The Signs You’re Not Showing Your Dog Enough Affection

The art of affection Of course, you love your pup. With those soulful eyes, that waggy tail, and the sweetest spirit imaginable, how could you not? The question is: Does your dog know that? It’s incredibly important. “Showing your dog affection is an important part of establishing your bond,” says Katy Nelson, DVM, a senior veterinarian at Chewy. Regardless of age, all dogs need affection and emotional interaction—but they’re unique in terms of their exact needs. “Some dogs crave pets, hugs, scratches, and lots of communication and cooing,” Dr. Nelson explains. “Others are more laid-back and independent and will take what you give, but they don’t necessarily love all the attention you may want to give.” But canine cuddles aren’t necessarily about a dog’s need for love—as we understand that concept, anyway. “Although this may be what humans perceive, the underlying instinct for petting and snuggling is more of a reassurance that the pack leader (or owner) is still accepting them as part of the pack,” says Dr. Nelson, adding that the key is figuring out exactly what makes your dog happy. “Knowing your pet’s personality goes a long way when determining how much affection your pet may crave.”