How To Find Safe Dog Soap

Ever wonder if the soap you are using on your dog is safe for them? So many soaps/shampoos are marketed as dog-friendly but contain harsh ingredients that could harm your pooch, making it hard to know who to trust. However, a simple way to know if it is safe or not is to take a glance at the ingredients list. 

As a general rule, soap that is safe for dogs is fragrance-free, has no artificial colors, and doesn’t contain ingredients you can’t pronounce. There are quite a few more ingredients you should be wary of as well. 

We can help you determine the best soap to use on your furry friend based on the ingredients list by giving you tips on what it should and should not include. Read on to find out some of our favorite soaps for dogs and to learn how to keep your dog safe during bath time. 

Dog Soap Ingredients To Avoid

The painful truth is that most big brand dog shampoos contain ingredients harmful to your dog. This is not to say that all big brands are bad, but you need to be very cautious. Here is a list of ingredients that Should Not be in your dog’s shampoo.

  • Added fragrances 
  • Ammonium Laureth Sulfate
  • Artificial colors
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Eucalyptus essential oils
  • Formaldehyde Preservatives
  • Isopropyl (SD-40)
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Mea/Cocomide Dea
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone
  • Mineral oil
  • Paraben Preservatives (butylparaben, methylparaben, or propylparaben)
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint essential oils
  • Pine
  • Polysorbates
  • Propylene glycol
  • Sodium Benzoate preservative
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (or any sulfates for that matter)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sweet Birch essential oil
  • Tea Tree oil
  • Wintergreen essential oil
  • Ylang ylang

This very long list includes ingredients that are often found in dog shampoos but are either straight up toxic or cause unnecessary discomforts. Let’s take a deeper look at some of these ingredients to get a better understanding of why you should not be bathing your pet in them. 

Artificial Fragrances and Dogs

You may want your dog to smell like flowers, but it could be harming them more than you think. Many artificial fragrances have been linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity, along with cancer. So, we highly suggest avoiding synthetic fragrances that do not come naturally from an ingredient. 

Sulfates in Dog Shampoos

We listed a few sulfates to avoid, but you should avoid all sulfates in general. Sulfates are salts of sulfuric acid and are commonly used in cleansing agents. These chemicals can not only dry out your dog’s skin but also irritate their eyes. You want their soap to leave them moisturized and soft, not dry and itchy. 

This is also why you should avoid sulfates in your own shampoos as well. 

Artificial Colors in Dog Soap

What is so bad about buying a blue shampoo? Well, the artificial colors that turn that shampoo into a cool blue contain harsh chemicals that can do a number on your dog. These colors are synthesized from petroleum and are linked to birth defects, cancer, organ damage, and allergic reactions. 

Essential Oils Are Generally Unsafe

Many essential oils are toxic for your dog if they are inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin. We listed quite a few of the most known toxic essential oils, but you might benefit from avoiding them all together. If you find a soap that contains essential oils not on our list, we recommend looking up whether it is safe before allowing your dog to come in contact with it. 

Mineral Oil in Dog Soap

Many people will tell you that mineral oil is good for your dog because it creates a protective barrier over the skin. However, this “protective barrier” keeps the dog’s skin from releasing its own natural oils to eliminate toxins. Mineral oil is also a possible allergy inducer and not all mineral oil has been cleansed of contaminants like complex hydrocarbons and benzene. So, we suggest avoiding it altogether. 

Chemicals You Can’t Pronounce

If there is a chemical you can not pronounce, like Methylchloroisothiazolinone, it is probably not good for your dog. Methylchloroisothiazolinone is a known carcinogen that is banned in other countries but still finds its way into our dog shampoo. So, as a good rule of thumb, if you can not pronounce it, do not use it. 

The only exemption to big words that might be hard to pronounce is sodium hydroxide. Soap can not be made without sodium hydroxide, which is not toxic to your dogs in soap form. You may find soaps that do not have that word in their ingredients, but rather the word “saponified,” which means sodium hydroxide was added to that ingredient. 

Ingredients Your Dog Soap Should Contain

Now that we have talked about what to avoid; let’s take a look at what should be in your dog shampoo. 

It is important to note that simplicity is best. Soaps with the least amount of ingredients are often the best choice. Keep this in mind when choosing your dog’s soap.

  • Almond Oil
  • Aloe Vera
  • Goats Milk
  • Kaolin Clay
  • Oatmeal
  • Olive Oil
  • Raw Honey
  • Sea Salt (in moderate amounts)
  • Shea Butter
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Vitamin E

As a much shorter ingredients list than what to avoid, this is a good representation of how your ingredients list should look. It should be short and filled with ingredients you know and can pronounce. Let’s take a deeper look into some of these ingredients and how they can benefit your dog. 

Kaolin Clay In Dog Soap

Kaolin clay is a mineral used in many skin care products. For humans and pets, it boosts circulation while cleaning the skin. It allows for skin regeneration, making your pet’s coat softer and healthier. 

Kaolin clay is also great for dogs’ stomachs and is used in many probiotics. Once ingested, it binds toxins to help remove them from your pet’s gut. So, it is no big deal if your pet ingests it, in fact, it can be quite helpful. 

Olive Oil for Dog Skin

Besides being great for cooking, olive oil helps alleviate dry and itchy skin. It is rich in phytonutrients, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids, making it act as a deep moisturizer. As a result, it produces a sleeky shiny coat that will have your pet feeling wonderful in their own fur. 

Sea Salt In Soap

Sea salt is an amazing ingredient to find in your dog’s soap. It has a wide range of benefits for your furry friend including:

  • Calms irritated skin
  • Decreases shedding
  • Heals wounds, scars, and bruises faster
  • Hydrates and softens skin
  • Removes bacteria from the skin
  • Thickens your pet’s coat 

So, we highly recommend finding a soap that contains sea salt for your pet. 

Sunflower Oil on Dogs

Sunflower oil is known to help keep a dog’s skin moisturized and at its best. However, it also promotes healthy immune function, energy, normal organ function, and heart health. It is also quite good to use on your dog’s paws in the winter to keep them from cracking from the cold. 

Safe Dog Soap Recommendations

Honestly, most big brands you google will not be safe for your pup. We recommended looking into small businesses that offer simple, unscented soaps even if they are not directly marketed towards dogs. 

Harvey’s favorite soaps are those made with goat milk. Most of the soaps we buy come from small businesses listed on Etsy that have super simple and safe ingredients. None of Harvey’s soaps are marketed towards dogs, but they are the safest options we can find. 

Currently, we have been using Chesilhurst Farm soap and have found it makes Harvey super soft after baths. However, there are lots of other small businesses that also offer dog-safe soap. 

