How much money would you pay to have just one conversation with your dog? There’s so much mystery between us considering how much time we spend together. It’s one of the great tragedies of dog ownership that we can’t tell them how special they are to us.

Luckily, that’s not the whole story. There are many ways to show your love with your actions–you just have to understand pooches. Here are several ways to convey how much you care for your canine.

1. Rub their ears.

A dog has nerve centers in their ears that affect their whole body. Gently rubbing their ears between your thumb and forefinger can send your dog into a full-bodied bliss.

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You can use this technique for quite a few things. When a storm approaches, lightly rubbing the ears can keep a dog calm and relaxed. The pituitary gland releases endorphins as the dog enjoys the ear rub. 

Of course, you can also use the ear rub to say, “I love you” to your pup. Who needs words when someone takes the time to make you feel special? It’s like giving a foot rub to someone after a hard day’s work.

2. Give them a treat.

This is kind of a no-brainer. We recommend buying treats that are small and low-calorie so that you can give them often without worrying too much about weight gain.

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Every once in a while, a cooked ball of hamburger or piece of fish makes a great treat. Your dog can feel like the carnivore it was meant to be and they’ll know how much you love them. 

3. Take them on leisurely walks.

To properly train a dog on a leash, you have to be a taskmaster. Keeping very little slack in between you and the dog makes it easier to keep moving past all of the amazing smells your dogs wants to stop and sniff.

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Sometimes, it’s nice to take a break from that kind of walk. Your dog will know that you’re going on a different kind of adventure when you give them extra slack and let them lead the way. Your dog will feel like the leader of the pack and have a chance to catch up on the smells they’ve been passing by.

4. Brush them.

We’re not talking about using a Furminator or other heavy-duty anti-shedding devices. There’s a time and place for those, and if your dog sheds, we understand the need for them.

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Most dogs love being gently groomed with any kind of brush that doesn’t yank too hard on their fur. They get their hard-to-reach places scratched and massaged, which releases oxytocin into their system, making them feel like a king or queen. Just be sure to pay attention to what areas they enjoy having brushed and those they don’t.

5. Give them a belly rub.

This one’s not exactly a secret–dogs absolutely love belly rubs. Like brushing, gently rubbing a dog’s stomach releases chemicals that soothe and relax your pup.

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There’s no better way to show your love for a dog than to give it a belly massage. By being submissive and vulnerable to you, they are basically saying that they love you back.

There’s no direct translation for “I love you” into dog language. However, figuring out what makes your dog feel happy and special is a great way to show your love and appreciation without words.