February; the month we celebrate LOVE. Those of us that love dogs understand the feelings of deep affection, endearment, and devotion we have for our canine friends.
I am well aware of all the joy my dogs bring me so this month I thought I’d share a few ways we can give back. I’m not talking about giving back through purchasing another new toy or having a grooming session that involves pink bows and perfume. I’m referring to really giving to our dogs, in a way that fulfills their needs.
Here are 3 ways to connect with your canine friend this month.
Take a field trip.
Go to the woods and let them get dirty. Yes, even the little white fluff balls are still predators at heart. Let them wander into the wet and the mud and the fallen leaves! The dirt will wash off, but the fulfillment of giving our dogs opportunity to express their true nature will bring long-lasting delight to both of you.
Find out what makes them tick.
If you really want to figure out why your dog does what he does, fill out this Personality Assessment.
Then use that information to find a new game to play. Understanding what motivates your dog to do what he does, helps you fine tune activities to better suit his unique personality.
Dogs high in Prey drive enjoy active games that involve searching for things and using their sense of smell or games that involve chasing and catching; like fetch and frisbee.
If your dog ranks well in the fight part of Defense drive, then tug-o-war will be a favorite activity and one you can use to burn lots of energy and reduce frustration. And for those whose highest values fall in the Pack column, anything that involves spending time together will do. A nice walk or gentle grooming session is well received by your social butterfly!
Savor the Carnivorous side.
Dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats, but much of their natural diet would be composed of meat if they had opportunity to choose for themselves. If you’re not ready to embrace a raw diet for your dog, how about a raw bone as a treat once in a while? If you haven’t done raw bones before, chose something size appropriate to prevent any choking hazard. My 40 and 75 pound dogs get a 4 – 5 inch segment of beef femur to gnaw on. I let them work on it to their hearts content for a while and if there is any residual fat or meat remaining (usually their isn’t!) I pop the bone back in the freezer until next time.
Pick one of these options for showing your dog some affection this month. These ideas might sound unconventional compared to what you’re used to, but unleashing the real canine in our companions is true love.