How does your dog show love? A snuggle at the end of the day? Wet puppy kisses? Bringing you their prized stuffed toy?
February is a month filled with love, so in this moment, we are compelled to consider how our dogs show us their love and the true meaning of puppy love. Once we understand how our dogs show us their love, we can figure out the most meaningful ways to show love back to them. Let’s take a look at this new approach to “puppy love” and how we can use it to understand our dog’s behavior and show them love back.
Do Dogs Feel Love? Of course they do.
Absolutely. Modern science shows that dogs are incredible animals with a high level of mental function. While dogs don’t feel emotions like guilt, pride, or shame, they feel excitement, anger, distress, joy, and, most importantly, love.
One study found that like human babies, dogs that stare into our eyes activate the same hormones that help us to bond with them. Research has also found that mutual gazing and petting increased oxytocin in both the participating dogs and humans studied, demonstrating that dogs feel love towards us.
Additionally, Gregory Berns, a neuroeconomist at Emory University, found that parts of dogs’ brains light up when they hear their pet parents’ voices. The interesting part? In humans, this part of the brain is the same part that lights up when we think of something we love or are fond of.