I talk to my dogs and cats all of the time, and it seems quite normal to me. Most of the pet parents I know do the same thing, but we have all heard people say, “Your dog can’t understand what you are saying!” and, “Why do you use full sentences like that?” I speak in full sentences to my pets, because I basically treat them as humans. I slip up and call them people sometimes when I tell stories about them. I focus on their health and nutrition sometimes more than I focus on my own. They are completely dependent on me, our relationship, and my love and attention. And I am completely dependent on them. Here are a few reasons that talking to your dog is beneficial!
Even if you don’t speak in full sentences to your fur baby, basic training and commands should be used with your dog and verbal praise is absolutely necessary! We should all spend time with our dogs training them, and teaching them basic verbal commands. Then we should use these commands to communicate daily tasks and activities to them! This simply makes our lives easier because our dogs do what we want when we want them to – or stop doing whatever we don’t want them to do. And for our dogs, their life is easier because they only want to please – and when they know what you want of them, then they can comply!
Pet parents who talk to their dogs frequently understand that our pets pick up on words and phrases when they are often repeated, even if we have not intentionally trained them to do so! At my house, I only have to ask my husband if he’s ready for bed and my eldest dog, Skeeter, will stand up and walk to the bedroom like he’s been waiting to hear those words for hours! (He gets to sleep in the bedroom with us at night.) I’ve asked my dogs, “Want to go for a car ride?” enough times that they immediately head to the garage door. Plus, the inflection we use when we say certain phrases doesn’t hurt. I know that you pet parents who talk to your dogs frequently have similar stories!
Our pets like to hear us talk! Even when they don’t understand what we are saying, they are excited that we are saying something to them and making eye contact. Our pets look up to us and love us unconditionally, so they enjoy hearing about anything we have on our mind. I think this is true for both dogs and cats, even though cats don’t really show us the same attention and affection. When I talk, my dogs all stare at me, and I think they are hoping for a command they understand but are happy to hear my voice either way. My dogs know that they are never ignored or left out of a conversation, and my Annie talks right back to me!
#4-It Just Feels Good
Besides just strengthening our bond with our pets and communicating with them, it just feels good to us to talk to our fur babies. It makes us feel closer to them. Talking to dogs is also great for families because children can learn that they can talk to their pet without any risk of judgment or talking back. Talking to our pets is also good for people who live alone – or who spend all day alone, like me – because it helps us keep our conversational skills and cognitive abilities going even with no one around. And when our dogs look up at us expectantly and excitedly when we talk to them, it just makes us happy to have such a captive audience!
What are some reasons that you talk to your pet? And what phrases or words have your dogs learned without actual training?