Dogs show their affection in so many ways, from wagging tails and wet kisses, to running to the door to greet you when you get home from work. But have you ever wondered the best ways to show your dog how much you love him? You actually don’t need a lot of time or money, because with a few simple acts and gestures, your dog will always know how much you love him.

Here are 10 great ways to show your dog you love them:

  1. Morning cuddle time. If you sleep with your dog, what better way to start your day then snuggling with your pup before you even get out of bed. You’ll both love the hugs and kisses you’ll share that will help keep your bond strong. Even if you don’t sleep with your dog, the morning is a great time to take a few minutes to cuddle up with your dog on the couch or even on the floor on a mat or rug. Starting the day off with affection will put you both in a good mood, and show your dog how much you love him.
  2. Toys, toys and more toys. Dogs know that they live in your home and do their best to be respectful of your property. However, they also enjoy knowing that there are things that belong to them in your home too, such as toys. Dogs love to play, chew, and just be silly, so leaving their toys around your home, especially when you are not there, reminds them how much you love and want them in your life.
  3. Hang out together. Dogs don’t really care about how much money you make or what kind of house you live in. Like every great friend you’ve ever had, all your dog wants is to spend quality time with you. So, let your dog be next to you while you do some work on the computer, or hang out with you in the garden or the garage when you’re working on your latest project or hobby. Spending time together reminds your dog how much he means to you and how much you love having him around.
  4. Touch Is Important. Dogs are social creatures and one of their favorite ways to show affection among each other is through touch. Whether it’s licking, snuggling or just leaning, touch is a huge factor in showing your dog how much you love him. So make sure you pet your dog, give him a good brushing, and even give some belly rubs and massages. Your dog will surely know you love him by the way and how often you touch him.
  5. Take Frequent Walks. Everyone needs a break from the monotony of a busy day, and what better way than to take a walk with your furry best friend. Your dog will love going outside and having the chance to relieve himself, and you can enjoy a few minutes of fresh air and a quick walk to stretch your legs. Dogs are also pack animals that tend to bond with people by walking with them, so this is also a great way to get closer to your dog and show him some love.
  6. Pay Your Way with Praise. Scolding a dog when they’re misbehaving is never pleasant for your or him, but how often do you walk over to your dog and give him a burst of love and praise when he is behaving or doing something positive, like chewing on a toy? Being consistent in praising your dog when they are good is actually a great way to train your dog to behave in a certain way. Dogs love pleasing their humans, so when they come to understand that you’re happy when they do or act in a certain way, they will most certainly do it more frequently, which in turn will earn them praise, and result in a beautiful, loving relationship.
  7. Schedule Training Sessions. Take a dog training class so you can learn the tools you need to get your dog to do what you ask of him. Then, you can carve a few minutes a day out of your busy schedule for a quick training session. Mental stimulation is so important for dogs because it keeps them on course in their training, and helps them appreciate any rules and boundaries you set for them. Training your dog shows how him you love him because you are taking the time to learn how to communicate with them.
  8. Learn Their Body Language. Knowing how your dog is feeling about something or someone by reading their body language shows they can trust you to support and protect them. If you can tell when your dog is scared versus when he’s angry, he’ll know that he can rely on you to react appropriately. This also builds trust, which is an important part of any relationship, but especially one between you and your dog.
  9. Take Your Dog For Drives. Most dogs love going on short road trips and if you’re going for a ride that doesn’t require you leaving the car like picking someone up or going through a drive-thru, go ahead and make your dog’s day by taking him along. Just never leave your dog alone in the car, even for short periods, since temperatures can rise very quickly even on a cool day.
  10. Go On Field Trips. Take your dog to a dog park or dog beach for added exercise and playtime. If your dog is social, he will love meeting other dogs and people. If your dog prefers to go solo, consider going on a long walk or hike where you and your dog can just enjoy each other’s company in a new place. Dogs love exploring their surroundings and the more positive experiences he shares with you, the more he will associate you with love and care.

Some people say that having a dog is a lot of work, but it’s only work if you don’t enjoy doing the things that your dog needs to have his basic biological and social needs met. A true dog lover, and someone who loves their dog, will take great pleasure in spending time together, teaching it right from wrong, and going places with their furry best friend.

Dogs really are man’s best friend because they love their human unconditionally, and while you can let another person down easily, the only way to let a dog down is to not love him the way he deserves to be loved. Like family. Like your best friend. Because he is both.