I am sure there are more well-known brands that offer safe options, but we have not stumbled across them yet. This is why we strongly encourage googling “unscented, simple goat milk soap,” and checking the ingredients list before making a purchase. Your pup will thank you for it. 

Keeping Your Dog Safe

There are many products out there that are advertised towards dogs but are not dog safe. This is not just in the world of soaps either. Many well-known dog food brands contain harmful ingredients like BHA (butylated hydroxy anisole ), which are known toxins to dogs. We highly recommend checking the ingredients list of everything you put on your dog or feed to them. If you are looking for safe ingredients to find in dog treats, you can check out our article on that here

At the end of the day, you will find that many big brands do not have your dog’s best interests in mind. Not all of them are bad, but there are quite a few who knowingly put toxins in their dog products. We strongly encourage you to take the time to do your research on ingredients in everything you give your dog to help them live longer and healthier lives. 

5 Simple Dog Enrichment Ideas For Super Chewers

The key to a happy, healthy, and well-behaved dog is providing them with regular enrichment to keep them from getting bored. There are several dog enrichment activities available to owners to keep their dogs engaged for long periods of the day. However, not all enrichment ideas are plausible for dogs that are known as “super chewers.”

To help you make the most out of your dog’s day, we have put together 5 simple DIY dog enrichment ideas to keep your pooches tail wagging. Read on to see just how easy making your super chewing dog happy can be. 

Table of Contents

Why Is Dog Enrichment Important?

Before we dive into our enrichment activities for dogs, we want to talk about why you should be doing these simple enrichment activities every day for your dog. Many people see it as a fun activity to do, but there are quite a few benefits for the dogs. So, why is dog enrichment important?

There are several reasons why you should do dog enrichment, including because it leaves dogs emotionally, physically, and mentally satisfied. It also keeps them from self-soothing with destructive behaviors unwanted by owners. 

Enrichment Improves Your Dog’s Quality of Life

Dog’s are just like humans in the way that they too experience boredom, anxiety, and depression. Enrichment activities help to stimulate your dog’s mind to relieve stress and fight off boredom. This leads to a happier life for your dog, which can in turn extend their days with you. 

An active mind and body is a healthy mind and body. Dogs and humans are the same this way. Try to schedule enrichment activities for about 1 to 2 hours a day to improve their quality of life.

1. Alternative To Snuffle Mats

Young Harvey Doing Towel Enrichment

Snuffle mats are great because they encourage a dog’s natural instinct to forage and use their nose. However, if your dog is a big chewer, they might end up destroying the mat instead of benefiting from it. Since snuffle mats aren’t free, this can be a problem. 

However, you can create your own snuffle mat by taking an old towel and laying it flat out on the floor. Place treats randomly on the towel and then roll it up and tie it in a knot. 

You can also place your hand in the center of the flat towel and twist it up to create something that looks more like a snuffle mat than a knotted towel does. 

However, we have found (with Harvey our expert super chewer) that rolling the towel and tying it in a knot results in longer playtime, and less in the dog just trying to chew the towel for fun. Instead, they undo the knot and get to the treats. 

Why Use A Towel for Enrichment Games?

Depending on the size of your dog, you can either use a hand towel or a bath towel for this enrichment game. We recommend using a towel rather than a snuffle mat because towels are a bit harder to chew through than fleece. Plus, it is easier to come across an old towel you don’t use any more than to have to constantly buy new snuffle mats every time your dog chews through them. 

2. The Canine Ice Bowl

If you don’t have any cheap towels you are willing to part with, this DIY dog enrichment activity allows your dog to destroy the enrichment game without any consequences. 

There are two ways to go about making an enrichment ice bowl. One involves putting the treats inside the ice and one involves putting the treats under the ice bowl. 

Canine Ice Bowl Designed To Hide Treats

Our Failed Attempt At An Ice Bowl

This dog enrichment game involves freezing ice in the shape of a bowl and then placing it face down on top of treats. Your dog will be able to smell the treats beneath the ice and will have to figure out how to get to them. 

You can create the ice bowl by using nesting bowls and filling water between the two bowls. You may have to use some sort of freezer-safe weight (i.e. an ice pack) to keep the smaller bowl pushed down into the bigger one to create an ice bowl between them. If you don’t have nesting bowls, you can use pots that fit within each other. 

Your dog will either chew through the ice or figure out how to pick it up to get the treats below. This is a good alternative to hiding treats under cups because the “cup” is fine for the dog to destroy without accidentally ingesting something they are not supposed to. 

Canine Ice Bowl With Treats Inside

Using Balloons To Make Ice Balls

Not sure how to make ice into a bowl shape because you don’t have nesting bowls and the pots just aren’t working? Fill up a bowl with ice and put treats inside it to freeze. This creates a block of ice with treats inside that your super chewer pooch will have to gnaw through to be rewarded. 

To do this on a smaller scale, you can also fill up water balloons with water and treats to freeze. This creates a smaller ice block filled with treats. Dogs love chewing through the ice to get to their reward. 

The only downfall to this is that it leaves a watery mess afterward. So, be sure to do it outside or on a towel to soak up the water when the dog is done (sometimes we use a tray). 

3. Enrichment Fun With Muffin Tins

This DIY dog enrichment activity is super easy to do. All you need is some balls, a muffin tin, and treats. 

Most dog owners have some sort of ball for their dogs to play with. As a super chewer dog owner, it may be difficult to use tennis balls because they get destroyed in seconds. However, we have found that Chuck-It balls and Kong balls hold up well. 

Simply take a large muffin tin and place treats or kibble in each muffin slot. Then place a ball on top of the treats snuggly in the muffin tin. Your dog will have fun sniffing through the balls and finding the ones with treats below them. 

4. Dogs Love Bubbles 

The magic of bubbles isn’t just for humans. Dogs love them too! Go get yourself some bubbles and make the magic happen for your dog. They will love jumping and chasing them around!

You can even buy bubbles specifically made for dogs off of Amazon or from Chewy. They are scented to smell like different meats or peanut butter to entice dogs to chase after them. Also, these bubbles tend to stay intact better, making it fun for your dog to continue to chase them even after they land on the ground.  

Bouncing for bubbles is also a great photoshoot idea for your dog (just saying). Get a bubble machine and play inside or out to give your dog one happy day!

5. Black Kong Toys

Filling Harv’s Kong With Homemade Treats

Lots of dog enrichment toys do not hold up for super chewers. They look fun but your dog destroys them in the first use, causing you to waste your money on a few minutes of happiness. However, we have found that the black kong toys (and even most of the red ones) can take a beating before having to be tossed out. 

To make these toys more enriching, you can stuff treats inside to entice your dog for a longer period of time. Depending on what your dog likes, there are endless possibilities here. 

