The "5 love languages" are a popular theory about how humans give, receive, and express romantic love. Although the concept was invented by a marriage counselor, love languages also apply to your relationship with your dog.
“Acts of service” is a love language that refers to things you do for your partner to show you care. This could include washing the dishes or doing the laundry for your SO without being asked.
Acts of service for your dog are a little different (and usually a lot more fun!). Before choosing an act of service, consider your dog's temperament. Dogs who don't like bathtime probably won't appreciate a bubble bath, while timid dogs might not feel comfortable in a busy park. Fortunately, we've compiled some acts of service pups of all personalities are sure to love!
Do you and Fifi live in a tropical area with lots of sunshine? Take a trip to experience the snow together! Both of you will undoubtedly appreciate the change of scenery. Just don't forget to pack the right apparel for you and your woofer — booties work wonders for protecting sensitive paws in extreme temperatures.
If your pooch goes dog wild for bathtime, they'll "pawsitively" love this act of service. Make your fur-baby's bath extra special with a dog-safe bath bomb or bubbles and a gentle brush. For even more brownie points, play some soothing music and apply a paw balm at the end.
Okay, the treats themselves might fall under the "gift-giving" love language. But your four-legged sous chef will jump at the chance to lick the bowl. Why not take your treat game to the next level with a new recipe? Check out these hypoallergenic dog treat recipes for some inspo.
Swapping dog toys with a fellow pet parent is a "grrreat" way to spice up your pup's playtime. Again, this idea is less about the toys themselves and more about the quality time spent together. While your doggos sniff out some "new" toys, you can catch up with your friend. Make a day of it with coffee or tea, snacks and treats, and even a walk or play session.
Do you forbid your hyper hound from sleeping in your bed? Are certain areas of the house off-limits to four-legged residents? Show your fur-baby you care and let them enjoy those off-limits activities now and then. You might let your dog sleep in with you on weekends or invite them into the kitchen while you're having your morning coffee.
Pro tip: This act of service works best for trained dogs who know to respect your boundaries. If your pup is still learning the rules of the roost, use baby gates or a crate to enforce boundaries until their obedience training is complete. Otherwise, you risk sending mixed messages about what is and isn't allowed.
Does Muffin tend to mope in the corner while your family enjoys Thanksgiving dinner? Do they snooze through Christmas morning while you're opening presents? Invite your doggo to experience the magic of the holidays with you. Consider baking them a nutritious Thanksgiving loaf or wrapping a present for them to rip open on Christmas morning.
Pack a couple of sandwiches and a bag of dog treats and head down to your local park. Lassie will love lounging on the blanket in the sunshine and watching the world go by. (And, of course, munching on their treats!)
Positive reinforcement training instills good manners through rewards like treats and praise. But why stop at basic obedience? Make time to teach your pup something fun, like how to dance or play treibball. Sure, these tricks will take some time to master, but Gizmo will appreciate the challenge and a chance to spend time with their favorite human.
If you live within easy driving distance of a body of water, chances are you'll find dog-friendly boat tours nearby. If all else fails, take a day trip to your local state park and rent a canoe. Max will love floating along the water and feeling the fresh air in their fur. Just don't forget the doggy life jacket!
Whether you love a lazy lapdog or an energetic athlete, there's an activity for every pup. Tap into your inner zen with a doggy yoga session. Or get your adrenaline pumping on a bikejoring excursion. The "pawssibilities" are truly endless!
Dogs make the best dates. Whether you're just grabbing a burger at a fast-food joint or going gourmet on a dog-friendly patio, Fido won't be fussy. Looking to plan a truly special outing? Research dog-friendly restaurants near you. Find out whether they offer complimentary dog treats, off-leash play areas, or special menu items for canine customers.
You and your fur-baby can enjoy these excursions and so many more year-round. Your act of service doesn't have to be particularly extravagant or expensive. It could be as simple as taking a new route on your daily walk or letting Rufus romp at the dog park. All you need is an exciting activity with a healthy dose of physical or mental stimulation.
Planning to treat Tucker to an act of service this Valentine's Day? Share your adventure with us on Instagram! Tag #wagwalking for a chance to be featured on our feed.