Learning your Pet’s Love Language

Just like people have a preferred way of being shown love in a way that is most meaningful to them, pets also have a preferred love language.

While animals don’t appreciate extravagant gifts or special acts of services performed for them in a way a human might, animal love is expressed in ways similar to ways expressed by humans. Some pets prefer physical touch, while others crave time spent together. Some feel most treasured by words of praise.

Here are a few ways to determine your pet’s favorite way to receive your love:

  1. If your pet loves to be petted, held, or cuddled, chances are their love language is physical touch. Animals who have been abused or neglected may not appreciate being touched, or it may take them time to learn to trust you. Pets such as cats may appear aloof, but they may need your touch several times a day before withdrawing for some alone time
  2. If your best friend needs to be near you, always at your side, and is anxious when you are apart from each other, it’s probably because he or she loves to spend time with you more than anything else. Even if you are busy, just knowing you are in the room makes them feel most loved. If you must leave this type of pet, try keeping a television on during the day so they are comforted by the sound of human voices.
  3. If your dog’s tail starts to thump and begins to jump or turn when you praise him, he is most likely one who thrives on words of affirmation. Pet parents need to be sure not to over indulge in treats though, as often words of praise are accompanied by a treat.

My long-haired Chihuahua and Pomerania mix, Princess Portia, loves to be near her family. She was found on the side of a road near Roswell, New Mexico and taken in by a rescue group when the local shelter was too full. We wonder if she has any brushes with coyotes, of if she became entangled in the many tumbleweeds blowing the day she was found. Although it has been five years since we adopted her, she sometimes acts anxious if she is home alone for the day. We realized that allowing her a few minutes of lap time when we get home is what she needs to feel loved. Within a few minutes, she is more relaxed and content to allow us to go about our normal routines.

Watch your pet’s facial expressions, eyes, ears, and tail to observe and learn about his or her feelings. Pets express fear, anxiety, and aggression through important signals found in their body language and expressions. You can best respond to their needs if you understand how to fulfil their desires.


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