What To Stuff Kongs With

Any dog-friendly food can go inside the different Kong toys. If you are using store-bought treats, make sure they do not contain BHA, as this can be very harmful to your dog’s health. Also, be sure that you are not giving more than the recommended amount of treats for the day. 

Personally, we suggest using foods like carrots or blueberries to stuff your Kong. Our dog Harvey’s favorite kong consists of:

  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Chicken
  • Salt-free all-natural peanut butter
  • Fish oil

Occasionally, we bake our own homemade dog treats and cut them up to put into the Kongs. Sometimes we even let them freeze afterward to result in longer playtime. But, usually just stuffing does the trick.

Depending on how big the Kong is and how determined your dog is, this enrichment can last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour (maybe even longer). As your dog gets better at figuring out how to get the treats out, start mixing up the experience by hiding the kong or tying it up in a towel. Be sure to rotate kong toys to make the experience different every time. 

Have Fun With Your Dog With Enrichment

No matter what enrichment option you choose, the important part is that you have some fun with your dog. 

Enrichment comes in many forms. It is not just stuffing Kongs or freezing treats. It is about taking the time to give your dog a life filled with adventure and learning. 

Enrichment can be going on a walk and letting your dog follow their nose. It can be snuggling up on the couch or scattering their food in a puzzle feeder. It is all about spending time with your dog and allowing them to be a dog. 

You can follow Harvey on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to be a part of his adventures! 

Should You Make Homemade Dog Treats?

Dogs are a part of our families. We often want to make sure we are feeding them healthy options to help them live long and happy lives. With that said, should you make homemade dog treats, or are store-bought options okay?

Store-Bought Dog Treats

We all love rewarding our pups with treats for good behavior. However, those treats may be doing more damage than you think. 

Store-bought dog treats tend to be very high in calories, which leads to obesity or other weight-related issues. Not to mention many dogs have allergic reactions to them that can present themselves as skin irritations. 

Avoid Soft Chew Dog Treats

As dogs age, soft chews may be their only option. However, young and adult dogs should never have soft chews because they can do a number on their teeth. The sticky, chewy pieces get stuck in between their teeth, leading to things like tooth decay and gingivitis. 

Choose Trusted Providers for Your Dog Treats

If you decide to use store-bought treats, make sure they are from a trusted provider. Even a popular provider may have defective batches. Thus, you should always check your treats for signs of mold. 

You should also never trust a treat just because the business selling them is well-known. Many name brands use extra supplements in place of real food. As a result, their ingredients list becomes very long. 

If an ingredients list contains BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), do not buy those treats. BHA is a fat preservative that has been found to lead to the growth of tumors in animals. You can see the National Health Institutes Report on BHA here. 

Dog Treat Providers We Trust

Here are a few dog treat providers that we trust. 

Making Homemade Dog Treats

When it comes to the health of your pet, you are better off making their treats yourself. Now, some people may not have the time to do this. If this is the case, we recommend buying treats from a trusted homemade small business. Of course, you could also buy from one of the options we listed above. 

Safe Ingredients for Homemade Dog Treats

There are a plethora of dog treat recipes for you to try. Most have some, if not all, of these key ingredients that are safe and healthy for your pooch. 

  • Oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Peanut butter
  • Pureed pumpkin
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potato
  • Cheese

For a complete list of human foods that are safe for dogs to consume, you can check out our other article here

Dog Treat Ingredients to Avoid

If you come across any recipes that contain the following ingredients, you should avoid them at all costs. 

  • Artificial colors
  • Brewer’s rice
  • Corn syrup
  • Excessive salt
  • Nitrates or nitrites
  • Propylene glycol
  • Vegetable oil
  • Xylitol or any other sugar alcohols

Making homemade dog treats is supposed to be a healthier option. Hence, why you should be very cautious to only use recipes with simple ingredients that are good for your dog. 

Making Homemade Treats for Your Dog

Dogs are family. You would not want to be eating dangerous, cancer-causing goodies and neither does your pup. That is why we strongly recommended making treats at home for them or buying from trusted providers that have very small ingredients lists. 

Want to follow Harv and his adventures? You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! We are always open to making new friends!

What Is Your Dog Thinking?

What goes through your dog’s mind as they go throughout their day? This is another question I received from Instagram and am excited to ask Harvey about. After all, who better to ask than our favorite doggo himself? 

What Does Harvey Think About?

I asked Harvey this important question last night and it went like this.

Harvey, you know the deal. Our followers have yet another very important question to ask you. This week, they want to know what is going through your brain throughout the day? Like what are some of your most common thoughts?

Harvey’s Response

Hmmm well Mom, I think about a lot of things. I am a young pupper though so my thoughts may be different from other older puppers, but I’ll give it my best shot to try to accurately represent what us doggos think about. 

If I Can Fit The Whole Cat In My Mouth

Harvey and Opal

I know I can fit the cat’s whole head in my mouth. However, Mom always yells at me not to eat the cat when I do this so I can never find out if the whole cat could fit in there. It’s strictly for scientific purposes. I know Opal doesn’t care! Why does Mom care so much!

Why I Can’t Pee In The Bathroom

I know for a fact all of them pee in the bathroom. I have witnessed it because I must watch them all at all times. They pee in that round bowl that I sometimes drink out of. 

They ruin a perfectly good watering bowl but if I hop in the tub and pee on the mat hanging off the side of it I get yelled at! At least I’m not peeing in someone’s watering bowl! Andddddd I know water comes out and will wash it away anyway!

Why I Can’t Jump On Everyone

They all get to stand on two legs but the second I jump up on mine it’s “Off Harvey” and I get pushed to the ground! Like what! That’s biased! Just because I need to lean on someone for support to be at everyone else’s height doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to do it! 

When Our Next Walk Will Be

While Mom works, I lay dreaming of running through fields of green. Taking in all those wonderful scents of flowers and dead animals. Such a wonderful mix of aromas. 

I just want to go play in sand and water. Maybe chase a few chipmunks. Just feel the dirt under my paws as we soak up the sunshine on a wonderful walk!

What Are Those Cows Doing?

A big thought that crosses my mind is what are those giant cows doing out there? I lay in the window and watch them eat that hay stuff and try to go through that fence. 

I’ve touched those fences before. It was like a giant snapping turtle bit me in the butt. I 100% don’t recommend touching them and yet those big cows are always getting super close to them!

Sometimes I try to play with them and I will run and back and forth. Those silly cows throw their feet in the air and try to get me with their heads! Why don’t they just play nice for once!

Why Mom Allows The Vacuum To Stay

If I were Mom, I would have booted that vacuum out the door a long time ago. That thing is dangerous! Yet Mom is always holding onto it and trying to get me to get close to it! Like no! That thing could swallow me whole. 

I sit and wonder about when it will come out to strike again. Mom says the vacuum and I will be friends but I don’t foresee that ever happening. 

