The Love Hormone
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The Love Hormone

How to say “I Love You” to your dog

If you are anything like me, you may be pondering ways you can express your love to your pup this Valentines Day. I believe that the day of Patron Saint Valentine is not just set aside for romantic partners, but for anyone that you appreciate in your life. In my case, this includes my fur babies, who sit just a smidgen below my husband on the love scale. Oh, OK, you got me…next to. 

The obvious purchasable items that come to mind are a special valentine cookie or a heart shaped rope toy. Edible cards are also a novel choice. Just make sure you take time to read the card to your dog before he eats it though. But before you rush off to the local pet store, do you know about the Love Hormone, Oxytocin?

What is The Love Hormone?

Oxytocin, which is also commonly referred to as the Cuddle Chemical, promotes emotions of empathy, love, generosity and trust. Oxytocin is produced during acts of intimacy and is released in both the giver and receiver. Research shows a significant increase of oxytocin levels in people after they have interacted with a family pet. A similar increase was also shown in the dog’s biochemistry. It’s no wonder then why we find petting our dogs so rewarding. With this is mind, here are some ideas of how we can say “I Love You” to the family pooch, without spending a penny.

The power of Tellington T-Touch

One great way to get some oxytocin flowing is through Tellington T-Touch. The power of T-Touch (founded by Linda Tellington Jones in the 70’s), was first discovered through her work with horses. It utilizes a variety of light, mostly circular touches, that have proven to help the animal relax if anxious. It also enhances learning, performance and health. Plus, has the potential to deepen relationships if done on a regular basis. If you would like to find out more about this powerful method (which I also teach during my 4 week Calm and Relaxation Class), check out this video here…..

Canine Massage

Massage is another great way to release oxytocin. While T-Touch is designed to move the skin, massage works a little deeper with muscles and body tissue. Massage is a great way to get to know your dog’s body too, and if done on a regular basis, you will likely start to identify hot spots or tension. You could also be better equipped to know if they have developed new sensitive areas or lumps and bumps, which may require a trip to the vet. Have no clue how to deliver a canine massage? This video should help…

Soft, Loving Gazes

If all this touchy feely stuff is just not your cup of tea, then you are in luck. Recent evidence shows that ” The Love Hormone” is released during a gazing session with your beloved canine. The mutual, soft, loving gaze between a man and his dog (or woman), does indeed spike oxytocin levels in both parties. However, I would strongly advise you keep this method close to home. Staring at a dog who you don’t know could send a message of confrontation, not adoration.

Enjoy your oxytocin enriched valentines day with your special someone/s!

Please note – All suggestions here are only to be implemented with dogs who you have a relationship with and you are aware of where they like or do not like to be touched. Please do not try any of these suggestions on any dog you do not have a relationship with and please stop immediately if your dog shows any sign of discomfort or stress.
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