As a dog owner, you want your pet to know just how much you love and appreciate it. While there's no shortage of cute and fun things you can purchase, your dog won't necessarily associate items like collars or toys with how much you love it. If you want to be sure that your gestures will be fully understood by your dog, we've got six different options you can use:

1. Pay Attention to Your Dog's Body Language

As humans, we associate hugs with positive emotions and feelings. However, there are many dogs who don't enjoy hugs at all. This is just one example of common human gestures that may not accurately translate to dogs. By paying close attention to how your dog reacts to different things you do, you'll be able to learn what to do more of and what to avoid.

2. Feeding By Hand

This action can take two different forms. You can actually feed your dog part or all of its meals by hand. This gesture can be especially useful for bonding with puppies, as it will help your dog identify you as the food provider. And even if feeding meals by hand isn't the right fit for your dog, giving treats in this way will definitely show your dog affection that it understands.

3. Ear Rubs

Of all the different ways that you can show your dog love, this may be the one that it likes the most. The reason is research has found that when dogs get ear rubs, nerves release a rush of endorphins that give dogs a type of natural euphoria. So even though your dog may drift into a bit of a trance, you can be confident that it's quite appreciative of this gesture from you.

4. Training with Positive Reinforcement

Dogs want to please their owners. Since this instinct is hardwired into them, training your dog and giving it plenty of positive reinforcement will make your pooch feel great about its relationship with you.

5. Say How You Feel

Even though the things humans do don't always translate to the language of dogs, recent research has shown that dogs can understand positive tones and words spoken by humans. This is why it's a great idea to sit down from time to time and tell your dog exactly how you feel about it.

6. How to Show Your Dog Love Even When You're Not Around

If you wish there was a way for your dog to feel loved and appreciated even when you aren't around, our dog day care can help. Instead of worrying that your dog is lonely because it's at home alone, your pet can enjoy everything that goes along with being in a positive environment complete with caring staff and other happy dogs.

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