Attention Pet Parents: How to Define Your Pet’s Love Language for Maximum Bonding

There’s no doubt about it: Our pets are our best friends. (Hey, that saying exists for a reason.) And while our bond is undeniable, it got us thinking about how our totally selfless pets receive love back from us. After all, considering every pet has a unique personality, it makes sense they’d each have a personalized love language.

Yep, we’re referring to the same love languages we use to discuss relationships, but in this case, they’re a bit more specific to pets’ needs. Intrigued? Good, because below, we delve deeper into your pet’s five possible love languages, as well as the best ways to communicate within them. Get ready to feel even closer to your beloved pet (as if it was even possible!).

stella chewy s girl cuddling with dog
fStop Images - Winnie Au/Getty Images

They Love Cuddling Or Being Physically Close

PSA: Many pets love physical touch, but not all of them. Let your dog or cat first show you how comfortable they are with things like cuddling or petting. For example, pets who display their love language through physical touch might rub their head on you, lick your cheek, or paw at you to pet them. Dogs and cats who communicate their emotions this way may curl up in your lap or snuggle with you in bed. To return the love, try giving your pet massages, stroking their fur or cuddling with them. In this case, physical touch is a great way to strengthen your emotional bond. Just always pay attention to their physical cues to make sure they don’t become uncomfortable.

stella chewy s dog fetching newspaper
Don Mason/Getty Images

They Love Doing Things For You

In this case, your pet might express their love through various acts of service or behaviors like bringing you things—think: your dog zooming out to the front lawn to get the paper, “guarding” you or licking in an effort to groom you. They might also prove themselves easy to train, obedient and show high levels of restraint and discipline. The best way to bond with this type of pet is showing a dedication to their physical and mental well-being. This could mean ensuring they get enough exercise (i.e. plenty of walks and time outdoors) and mental stimulation like working with them on learning new tricks.

Mostly important, though, is their diet. Feeding your pet healthy, nutritious food from a brand like Stella & Chewy’s is one of the best ways to show your pet love. Made for both dogs and cats, their raw and natural pet foods contain nutritious, responsibility sourced ingredients and the protein your pets need to thrive. The benefits of feeding your pet a raw diet include healthy teeth and gums, easier, healthy digestion, a vibrant skin and coat and lean, strong muscles. If you’d like to try it out without committing to a 100 percent raw diet, try Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw toppers. They’re an easy and convenient way to add the taste of raw your pet craves along with all the great benefits.

Have a picky eater or one with food allergies or sensitivities? Stella & Chewy’s never has any artificial preservatives or added hormones or antibiotics, so you can be sure you’re feeding them a complete, balanced diet they’ll crave the taste of. Since food is such an integral part of your relationship with your pet, being intentional about what you pick is a vital part of building your relationship.

stella chewy s little boy playing with cat
twomeows/Getty Images

They Love Spending Time With You

A pet with this love language might follow you around the house, grab their leash and “ask” for a walk or start jumping excitedly at the mention of a car ride. They might meow or bark playfully at you when relaxing outdoors or when you’re doing activities together. In fact, quality time is much different than just being around your pet constantly; you need to be engaging with them, such as taking your dog for a long walk, playing a game of fetch, or going to the park for some socialization. Cats might enjoy an indoor obstacle course, having you control a wand toy or even batting around a lighter, bouncy ping pong-like ball. For pets that enjoy this type of quality time, these exercises are good for keeping them healthy and active and helping you grow closer.

stella chewy s woman with her cat
Dmitry Marchenko / EyeEm/Getty Images

They Love When You Talk To Them

For some pets, hearing your voice is just as, or even more, meaningful than belly rubs or games of frisbee. And as much as it might be cathartic for you, it’s less about telling Fido or Fluffy about your day and more about using a happy and loving tone, as well as words that are relevant to them, that keeps your pet engaged. Do their eyes light up when you give them praise? Do they wag their tails when you say “good boy (or girl)”? Do they meow when you say their name? Pay attention to whether they become engaged and alert when you use verbal cues, praise or different tones of voice; it’s a good indication that using words of affirmation is their preferred love language and you should talk to them more often. So what if your neighbor catches you having an enthusiastic convo with your dog for the third time that week?

stella chewy s puppy and kitten with toys
Paul Ventseck/Getty Images

They Love Giving (and Receiving) Gifts

You might think your dog jumping for joy when they get a new toy is just regular canine behavior, but it can actually be a sign your pet feels close to you. Your dog or cat may even return the favor by sharing their favorite drool-laden bone or squeaky mouse toy and placing it at your feet. Show this pet love by giving them treats for obeying your verbal commands, as well as for displaying positive passive behaviors, like not begging at dinnertime or barking at strangers. Stella & Chewy’s nutritious treats come in plenty of options, whether you’re looking for grain-free, freeze-dried or baked—and they’re all crafted in the USA. Plus, you can feel good about the ingredient list: They’re made with responsibly sourced animal proteins with no added hormones or antibiotics and are grass-fed, cage-free, wild-caught and free-range.

No matter which love language(s) your pet responds most to, they’re sure to appreciate your efforts. So, try out some of our suggestions above and get ready to have an even stronger bond with your BFF.

IMG 3261

Senior Editor, Branded Content

Kelsey is a New York City-based writer, copy editor and Senior Editor of Branded Content at PureWow. She has over a decade of digital media experience covering travel, music...