6 ways to strengthen you and your pup’s bond

The bond between pup and pawrent is a beautiful thing. You make your pooch feel loved, comforted, and supported, while they brighten even the darkest of days. 

It’s not a relationship that came out of nowhere. From when you first brought them home to right now, you’ve been building up that bond. Every single walk, game of fetch, or cuddle on the sofa added up to the large amount of love you both share.

But the same as any other relationship, it takes consistent effort to maintain a close bond with your pup. So we’re here today to share six of the best ways to do exactly that. 

Maybe you’ve only recently got your pooch and want to know the best way to establish trust. Or you’ve been ride or dies for a decade and are looking to deepen your connection further. Either way, let’s dive right in!

Make room for quality time

How many couples have you heard bickering because one person is on their phone too much? It’s a perfect example of how easy it can be to take quality time for granted. And it’s something we can experience with our dogs, too.

Whenever we’re at home, our pups are right there. You’d think that being practically attached at the hip would be perfect for keeping you bonded. But when it comes to time spent with your pooch, you want to pay attention to quality over quantity.

Perhaps you give them hours of pets most nights while you’re watching TV. That’s great – and definitely don’t stop unless you want those puppy dog eyes. But also try to create pockets of time where your pup gets your undivided attention. 

While grooming, out on walks, training, or having a cuddle after a stressful day, make sure you’re allocating some no-distraction one-on-one time. Trust us, your pup will be able to tell if they’ve got your full attention. And they’ll lap it up!

Massage, anyone?

A strong bond with your pup means they trust you wholeheartedly and feel relaxed in your presence. And what better way to make this happen than by giving them a massage?

Since their circulation and nervous systems are so similar to our own, it’s thought our furry friends benefit from massages in much the same way we do. These benefits might include:

  • Increased range of motion and flexibility
  • Easier digestion
  • Increased lymphatic circulation
  • Reduced inflammation and pain
  • Better muscle tone
  • Less anxiety and stress
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Boosting immunity

It’s no wonder your pup loves when you give them a good rubdown! These moments of closeness with their favourite human create an overwhelming sense of safety and comfort. And this sets the perfect foundation for a stronger bond.

Plus, having a regular feel of your pup will help you as a pawrent become more attuned to their needs. You’ll be quicker to spot any issues or lumps or bumps that crop up. 

Dog bond 2

Keep up with the training

While the thought of going back to school is terrifying for many of us, doggos LOVE being encouraged to learn. They crave the mental stimulation of having to earn their food or learn a new skill. And not only will this satisfy your dog in the short-term, but it’ll strengthen your bond too. 

Training requires a partnership – both of you understanding one another and working together. As they nail the latest trick, and you heap on the praise and affection, you both grow in confidence, trust, and build a deeper connection. So continue to make training a regular part of your and your pup’s daily routine!

Consistency is key

Speaking of routine, dogs are big fans of it. The more predictable their days, the more comfortable and trusting they’ll feel around you. Whether it’s feeding times, toilet breaks, walks, or your working hours, bring consistency into your daily life as much as possible. This isn’t to say you can’t deviate from the routine, but try to offer at least some predictability on a daily basis.

Similarly, your bond will thrive from consistency in your approach to pawrenting. The more you and your pup understand each other, the better. So aim to be consistent in both how you verbally communicate as well as your visual cues. No one likes mixed signals – getting praised for something one minute, told off the next – so being clear, consistent, and avoiding misunderstandings will be invaluable for building trust.

Dog bond 3

Find a joint activity you both love

Is there anything better than enjoying a shared passion with the person (or pup) you love? We don’t think so. Life is best enjoyed together, so embrace every opportunity to do something both you AND your dog love.

Whether it’s hiking, running, swimming, having a picnic, or going on drives, joint activities solidify your friendship and loyalty. They’ll leave you both feeling relaxed, content, and ready to shower each other in love and affection. 

Know when to give them space

The bond between you and your pup requires you to follow their lead. Recognising what they need (or don’t need) from you at any given moment. 

Just like humans, your pup might need space from time to time. They might not want to socialise when you have friends over. Or could be feeling overwhelmed one day for seemingly no reason at all. And if this is the case, it’s important you show them you respect their space. 

Create a spot in your home that’s just theirs. It might be their crate or a dog bed in another room. Whatever it is, keep it as somewhere they can go whenever they need a moment to themselves, a nap, or some quiet time.

The relationships we cultivate with our pups is one of the most fulfilling parts of life. But as with everything, you get back what you put in. The more effort you put into establishing trust and closeness with your dog, the more rewarding your life together will be.

Want to make your pup’s life even sweeter? Look no further than our delicious, nutritious kibbles. All Swagwags recipes are packed full of healthy ingredients and responsibly sourced protein to keep your pooch feeling on top of the world. Have a browse of our ranges to find their new favourite dinner today. 

If you’re concerned about reactions in your dog, we can also help. Our 100% bespoke sensitivity tests help you become a more informed pawrent, identifying potential triggers in both their food and environment.