From Valentine's Day to National Love Your Pet Day, February is definitely the month of love! In celebration, our furry friends are giving us their ultimutt tips guaranteed to bring on the warm and fuzzies – without those overrated and overpriced dinners out.
It’s been over 200 years (well, 30 in human time) since Dr Gary Chapman first wrote a New York Times bestselling book about the 5 love languages. Its premise is that there are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. It taught us that we all have different ways we give and prefer to receive love.
We all know that pets have got 'love' down-pat. From sloppy kisses, wagging tails and snuggle time, they seem to nail all five of the love languages. We reckon we can learn a lot from our furry friends, that’s why we’ve asked doggo Fudge and feline Willow to decode the 5 languages of love for us hoomans.
Love Language #1: Words of affurmation
Fudge: I know I'm the GOODEST DOGGO because my hooman tells me. My pawrents always says nice things to me. To be honest, I don't even really understand what it means, they call me all sorts from "Snuffles" and "Hot Choc" to "Floofers" or "Pookie-wookie", but I know it means something good because they say it in a nice way. And it usually comes with a tummy rub or a treat.
Willow: In case you missed it, we feline types aren’t so obvious. Sometimes I'm up for a chat, but usually I like my peace and quiet. You don't really need to tell me I'm the greatest, because I already know it, but if I do want your terms of endearment, I'll meow or purr to let you know. Please compliment me in a smooth voice or a slightly higher-pitch than normal, that makes me feel warm & fuzzy. If all else fails, why not try blinking slowly into my oh-so-beautiful eyes for some special silent bonding?
Love Language #2: Acts of service
Fudge: We're not all service dogs, but we are good at working our tails off to do the big and little things that show we really ruff you. You’ll see us getting busy by bringing you things, laying on the licks, or ‘guarding’ you from those terrifying posties and other unexpected moments. And have you seen me play fetch, I will bring that ball back again and again and again.
Fancy repaying the favour? Us dogs really appawciate it when you take us for walkies or invite a furry friend over for a play date. Just saying...
Willow: Us kitties aren’t really about doing the dirty work, meow don’t think so. After all, you do it for us. I've seen my pawrents scooping my poop, so they must really love me. If you want us to participate in any service-based work, I advise you appeal to our natural instincts (they don't call us kings of the jungle for nothing). We really love it when we can play predators, so bring out a wand toy to chase or a laser light. I will chase that red dot all day for you.
Love Language #3: Gift giving
Fudge: Sticks! Ropes! Balls! Bones! I love ‘em all! Almost as much as my hoomans. I also love treats.... Mmmmm..... What was I saying? Oh yeah, gifts. Look, it's pretty simple, if you want to get our tails wagging give us something tasty, squeaky, chewy, fluffy, smelly or bouncy. Did I mention bones?
Willow: We pretty kitties always appreciate the chance to get stuck into a quality scratch post or recline on bougie bedding. But it’s not just about what you can do fur us – we might even say thanks by leaving our own ‘special’ love gift for you to find on the doorstop… (Lizards, you have been warned!)
Love Language #4: Quality time
Fudge: Hooman time is the bestest and we doggos love nothing better than spending time with you. We’ll literally follow you everywhere (even the bathroom if you let us!) just to say how much we care. And don’t furget that every minute of yours is seven of ours - so walkies, play time, games and cuddles literally make our day!
Willow: Look, it can be com-purr-licated. My beauty sleep comes first, so I need some alone time. But sometimes we just knead to saunter up to your comfy lap and make some biscuits. So how do you know the difference? Leave the decision making to the boss of the household (me, duh) and I’ll soon let you know what my love language of the day is.
Love Language #5: Physical touch
Fudge: Did you know that the clever hoomans from Harvard proved that cuddles on the couch (yes please!) to belly rubs (yep!) and scratches under the chin (always!) is basically bound to bring on the lovely-dovey vibes? Okay okay… they didn’t use those words exactly but the point is, physical touch is a love language that feels good for both of us!
Willow: While it’s true that we’re not always feline in the mood for getting all touchy-feely, my best advice is you just need to know your cat. If we’re still getting to know each other, I suggest you play it a little more laid back with a gentle pat on our head or a soft stroke of the neck. Don’t tell Fudge, but sometimes we even let our humans carry us like a baby! And if we’re really in love? We might even make our signature love move on you: the oh-so-romantic head butt. Awww…
So there you have it. Whether it be an adventurous walkies, an indulgent petting session or a game of fetch, there's lots of different ways we can let our pets know we love them, and there's many more ways they tell us they love us!
Leave a comment below and let us know what love language your beloved pooch or pampered feline prefer!