Why Mom Takes Up So Much Room In the Bed

Mom and I snuggle into our bed at night and Mom has the audacity to tell me to move over. Like no. I’m bigger than you Mom, I deserve most of the space! 

Sometimes I pretend I’m dreaming and use all four paws to swiftly shove Mom off the bed. I know I shouldn’t but I would just like the bed to myself sometimes. Why doesn’t Mom go sleep on the floor?

What That Noise Is That Comes From Behind Me

Sometimes when I’m laying down after eating, this loud drawn-out noise comes from behind me followed by this wonderful aroma that fills the room! 

All the humans gag and yell “Harvey that’s gross!” but I don’t know why they are blaming me! I don’t know where that weird noise came from. I also don’t know why they are upset anyway, it smells wonderful. 

Why That Tail Is Always Following Me

I can see it behind me all the time. Sometimes I swing around really fast and it swings with me! I end up doing speedy circles trying to catch it and get really dizzy so I turn and chase it the other way. 

I have successfully caught it multiple times but it pulls on my butt so I have to let it go. Then it just keeps following me uncaring that I just had it in my chompers! What kind of crazy thing does that!

Why Mom Weighs Me Once A Week

It was cute at first but now she can barely pick me up. All it does is let me know how fat I’m getting! I know she says it’s good I’m gaining three to four pounds a week and growing but it just makes me feel like a fatty. 

Does anyone else’s Mom do this to them or is my mom just obsessed? 

How Much I Love Food

Not going to lie, the majority of the time I’m thinking about food. Those delicious raw egg yolks Mom feeds me like oysters from the shell and ohh the hard boiled yolks, she throws in the air for me to catch! 

Not just eggs though. The tantalizing smell of fresh off the stove-top chicken and pork chops! Oh, I can’t help myself but sit at her feet and hope she drops even the tiniest piece so that I can taste that wonderful smell. 

Even when she’s not cooking and just takes one step into the kitchen I can’t help but hope Mom pulls a carrot out of the fridge to toss me or spills a drop of milk. I know Mom feeds me plenty but wow would I just love it if she were to feed me every second of the day! 

Can’t Forget About Treats!

I love Mom’s food the most, but I do love the basket of treats she keeps up high where I can’t reach. Sometimes I sneak into the back room and try to jump up and help myself to those delicious treats, but it’s a little too high for me.

I know that’s why she puts up the gate to the back room all the time but I still dream of helping myself to all those treats at once! That’s why I like to follow Grandpa there because he never closes the gate heheheheheheh. 

Alas though, I must only dream of tasting all those sweet treats at once instead of in broken up sections throughout the day. I feel I could reach peak happiness if I could just taste them all together.

How Much I Love My Mom

Okay, I’m going to be honest Mom. Food and my love for you are the two most prominent things on my mind. I’m not going to say I think about food more than you or you more than food. It is too close to call. 

However, I think about you all the time. Whenever you walk out of the room I worry you will be walking into danger so I have to immediately follow. Sometimes I imagine a giant vacuum cleaner is around the corner and is going to suck you right up and I won’t even know it if I’m not with you. 

Whenever you leave in the car without me, I think you’re going to forget about me and never come back. I get sad and feel the need to latch on to somebody else in the house in case I need to find a new human to keep me safe. 

Pretty much, I spend my time worrying about you because I know I need to keep you safe. Especially from other doggos. I don’t like sharing my mommy. 

A Dog’s Thoughts

These are what Harvey thinks about most. He said there are of course more thoughts but these seem to be the most prominent. He would also like to note that other doggos probably have different thoughts.

Thus leading us to our next question for you guys! What do your dogs think about? You can tell us here in the comments or message us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram

We take the comments from our followers and are working on incorporating them into Harvey’s new Podcast that you can stream on:

As always, if you enjoyed this article, follow Harv on Insta and come back to check out his next article!

Also, if you have any questions you would like Harvey to answer in an article just let us know!

Does Your Dog Know How Much You Love Them?

Just in the past couple years, scientists have finally reaffirmed what dog owners have known all along, your dog loves you. However, sometimes we need it straight from the experts ourselves. 

Whose a more qualified expert on the topic to ask this important question than Harvey our boy? 

Our friend Fly from Instagram actually gave us this question. So for Fly, we asked Harvey, do dogs know how much we love them? This was his response. 

Do Dogs Know Humans Love Them?

Not gonna lie Mom, this seems like a silly question to me! You know I love you, we already established that last week. So of course I know you love me silly head. 

In fact, I was prepared for this silly question and came up with a list of ways that I know you love me. Now don’t get too emotional about it though Mom, I’m still going to be my naughty self hehe. But here are a few ways doggos like me know their owners love them.

Ehem, it goes like this. 

You Feed Me

There is nothing I love more than food. Especially when you toss me some of your special human food! And ohhhhh boy do I love the endless treatos. 

How could someone who doesn’t love me give me such magnificently tasty things! I mean, of course I wear my heart in my stomach. I think that’s how that saying goes anyway. You get it though. 

Enrichment Time Is My Favorite

Spun towel with treats enrichment

Even though those other humans that live with us sometimes make fun of you for it, I reallllllly do love when you say “its enrichment time Harv!” Oh boy does my tail get waggy then. 

I get bored when you have to work on your stupid computer, so all the enrichment games really keep me happy. Especially the one with the cups! Its like hide and seek with treatos. 

These enrichment games keep me busy for a long time while you work, and they make me happy. You could just leave me to sit bored on my own, but instead you choose to give me something that makes me happy. 

Play Time!

What’s even better than enrichment time? When you finally stop click clacking on that computer and play with me! Especially when we play fetch outside. That is the bestest. 

All the Toys You Give Me

Now I know I’m a bit spoiled. I hate to admit it but I also know that it’s true. You give me loads and loads of toys for me to destroy and play with. Every month I get a BarkBox filled with new toys and treatos for us to play with together! 

Mommy’s that don’t love their doggos would never buy so many awesome toys. 

The Snuggles

I may look big and scary, but we both know I’m a big baby who loves snuggles. 

You always hold my paw and scratch my belly. I especially love when you let me curl up into your neck at night, even though I’m getting a little big for that. All these moment where you allow me to lean on you and simply be close, let me know that you love me too. 

You Make Me Feel Safe

I know, I know, I’m supposed to be protecting you. And I do! But sometimes I get scared and I need my mommy to protect me and you always do. 

Like at night when its dark and spooky out. I swear Mom, there is something scary living in our yard. I really appreciate you walking out with me so that I feel safe to pee. 

However, I do not appreciate that you try to get me to go near that darn vacuum cleaner. I don’t care if you are holding me, I hate that thing. It’s evil Mom. I’m telling you we should both stay far away from it!

