There is a good reason that dogs are called “a man’s best friend”. And that our language is littered with references such as It’s raining cats and dogs’. These pets have become synonymous with households in many parts of the world – and, perhaps more so in South Africa, where they have ample space to run.
The TastyMoments team has thought a bit about how we know how much they love us?
The Waggly Tail
Many of us have grown up knowing dogs, even if they belonged to grandpa or the neighbours. Their tails are the give-away signal that they really like and welcome one. Scientists have proven that the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin, is released in dogs when they gaze at you lovingly or get stroked. This is the same hormone that is secreted when a mother gives birth to a child. It is credited with strengthening bonds between people, and also animals. We all have this chemical response when exposed to affection – especially when it’s coming from Fido!
Dogs can learn to recognise their own names and those of the other woofs in their pack. They are also capable of recognising the names of humans. Watch your furballs when you mention the name of someone whom they know well, but who is not present. They will no doubt show signs of excitement in anticipation that the person may appear.
Vets in the UK believe that dogs are even capable of recognising songs. So, play a happy tune while putting an easy family dinner like an Ital Pizza Familia in the oven to give you a bit of time to play with them. You will eventually see signs of their anticipation when they hear the song.
There are many other signs of their trust and protective feelings toward you— like herding the family when you go on walks and barking at strangers.
Your cat’s soothing purr is a sure-fire sign that they loooove you. Kittens purr to communicate with their moms, and this behaviour is continued into adulthood – provided, of course, that you have earned the right to be right up there with their regal mothers. It is a sign that your cat is relaxed and trusts you implicitly.
Rolling on their back is another sign of a confident, happy kitty. Their bellies are their most vulnerable parts, and if they entrust you with a stroke, you are part of the pride. However, they may ‘hold’ your hand to ensure that you don’t take them for granted.
Ever heard of bunting? It’s what your cat does when they bump their head against you. It’s their attempt to leave their scent on you to make sure you know you are theirs!
A few other signs are kneading, or even scratching your favourite lounge seat. They can smell you, and this is their way of wanting to bond. And you may consider an upright or forward curling tail, slow blinks and their rear end in your face ‘cat kisses’. Now you know you’ve been getting more cat kisses than you ever thought.
TOP TIP: Try to get your kids used to pets from an early age. This way they will be confident, trust the pet and not be afraid.
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