Valentine’s Day is this week, and like clockwork every year, mom tells dad she doesn’t need anything extravagant, she’s happy just spending time together. But when she leaves the room, he always looks at me with knowing eyes; “She says that, but you know I’ll be in big trouble if I don’t bring home flowers and chocolate.”

Mom never shares her chocolate with me. She says I’ll get sick, but I’m convinced it’s so delicious she doesn’t want to share. And I still don’t understand the point of flowers if you can’t eat them!? But any excuse for extra love (even if it is a #hallmark holiday); I’m all for it! In case you’re wondering how to spoil us canines, I’ve compiled a list of ways to say I love you.

Eye Contact
We can’t speak the same language, but when you look at me with loving eyes, I know what you’re thinking. A Japanese study found that oxytocin sometimes referred to as the love hormone, increases in a dog’s brain when sharing eye contact with its owner.

Raise Your Eyebrows
In the same vein, we can read human emotion through facial expression, more specifically through eyebrows. Raised eyebrows are a dog’s way of expressing love, so when you look at us, try raising your eyebrows to say “I love you.”

Take a Walk
We are creatures of habit so a daily walk helps us feel secure. Plus, we like to check out what’s happening with the neighbors.

Play Outside
We love adventure and sharing the experience with our owners makes it even better. Take us hiking, on a car ride or to grandma’s house. We love to see the world, too!

A sleepover at grandma’s or at a friend’s house is as good as it gets. Especially because grandma always gives me all of her attention and lets me sleep under the covers (unlike someone else I know!).

Cuddle with Me
That brings me to another favorite! Cuddle up and nap with us on the couch. Nothing is better than a lazy day with you.

Talk to Me
We might not be able to speak your language, but we understand you well. Talk to us, sing to us, read to us. We really just like to hear your voice.

Listen to Me
When we bark, we’re communicating with you. Listen to us and take the time to find out what we’re saying (yes, sometimes, we’re just telling you the mailman is here).

Take Me to the Groomer
We might like to get dirty in the mud, but we love to feel clean and fresh too! A nice grooming sesh is like a day at the spa.

Pet Me
Don’t forget this simple one. Touching us and petting us helps us feel loved, so please keep rubbing my belly!

Share a Treat
We aren’t that partial to any one dog treat; a milkbone, a homemade treat or a peanut butter filled kong toy are all acceptable. The best treat is the scraps from that chicken you’re cutting or a lick off your spoon. We love it when you share!

A New Toy
There is something to be said for the excitement of a new toy. We carry it around all day because it’s a reminder of how much you love us!

Train Me
We thrive on routine and a schedule and we like the security of rules. Training makes us feel good about ourselves, plus we like to show off for you! And maybe you have an extra treat in your pocket?

Lean on Me
We lean on you to show our love, so leaning against us reciprocates the feeling. Bill Withers said it best in song. “Lean on me, when you’re not strong. And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.”

Okay, Max-ka-tears, now you have no excuse not to celebrate on Feb 14! I would love to hear how you spoil your pups on Valentine’s Day. Tag us on Instagram @oneupmax.

Ears Truly,

One Up Max