Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and kisses, hearts, and tender feelings are in the air. Show your furry pal some love on their own special day—February 20, National Love Your Pet Day. To help you profess your love for your four-legged friend, we’ve outlined the five love languages of pets. Decide on your pet’s category, and then celebrate National Love Your Pet Day on a deeper level by speaking your furry pal’s love language.

Pet love language #1: Physical touch

Physical touch is a common love language among dogs—and occasionally in cats, but on their terms. If your pet lives for cuddling, belly rubs, or ear scratches, their primary love language is likely physical touch. Pets may also return physical affection by winding between your legs, rubbing their head against yours, or offering wet, sloppy kisses. To speak your pet’s language, provide plenty of physical affection through touch. Find your furry pal’s favorite petting spot, such as behind their ears, under their chin, or the base of their tail. Also, show your pet how much you love them by providing a cozy lap for snuggling while you watch TV, or a place right next to you while you sleep.

Pet love language #2: Quality time

Is your four-legged friend a “velcro” dog or cat? If they never leave your side and tail you around the house, they enjoy simply being together most of all. While some pets remain aloof and do their own thing, only wanting attention on their terms—often related to food—pets whose love language is quality time need to spend time with their family. They tend to follow you to places you prefer to be alone, such as into the bathroom, but you can count on your pet to always be there. Help your pet feel the love by showering them with attention and spending as much time as possible together. 

While their constant presence can make you feel extra loved, these pets may have separation anxiety, since they don’t like being alone. However, these social pets usually make excellent office companions, provided they’re well-behaved.  

Pet love language #3: Giving and receiving gifts

People aren’t the only ones who enjoy giving and receiving gifts. Your dog or cat may feel the same if their love language deals with gifts. While they won’t spend hours searching Amazon Prime for the perfect gift, each item they drop at your feet or on your pillow is carefully selected. Whether or not you truly appreciate a mangled plush toy or a catnip mouse, feel blessed when your pet grants you a gift. Your cat may bring you a dead spider or mouse, but view their offering for what it is—an act of love and devotion. Return the favor by showering your pet with treats and toys to show you understand their love language. 

Pet love language #4: Acts of service

Some pets live to serve, and nothing makes them happier than following a command or showing off their skills. These pets are often intelligent and love doing what you ask, demonstrating their primary love language as acts of service. Many of these pets excel at agility classes, obedience courses, and other sports designed to show off their talents. They seldom need a treat or encouragement to perform commands, since pleasing you is its own reward. 

Pets who are givers and delight in serving others are often therapy and protection animals, as well as general family pets. Show these pets how much you love them with lots of love and attention when they’ve done a good job. Provide plenty of opportunities for your pet to shine to truly speak their love language. 

Pet love language #5: Words of affirmation

Words of affirmation, which uses actual sounds, is an easy-to-identify love language. Pets who thrive for words of affirmation demonstrate their love vocally with happy meows, purrs, howls, or barks. These are the pets who light up when they receive verbal praise, or when they hear you happily say their name. Use plenty of verbal praise when training these pets, since a “good dog” may be more effective than treats. A cheerful, high-pitched voice, commonly referred to as baby talk, can greatly please these pets.  

Show your four-legged friend some extra love on their special day with all their favorite activities and by speaking their love language. However, if an unfortunate accident occurs while you’re out exploring new trails or enjoying a pet-friendly restaurant, your Pet Emergency Clinic and Referral Center team is here to help. Give us a call.