If you’ve had your dog for six months or six years, there are always ways to find new things your dog enjoys so you can understand them better. I’ve had my precious pup for six years and still learn about new things she loves everyday. Most of them are quite odd to a new dog owner, but to someone who’s had pets all her life, I know that these are simply the unique things that make her special. Letting your dog feel loved and behave in a natural, tamed state can be a great way to let them express their personality. Dogs are living creatures, not made to be confined to cages, outdoor heat 24/7, or aggressive, controlling behavior by their owners. When you treat them extra special, you’ll learn just what things your dog enjoys and they’ll be sure to show you lots of love too.
1. Your Clothes
Did you know that one of the things your dog enjoys are your clothes? I’m notorious for leaving a pair of socks out on my bed if my feet get hot, or leaving a pair of pajamas or yoga pants out on my desk chair if I’m running behind on my way out the door to work. To my surprise, when I get home, they are never where I left them! My dog carries my clothes, socks, bedroom shoes, etc., and places them in her dog bed with her to lie on while I’m gone. She loves smelling my scent when I’m away and doesn’t even chew on them like she did when she was a pup. Now, I leave them out for her because I know it makes her feel safe and not so alone when I’m away at work.
2. Raw Fruits and Veggies
I bet you didn’t know your dog could love healthy food so much, and probably more than most humans do! Dogs love raw veggies and even some fruits, and these make perfect snacks because they keep them healthy, and the crunchy texture helps keep their teeth clean. They can also enhance their skin and coat. Just stay away from onions, garlic, and raisins, which are toxic to animals.
3. Space to Eat
Last year, I learned my dog wasn’t getting enough food or eating enough because her bowl was in a cramped corner of the kitchen. When I moved it to a more open area with less traffic, she ate when she was hungry and was so much more well fed. Her mood was also better because she was well fed. Dogs don’t like to eat in cramped areas or where there is a lot of traffic since it can make them feel nervous. Think about it: you wouldn’t want to eat with people walking around you too much, or in a cramped up corner, and neither does your dog.
Dogs love popsicles! They love licking the cold, icy treats and they can be hydrating for them as well. Summer is a great time to let your dog in on the fun too. If you want, you can make your own popsicles for dogs at home and throw in extra nutrients, liquid vitamins and more to enhance their coat.
5. Coconut Oil
My dogs adore coconut oil, and most dogs will. The fats in coconut oil fuel serotonin production in the brain, and enhance the dogs’ moods, just like it does humans. This can also help to keep their coat shiny. In fact, every time I go into the kitchen and my dogs hear the coconut jar open, they will run across the house into the kitchen to get some. Coconut oil is also a great antibacterial agent for their teeth. Just don’t give them more than a teaspoon or it may cause oily stools.
6. Playing in the Snow
While we never leave our precious dogs outside in the snow during winter, they do love going for a quick play session outside with us! Watch how frisky your dogs get outside for a few minutes during the next snow day you have that comes around. Dogs get a huge sense of energy from the cold weather in brief spurts and will act like puppies again outside playing in it. Just be sure not to leave them outside alone, and dress them warm so they don't get too cold!
7. The Litter Box
Now this is one that I wish wasn’t true, but I had to include it because if you have cats, you need to know this too! Regardless of how gross it is, your dog likes getting in your kitty’s litter box, so keep it away behind closed doors, or in an area they cannot get to!
8. Stinky Stuff
Ever notice how your dog always seems to find something that's smelly, gross or dead and roll around in it? According to Health24.com, this is kind of like the canine equivalent to us dousing ourselves Chanel No. 5. They find a smell, regardless of whether it's a good or bad, and dogs instinctively want to get as close as possible to it. Another theory is that dogs come from a long line of hunters who would often try to disguise their scent so it's a habit they never got rid of.
9. Eating Grass
I've never met a dog who didn't like to munch on some grass every now and then. I always wondered if this was a behavior I should be correcting or not, but turns out no one is 100% sure why dogs do it. Some people think it's to help their digestion while others think they eat it to help them vomit something that's making them feel ill. Either way, if it helps them feel better, why not?
Pets are such interesting creatures, and dogs are absolutely my favorite above all other animals. I wouldn’t know what to do without my dog, and learning about things she enjoys brings me closer to her and helps me make her one happy girl! What odd things does your dog enjoy?