The Eye Contact

Many humans don’t realize how important this is to us doggos. We use facial expressions, such as raising our eyebrows, and eye contact to communicate how we feel. The more often you stare into our eyes, the more we know you love us back.

Luckily, my Momma does this often with me. 

Car Rides

Mom, Meagy, and Me in the car

If you have never been on a car ride, lemme tell you, you is missing out. I love car rides with my mom. She cracks the window for me and I get to smell all the wonderful scents of our farm town. 

Not going to lie, most of the time I get sleepy and pass out on one of my toys in the back, but I still appreciate being brought along for the ride!

The Adventures

The best part about car rides; they lead to adventures! I know you say I need to work on my people skills, and you may be right. That just means we have to go on more adventures though!

In fact, Mom just took me to the park for the first time ever the other day and I had sooooo much fun. I scared a little doggo with my big bark, but I promised Mom I’d do better next time, hehe. 

You Call Me Your Angel

Harv being an Angel

I know I’m not an angel, but you always call me one anyway. Your constant praises and positive affirmations let me know that I have your heart. Even when I’ve been bad, you still love me. 

Fly’s Second Question

This leads us into Fly’s other question for Harv which was “are you really understanding our language?” We thought we could slip this answer into this article as well because it kind of goes with dog’s understanding how much we love them. 

Harvey’s Response

I’m a special doggo that is able to talk to you Mom, but most doggos don’t actually understand human language. They understand sounds and associate them with actions. 

So, whenever you tell me to sit and I sit, it’s not because I know your language, just that I know what that sound means. 

However, in case you haven’t seen this yet, there are some dogs that are beginning to be able to communicate more effectively with their humans. 

Bunny the dog is an example of this. Bunny is able to push buttons to communicate with humans. This is beginning to change how humans understand dogs and could revolutionize human and dog relationships. 

How Does This Relate?

How does me understanding you relate to me knowing you love me? Simple. I know what it means when you say “good boy.” I know that all your positive affirmations are good things. This lets me know that you love me. Although I probably don’t understand the exact words “I love you,” I understand that you telling me I’m a good dog means that. 

Dog’s Know We Love Them

Scientists have proven it, and now so has Harv. Your dog knows you love them. This comforting knowledge only increases our bond with our four legged friends. 

If you have any questions you would like Harv to answer, let us know! You can leave a comment or message him on one of his social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter). 

If you would like to meet one of Harvey’s good friends, you can follow Fly on Instagram too!

A Dog’s Love

Before there was Harvey, there was Mudge. He was the fattest most lovable chocolate lab you could ever imagine. It has been a year since he passed and I still find myself missing him everyday. 

People often told me they could see the love in his sweet brown eyes for me. Every time I looked at his smile and titled eyebrows, I could see it too. I couldn’t help but wonder though, does my dog actually love me?

There have been doubts that dogs are capable of love and instead what they feel for their owners is just loyalty. However, scientists have begun to take more interest in the subject in recent years and have made some remarkable discoveries that any dog owner probably already knew.

Yes, your dog does love you. 

Mudge’s Love

Did you know that both you and your dog’s oxytocin levels rise whenever you look each other in the eyes? If you’re not familiar with oxytocin, it’s considered the “love hormone,” because levels of it increase when we do things such as hug a loved one. Every time your dog looks into your eyes, they are exploding with love for you. 

That’s part of the reason scientists were able to determine your dogs emotions, but how do you know it to be true? 

Well, for most dog owners this is a simple question. To answer, I’m going to refer to moments with Mudge where I knew he truly loved me. 

The Way He Looked At Me 

We’ve already touched on this above, but I think its something to take note on. A dog that loves you will hold eye contact forever because they just can’t get enough of you. 

Mudge would always tilt his eyebrows back and forth as he smiled and stared at me. No matter how much of a mess I looked like, his chocolate eyes held nothing but love for me. 

He Was Always By My Side

It didn’t matter what time of day it was or who was with me, Mudge was always by my side. I could be lying sick on the couch for the entire day while other dogs were running through the house playing and he would just sit guard by my side. 

How He Always Rested His Head on Me

They say big dogs lean on you to show affection and love. Mudge always burrowed his head into me instead. 

I would be sitting next to him and his head would always be burrowed into my neck or arms. 

Mudge burrowing in for some love

He Trusted Me

Mudge absolutely hated having his nails trimmed. My mother and brother would have to hold all 90 pounds of him down as he panicked and fought them the entire time.

One day I decided to do it myself and he simply laid there and didn’t flinch at all. Something that terrified him so much didn’t bother him a bit because I was the one doing it. 

He trusted me with his life, and I trusted him with mine.

He Kept Me Safe

Mudge on the lookout

Mudge was the type of dog anyone could love. With his fluffy tail and laid back demeanor, anyone could pet him.

He was always great in public and never had a bad moment with any other dog. Rarely would you ever hear him do his “big boy bark” we called it. He always barked in a softer tone when asking to go out, but whenever something was wrong his deep bark would arise. 

We live on a back road and don’t have very many people go by often. When they did, Mudge never bothered them a bit. I always knew when someone going by wasn’t to be trusted though because his “big boy bark” would come out and he would stand between me and them. 

I always trusted him to keep me safe, even with his laid back demeanor. I knew he would be there for me if it ever truly mattered. 

Does Your Dog Know You Love Them?

It was obvious that I knew Mudge loved me, but as I held him while he took his last breaths, I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew how much I loved him. 

This seems to be a common question from other dog owners too. We will dive deeper into in our next article when we ask Harvey about it. 

However, until then I had to do some research myself.

Yes, Your Dog Knows You Love Them

Every time you look into your dog’s eyes, they know you love them. Those long stares filled with oxytocin prove your love to them.

Every time you feed and cuddle them, they are reassured of your love. Play time and snuggle time are great bonding moments for the two of you. 

Loving Harvey

After I lost Mudge, my heart was torn to pieces. There’s a poem by Patrick Hart that has always stuck with me because I feel it describes the emotion well. It goes like this.

This is not a poem.

Today I was approached by a complete stranger while walking my dog. She said that hers had passed away a season ago. She’s woken up at the same time every morning since and walked the same path they walked together for 14 years. She said that she misses him, but finds comfort in their routine.

This is not a poem. The love in her sadness was.”

Months passed and I did not find comfort in our routine. Driving to catch the sunset without him only brought me tears. I would catch myself reaching my hand out expecting him to be there, but he was gone.

Finally I realized I needed a new companion. Although they could never replace what Mudge and I had, they could help me get through life without him.

Bringing Home Harvey

I never thought I’d love another dog after Mudge… but then I met Harvey ❤

At first I planned on buying another chocolate lab. After many mishaps and high prices, I was left feeling hopeless. 

