Like humans, pets have specific ways they like to show and receive love, including quality time, physical touch, acts of service, words of affirmation, and receiving gifts.

Lara Shannon, PETstock ambassador and pet behavioural expert, breaks down the five love languages enabling you to best connect with your pet.

Words of affirmation

“Words of affirmation is about expressing affection through compliments or words of encouragement. Take notice of how your pet reacts when you offer them praise such as ‘good boy or girl’ or call their name in a cheerful tone.”

Shannon said pets that have words of affirmation as one of their love languages will look engaged and alert when you’re talking to them.

Physical touch

Pets that have physical touch as their love language enjoy petting, tummy scratches, cuddling, and grooming.

“If your pet’s love language is physical touch, they will often want to be as close to you as possible by sitting on your chest or lap, offer their head or belly for pats, and shower you with kisses. It’s important to provide pets who frequently exhibit these behaviours with plenty of physical attention, as this is the main way they will feel loved by you.”

Quality time

If your pet always wants to around you and goes mad when you leave and return to the house, quality time is their love language.

“There are countless ways you can spend time with your pet from going on walks, playing with toys, hitting the dog park, to just simply sitting side by side on the couch together. Whatever form your quality time takes, be sure to give them your undivided attention.”

Receiving gifts

Shannon explains that if your dog or cat’s eyes light up when they’re given a new toy or treat, gift-receiving is likely to be one of their love languages.

“You can use this love language to its fullest potential by saving the gifts as a reward for desirable behaviours. For example, give your dog their favourite treat when they stop barking or for not begging for food at dinner time.”

Acts of service

Finally, Shannon said that Pets that gladly obey your commands speak this love language.

“Show ‘acts of service’ pets that you love them in return by providing lots of praise when they’ve done a good job.”