How can you not fall in love with those big, loving eyes, soft fur and a heart that’s full of love for you? It’s impossible to stay away from them for extended periods—and they hate when you’re gone too long too!

But are you and your dog in a healthy, loving relationship, or are you too obsessed with them? It’s entirely possible—and sometimes quite easy—for pet owners to begin smothering their dogs. Since these little guys can’t talk to us in words, they’re unable to express their feelings of fear, frustration, anger and feeling stifled.

Look out for the following behaviors that both you and your dog exhibit to make sure you are not smothering them:

1. They tag along—or are dragged along—everywhere you go

Separation anxiety is not uncommon, so you’re not alone for feeling like you’re leaving a piece of your heart behind when they’re not with you. But space can be healthy, and your dog doesn’t need to go everywhere you do. You certainly can’t take them to work or every social gathering. If you find yourself taking them wherever you go, canceling plans they can’t be included in, or they’re hesitant about tagging alone, there’s some trouble brewing.

2. They’re always busy, or they’re never given any stimulation

It’s good to give your dog stimulation. They require it. They need to be active and to work for treats, rewards, games and play. It keeps them disciplined, active, engaged and happy. However, too much of a good thing is possible also. If they’re always running from one activity to the other, be it daycare to playgroup to training, they never get space to be what they are: dogs!

dog dressed up

On the other hand, if they’re handed everything without having to work for it, they’re likely to get bored, depressed and feel lethargic. Parenting is all about balance and the same rules apply to our furry friends too.

3. They’re not allowed to follow their instincts

You might think they love doing the same thing day in and day out and while you might have your special activities, it’s important to let them follow their natural instincts. Whether that’s following scents or it’s rolling around in the grass, or it’s socializing with other dogs, they need to fulfill their primal urges.

4. You overcompensate to overcome separation guilt

It’s normal to want to make up for not being there, but if you catch yourself indulging every whim, smothering them with affection and coddling them to death, you’re doing more harm than good. It’s okay to share a bed or sleeping space, but you also need to maintain distance once in a while.

love for dog hugging and kissing

It’s normal to be worried about neglecting your dog while you’re busy at work. It shows that you care—but don’t let that blind you to their needs. You can trust us to look after them at our dog daycare. They’ll have friends, fun and food and at the end of the day, when they reunite with you, they’ll be able to hold on to that healthy bond. Contact us to learn more about our pet resort and dog boarding in Indio, CA.