My best friend had this huge brown dog that I absolutely adored. I always told him I wanted one just like it. Then quite by mistake, that dog became a father. 

At first I didn’t claim a puppy because I still had my heart set on a chocolate lab. A few days after yet another let down on the chocolate lab puppy pursuit, I went to visit my best friend. 

There were only two puppies left and I fell instantly in love with my Harvey Boy. Since then, it has been nothing but love and cuddles between me and my handsome boy. 

Loving Again

My heart still aches when I think about Mudge, but Harvey does a good job filling the hole in my heart. I know Harvey loves me, just as Mudge did. 

All the moments we spend looking into each others eyes, I know Harvey knows I love him too. 

There is something special about a dog’s love that can not be described. The best I can do is leave you with this. 

Although our shadows fall at different lengths, you walk beside me as an equal.           
Many wouldn’t agree, but how could I dare to ever treat you differently than how you treat me. 
Our hands are not the same, but we still hold each other's hearts.                                      
You fill my life with light and adventure and I only hope I fill yours with just as much.           
If I could guarantee we would walk the same path forever, I would.                                          
I just hope the set of prints left behind go on for years as we journey side by side. 

Why Do Dogs Chew on Everything?

Whether it be a corner of a table, the carpet, or your remotes, dogs seem to be always chewing on something they are not supposed to be. 

Recently, Harvey asked his friends what questions they would like answered. His good friend Gina’s mom had a very interesting one. She asked:

“What is my dog’s fixation with chewing every remote control all about?”

Here is what Harvey had to say about it. 

Why Your Dog Chews The Remote From Harvey’s Perspective

Harvey watching T.V. upside down

The remote? Is that the little black thing you always lose under the chair Mom? If so, I’m not sure why anyone would want to chew that! It doesn’t smell very good and it comes apart too easily. I like a challenge!

Unless she is trying to turn the T.V. on or change the channel, then I might understand. I’ve noticed that the T.V. always changes whenever you hold that remote, so maybe Gina is just trying to change it herself?

I can understand why. I love watching doggy YouTube that’s meant for me! Maybe that’s all she is trying to do!

Or maybe she’s upset because her owners watch too much T.V. and don’t give her enough attention so this is her way of lashing out. I doubt it though, I see all the love Gina gets! 

Separation Anxiety Causes Dogs To Chew

My mom always says I’m a Velcro dog but that I don’t have separation anxiety. Maybe Gina does though? A lot of the time when doggos have separation anxiety they tend to chew things up when left all alone.

Not gonna lie, I’ve considered chewing Mom’s shoes more than once when she has left me. Shh don’t tell her though. 

Anyways, the ASPCA has a great article on how to figure out if this is the problem or not, as well as how to help if it is. 

Lack of Mental Stimulation

Maybe she is just bored? Sometimes I get bored just laying at Mom’s feet while she works. That’s why she always gives me what she calls “enrichment time.” 

I don’t really know what that means but it results in her giving me different puzzles and games every day! Some days there are treats hidden in knotted towels and other days they are hidden under cups!

Other ways to keep your dog’s mind stimulated is with:

  • Daily walks
  • Dog agility
  • Feeding meals in puzzle toys
  • Fetch games
  • Playtime with other dogs

Teething Results In Chewing

If I know anything, it’s that growing my adult teeth was not fun. Wowza those hurt when they were coming in! Not to mention I kept losing my baby teeth and having to eat them. I didn’t want my brother Bussy knowing my teefers were falling out. 

I stopped teething around 6 months old though, so this is probably not the case for Gina. However, many puppers do chew on anything and everything to help with the teething process; including remotes. 

If they are anything like me, they know that wooden drawers and foamy bathroom mats are great for teething! Don’t tell my Mom I said that though. She was insistent I only chew on my special teething toys she bought me. They were great but something about that foam mat just hit the spot. 

Dogs Just Love to Chew

Another reason may just be that she loves to chew! Most doggos do actually. Including me! 

If I didn’t have my plethora of toys and bones, I would probably succumb to chewing the remote as well. 

However, even with a bunch of toys I still sometimes chew things I’m not supposed to. A few ways to prevent this though is to:

  • Put items out of your dog’s reach (Mom always picks up the toddler’s fake fish when she showers because I just can’t help myself and feel the need to lick them.)
  • Spray items with chewing deterrents (My mom has never done this but apparently it can be helpful!)
  • Don’t confuse your dog by giving them some shoes to chew but not others (aka, just because something is old doesn’t mean us doggos can chew it because we don’t know the difference between old and new.)
  • Replace inappropriate materials with appropriate ones (Every time I’m chewing one of the toddler’s toys, my Mom takes it away and places one of my toys in my mouth. This is supposed to help me associate what is okay to chew and what isn’t.)
  • Offer both inedible and edible options for your dog to chew (I loveeeeeeeeee my Himalayan Chews and highly recommend them.)

Preventing Chewing While You Are Away

I absolutely hate when Mom leaves me. I stand at the window and cry until I realize she isn’t coming back right away. Maybe I do have a bit of separation anxiety…. Anyways! If Gina’s pawrents don’t want her chewing things, like the remote, while they are gone there are a few things they can do. 

Harv and Buster with their BarkBox

For starters, they can begin by confining Gina to a specific area that only contains safe to chew objects. However, she should not be contained in a small area like a crate for more than six hours at a time. 

My mommy contains me to the kitchen with a baby gate. I don’t mind though because she always leaves lots of my toys to play with while she is gone. But never my bone, unfortunately. She says I could choke on it but I think she just wants to keep it for herself!

What Not To Do If Your Dog Chews

Photo by Gabby K on

You should never muzzle your dog to prevent them from chewing, this is a big no no. Mom tells me horror stories of owners who duct tape their doggos mouth shut around objects they chew! This is a no no because it won’t teach us anything. 

Despite how upset you get, you should also not show us the damage we did and spank us. Most of the time, we cannot connect the action that we did before with the punishment now. The only time you can scold us for chewing is when you catch us in the act.

Mom normally just yells “Harvey, no!” and I get sad and stop. I’m getting much better at not chewing things I’m not supposed to as I age! I guess I am a good boy. Not like a wrote a whole article about being a good boy or anything… hehehe 🙂

Dogs Love to Chew

As Harvey said above, dogs just love to chew. Identifying why they are chewing the things they shouldn’t be will help you to end the behavior. 

If your pup only tears things apart while you are gone, they are likely just bored or have separation anxiety. 

No matter what the reason behind the chewing is though, it can be stopped. 

If you enjoyed this article, please consider following Harvey on Facebook or Instagram! Feel free to ask him a question of your own as well! 

Also feel free to go follow Gina and her wonderful adventures!

Why Does My Dog Lean on Me?

