All pets have a “sweet tooth” for their favorite treats. There are so many great homemade recipes, lists of fresh fruits or special foods for your pet. Do a little research and offer a variety of options to find out which one your pet responds to the most. Treats are just that, a treat, so be cautious in how many you give at a time to keep your pet their healthiest.
3. Send Pet Holiday Cards
A fun project to do with your pet is to create cards, valentines or thank you cards with a photo of your pet and a message to say ‘we love you,’ ‘Happy Valentine’s Day,’ or Happy Birthday.’ Let their personality shine in your design. Visit our Pet Arts & Craft Shop for supply option.
4. Host a Pet Party
There is always a good reason to host a pet & people party. Celebrate your pet’s birthday, adoption day or a holiday with pet themed party supplies, gifts and food & beverages.
5. Host A Pet Gift Exchange
Why save gift exchanges for Christmas, what a fun idea for the office, a fund raiser or pet and people party. You can organize an “Dirty Gift Exchange,” where everyone brings a gift and picks a number and people can steal gifts (so much fun). Southernliving.com has a great article that explains how the game works.