It is often said ‘dogs are humans’ best friends.’ Dog owners second this saying. Most of them will tell you that they regard their dogs as their best friends, a part of their everyday routine, be it going on walks, sharing meals, or even discussing the nitty-gritty of their everyday lives.
Apart from common observations, several scientific studies also reveal that dogs are, in fact, humans’ best friends. Some MRI scans taken of dogs’ brains reveal that the activity in their brain increases significantly when they are presented with different smells. However, the most prominent activity is produced when they encounter the specific smell of their owners.
But despite regarding them as their best friend, dog owners often wonder, ‘does my dog love me as much as I do?’ If you’re a dog lover wondering the same question, this article is for you.
The answer is yes! Dogs love their owners and exhibit their love through certain signs—that can either be subtle or quite prominent.
Signs Your Dog Loves You
Let’s look at various signs that reflect your dog’s love for you.
1. Tail Wagging
Have you ever noticed how your dog gets excited to receive you after you come back home from work? Have you noticed any particular visible feature?
Your dog probably does not just start barking with excitement, but he comes at the doorstep to receive you, with his tail wagging non-stop. Tail wagging is one of the particular features exhibited by your dog that reflects your dog is happy to have you back and that he loves you.
2. Soft Eye Contact
Can you make soft eye contact with someone you dislike? Probably not. The case stands true for your dog as well. When your dog stares at you with his puppy eyes, he is showing you that he trusts and loves you. In fact, studies reveal that when a dog makes eye contact with its owner, oxytocin—known as the ‘love hormone’ in layman’s language—is released in his body. That is why maintaining soft eye contact with dogs is an exceptional way of bonding with them.
3. Sharing Toys
If your dog sees you as someone he can trust, he will bring you his toys, either as presents or for ‘repair.’ As stated by Michelle L. Szydlowski, a veterinary technician, “some dogs will show their affection for you and faith in your intelligence by bringing you items that need ‘fixing.'” So when your dog shares his favorite toy, he doesn’t just want you to play, he has ‘honored’ you with his worthy possession.
When your dog gives you cuddles, he loves you. He might demand a pat or would lean on your feet or lap. The role of oxytocin comes into action here once again. The production of oxytocin is highly accelerated by physical contact. Interestingly, when you’re cuddling your dog, it’s not just his oxytocin levels that increase—yours do too.
Ultimately, this makes you both fonder of each other, and your bond with your little friend further strengthens.
Often when you play with your dog or give him a treat, he might show his excitement by licking your feet or face. It is a behavioral trait shown by dogs to express their love and excitement. However, if you’re too busy to play with or attend to your dog, he would try to gain your attention by doing this act; because he knows you will for sure attend to him.
6. Sleeping Near You
Have you ever tried to train your dog not to sleep in your room and to rest on his couch but failed to do so? Well, that is because dogs naturally live in packs and often sleep in packs. Since they have a strong sense of smell, they can sense danger from afar. Therefore, if your dog chooses to sleep near you or in your room, that is because he feels safe with you and trusts you.
Another reason behind your dog sleeping near you may be that he wants to protect you.
7. Checking up on You
Dogs can sense when their owners are sick or feeling down. Your little buddy gets a hint when you are going through a rough time. He makes sure to check up on you by cuddling, leaning, or just sitting near your feet to be there for you. This is one of the ways your dog shows affection towards you.
8. Carries Your Belongings Around the House
You might get irritated with your dog’s habit of misplacing your belongings, like clothes and socks. But on the part of your dog, he is just showing his love for his owner. Sometimes, your dog indirectly shows affection towards you by obsessing over your belongings. That is his idea of ‘protecting’ your stuff.
In conclusion, dogs are definitely humans’ best friends. They might not be able to express their affection directly through words but make sure to do that with their actions. Be mindful of these signs when your friend is trying to reciprocate your love.