As a dog owner, I’ve noticed that my giant baby always loves to be touching me. No matter where I go, he is always sitting right against my leg.

Why does my dog lean on me though? I did a little research on the topic at first and then I decided to ask my dog, Harvey, myself and see what he had to say about it. 

What The Experts Say About Dogs Leaning on You

Dogs lean on their humans for one of these three reasons. 

  • They are afraid
  • They have separation anxiety
  • They want affection

The main reason dogs will lean on you is because they crave your affection. However, you should look for signs of fear or separation anxiety in case it is not just affection causing them to behave this way. 

Signs Your Dog Is Afraid

If your dog is leaning on you and displaying any of the following signs, they likely are afraid of something nearby. 

  • Flattened ears
  • Panting 
  • Tail between their legs
  • Trembling
  • Whining

If you can identify what is causing your dog fear, and it is not something dangerous to either of you, try to slowly introduce them to it. 

By coddling your dog, you are encouraging the fear. It is best to help them overcome their fears so that they can live less stressful lives. 

Every time I vacuum I let Harvey sniff the vacuum first while I’m holding him and then I turn it on. He is slowly starting to realize the vacuum is not going to hurt him but it is taking some time, which is expected. After all, we don’t overcome our fears in one day either. 

Signs Your Dog Has Separation Anxiety

Some dogs are considered Velcro dogs because they love to by your side. However, when this behavior becomes detrimental to their well-being, it is considered separation anxiety. 

If your dog begins to panic whenever you leave them alone or they think you are about to leave them, this is a sign of separation anxiety. 

If this is the case, you will need to start discouraging this behavior by:

  • Changing your morning routine to prevent your dog from having anxiety just by knowing you’re going to leave
  • Gradually leave your pet alone for longer hours
  • Make leaving and arriving home an uneventful occurrence

If you would like a more in-depth understanding of how you can help your dog be less anxious while you are apart, the Humane Society can help. 

Your Dog Just Loves You

Most of the time, the reason your furry friend leans on you is because they love you. 

Your dog is a social animal that craves affection, especially from their favorite people. If every time your dog leans on you they are given affection, they will continue to do it. 

If they are not exhibiting any fear or signs of separation anxiety, this behavior is nothing to worry about. 

Most of the time big dogs lean on their owners more often than small dogs because they can not be picked up and held as often. Leaning is the only way they are able to feel close to their human while they are standing. 

Asking Harvey Why Dogs Lean on Their Owners

Now that I know what the experts have to say about it, I’d thought I would ask someone with personal experience doing it. Harvey was of course happy to answer the question as always. 

Harvey’s Response

Why do I lean on you? Well that’s easy, you provide an excellent backrest. It gets tiring having to sit next to you all the time, sometimes I just need to rest a bit!

Also, I have to watch your back but how am I supposed to watch you and your surroundings at the same time! Especially when you’re distracted cooking dinner, I have to make sure no one sneaks up behind you. You never know, anything could happen Mom!

That’s why I must be touching you. That way I can protect you from all the dangerous things in our house like that evil vacuum or the scary smoke alarm. I feel you behind me safe while I keep an eye out for threats. 

Honestly, Mom, I don’t know what you would do without me constantly leaning on you to make sure you’re near. You could wander off and get lost!

Have A Question For Harvey?

Harvey loves answering questions. It gets to his ego a little bit but we still love to hear his answers. If you have one you would like answered feel free to comment it below! 

You can also follow Harvey on Instagram and Facebook and ask your questions there 🙂

Feel free to check out Harv’s first article about what being a good boy means to him!

The Art of Being a Good Boy: From Harvey’s Perspective

What does it mean to be a good dog? As dog owners, we often tell our pups they are good boys and girls. What do they think this means though?

To answer this question, we asked our boy Harvey; “what does being a good boy mean to you?” Here is how he answered. 

What It Means To Be A Good Dog From A Dogs Perspective

Hi, my name is Harvey. Some people call me Scoob but I’m not quite sure why. 

My mom asked me recently what it means to be a good boy. I thought about it for a long time and came up with a list of things that I think make’s me a good boy. I’m assuming this applies to good girls too, but I’m not quite sure. 

Guarding My Humans Is Important

Being a good boy means constantly keeping a close eye on my Mommy and her human friends. They are always getting themselves in dangerous situations!

For example, I have to closely watch the water that comes from the tub to ensure no sea monsters escape in to get anybody. I will occasionally taste test the water to make sure it doesn’t taste like a sea monster. They laugh at me but they won’t be when I save them from what I know is definitely living in the pipes!

I also must protect Mommy from every little dog I see because I know they are the most ferocious ones! The big ones, however, mom has to protect me but that still makes me a good boy. Don’t ask me how, but it does. 

The main point of this is that I must always follow Mom wherever she goes. She says this makes me a Velcro dog but that it’s okay as long as I’m okay when she has to go. I hate when she goes but I just play extra with my brother Bussy and I do just fine. Mom says this also makes me a good boy because I don’t have separation anxiety when she leaves, but I don’t really understand what that means.

Being A Helpful Pup

Being a good boy means always helping out the best I can. Those darn humans would be lost without me!

Baby Harv Cuddled on Mommy’s Toes

I always bring Aunt Bridey’s socks down the stairs for her each morning. She’s always leaving them upstairs in the laundry bin! So silly!

With that being said, my Mommy’s feet are always so cold. She is always wearing her socks though, so I lay on her toes. I like it when she scratches my belly with them, so it’s a win-win.

The main part of being helpful is my willingness to always clean up the food scraps. I sit patiently while Mommy eats and tend to her mess afterward. What would she do without me? This house would be filled with excess food and crumbs!

I also never actually drink the last sip of water. Instead, I let it drool out the sides of my mouth to help mommy keep the floor clean. Who needs to mop when you can just drool!

Helping With The Other Animals

Harv and Lucy Watching the Cows

Being a good boy means helping Mommy care for the other animals that live with us. This is something I’m great at!

I always sit guard at the window to keep an eye on those pesky cows outside. Occasionally I’ll give them a growl or two to make sure they know I’m watching. Mom hates when they get out, so I do my best to keep an eye on them.

Sometimes sister Lucy likes to sit guard with me too!

Harv and Buster Playing

Perhaps the most helpful thing I do is untangle brother Bussy. I get to run free but brother Bussy has to be hooked up because Mom says he has an obsession with rabbits. I don’t really know what those are but Bussy goes crazy over them. 

Anyways, Bussy gets stuck on things occasionally and Mom has to go pull the leash to free him. When she asks though, I will go out and pull the leash n lead Bussy to the door. Sometimes I can’t unstuck the leash, but most of the time I succeed!

 I don’t know if this makes me Bussy’s owner because I hold his leash? I’m still not quite sure how that works. But anyways…

Never Harming The Humans

Being a good boy means never causing harm to any of the humans. Although I must admit, sometimes I accidentally step on their toes and they say it hurts. However, I think they are lying because I’m just a tiny pup!

Mommy says it’s important I don’t hurt the little humans. This means sitting still while the little baby taunts me with her toys and giggles. I want so badly to take them but I know I should not, so I just sit there and take it. 

I also never climb up the tug rope and never lunge after it if I lose the battle. Whenever Mommy wins, I always step back. Mommy says this is important to prevent accidents from happening. I don’t care as long as we get to play!

Mommy’s big thing is no growling over treats and food. So being a good boy means letting Mommy play with me while I chew on my bone and eat. 

I wasn’t great at first with this but Mommy said good boys share so now I let her give me kisses while I chew my bone. I also share with brother Bussy my food. I didn’t want to but I guess he’s an okay guy. He doesn’t eat that much anyway so it’s not a big deal.

Always Listening To What I’m Told

Being a good boy means listening to Mommy. This actually gives me more freedom, so I tend to do it. Brother Bussy never listens and he doesn’t get to do half the things I do! Its honestly smart on my part, just saying. 

Harv Enjoying His Off-Leash Life

I always sit and stay when I’m told, even though I mostly do this for the treats. Mom doesn’t need to know that though.

A big advantage of listening is that I get to run around with Mommy without a leash. This is no problem since I love to be near Mom. Whenever we walk through the fields and stuff I’ve never had to have a leash because I don’t like leaving Mom’s side anyway! 

I also always come when she calls. Not so much when the other humans that live with us call me, but Mommy says as long as I always come to her I’m still considered a good boy.

Always Showing Mommy Love

Being a good boy means always letting Mommy know I love her. I guess if you have a Daddy, you should let them know too. I just have Mommy and Meagy though!

A big part of this is giving Mommy kisses at all points of the day to remind her I love her. Also to taste that yummy lotion and salt, but that’s just a bonus. 

Harv holding Mommy’s hand

I always let Mommy hold my paw when she needs to. I don’t really understand why but sometimes she likes to just grab my paw so I let her. We stay like that forever it feels like but I know it makes mommy happy so I do it.

In the mornings, I always lay flat out across Mom to keep her warm. I know she secretly doesn’t want to get up, so technically I’m helping. 

A big part of showing Mommy love is keeping Meagy company. Whenever Mommy gets up I always rush over to cuddle in. Someones gotta keep track of Meagy for Mom. Might as well be me!

What It Truly Means To Be A Good Boy

Harv and Mom Waiting on Meagy

Being a good boy means always being there for my Mommy, especially when she wants to take a selfie. It means never harming the little humans even when they are a little rough.

 It means doing big yawns and great stretchies. It means letting Mommy pet my head even though I don’t really like it.

 At least, this is what I think being a good boy means since Mom always tells me I am one after I do all these things.


Like what Harvey has to say? Check out his Instagram and give him a follow!

Why Does My Dog Never Leave My Side?

If your dog is anything like my Harvey, they don’t leave your side. Harv will follow me around the house wherever I go and stare at me as if he adores me. While I find this behavior very lovable, why does my dog follow me everywhere?

My dog never leaves my side because he is a “velcro dog.” Since dogs are pack animals, they view their owners as part of their pack and therefore like to be close to them. Velcro dogs, however, take this to a whole new level.

There are multiple reasons as to why your dog is a velcro dog. Let’s dive into them. 

Your Puppy Has Imprinted

Puppies up to six months can imprint on their owners, meaning they view their owners as they would a mother. Puppies naturally want to follow around their mother, which is why they may be following around you. 

However, imprinting is probably not the case if you adopted your puppy later in their life. 

Positive Reinforcement 

Another main reason your dog might be glued to your side is because you give them constant positive reinforcement. 

I must admit, I am very guilty of this. I constantly tell Harv what a good boy he is and give him small treats throughout the day. I never go an hour without giving him lots of pets and kisses. 

Positive reinforcement of your dog with treats
Harv and his bone

If you do the same with your dog, that might be the reason they are so clingy. Why wouldn’t they want to follow the person around who gives them a bunch of treats and attention?

Looking at how you treat your dog helps to understand their behavior. Do you overly award them and allow them to sleep in your bed? This is fine, but make sure their clingy behavior isn’t having a negative effect on their mental health. 

Is My Dog A Velcro Dog Or Does He/She Have Separation Anxiety? 

While we might enjoy having our pup follow us around everywhere, is it a healthy or unhealthy attachment? 

A velcro dog will be attached to you while your there, but be able to function fine when you are not. 

A dog with separation anxiety will panic and become anxious whenever they are without their person. As a result, the fear of being away from their favorite person can result in not only negative effects on their mental health, but also their physical health as well. 

Therefore, it is perfectly fine for your dog to be a velcro dog, but just make sure it doesn’t develop into separation anxiety. 

How To Prevent Your Dog From Developing Social Anxiety

If your dog never leaves your side, it is important that you do not let this develop into separation anxiety. A few ways to avoid this are:

puppy playtime
Harv and Moo!
  • Social interactions with other dogs
  • Social interactions with other humans
  • Spending time away from your dog

Making sure your pup interacts with other dogs and humans is important. They need friends besides you. 

Another important thing to do is spend some time away from your pup. Most of us don’t want to do that, but it is important so that they learn you are going to come back and that they will be fine until then. 

Spending Time Apart From Your Pup

During a pandemic, we are not spending much time away from our dogs. Especially puppies born during the pandemic are not getting the proper social interactions they require to prevent separation anxiety. 

Typically, we spend time away from our dogs when we go to work. However, with many people working from home, this is not the case any longer. 

Harvey was born in the middle of the pandemic. As a result, I have been able to spend almost my whole day with him every day. There came a point though when I started to realize he was no longer just a velcro dog, but that he might be developing separation anxiety. 

To attempt to fix this, I stopped taking Harvey on every car ride I went on. Before, I’d take him with me every time to run errands, but now I only take him occasionally.

I also started forcing Harvey to spend time with the other dogs in our home without me by blocking them in the kitchen while I worked in the living room. At first, he wined at the gate, but eventually, he accepted that it was okay and he could play with the other pups. 

It Is Okay For Your Dog To Be Clingy To You

We oftentimes love that our dogs follow us around but don’t pay much attention to the why aspect. As long as your dog is fine when they are apart from you, having them follow you around constantly isn’t anything to be concerned about. 

Puppy snuggles
Harvey and Meagy 🙂


Want more articles about healthy habits for your dog? Click the follow button or look at our previous article “Human Foods Dogs Can Have As Treats.”

Think Harv is cute? Follow him on Insta!