Dear Master, This is how I say "I Love You”

February 14, 2017 at 11:20 AM by Nikki Wardle

How dogs say I love you

Becoming a dog owner is one of the most rewarding things you can do—full of moments of snuggling, love, bonding, and fun. It's not without its annoying moments, though: for instance, when was the last time you got to sit on the porcelain throne without an audience? Or took a nap without a curious nose sniffing directly in front of your face? Or cuddled with your significant other without jealous stares and moans from your furry friend?

It's true; your dog is jealous. He wants to be with you all day long. She thinks you're the bee's knees, and can't even let you use the bathroom without accompaniment. What your dog is really saying is: I love you.

How Your Dog Says "I Love You"

Following you around the house is just one of the many ways your pup is trying to tell you, "You're the only one for me, Valentine." Dogs are pack animals, and "traveling" around your house with you shows they value your security and want to stay close by no matter what. Here are a few other ways your doggie friend is showing you some love.

1. Those Puppy Dog Eyes

Dogs love to make eye contact as a way to show affection—there's research to suggest that this behavior is part of what facilitated the domestication of dogs. Dogs seem to have adapted to this primarily human way of showing attention and affection, and now there's actually a response in their brains to keep the eye contact going. Researchers found that dogs who were gazing at their owners had elevated levels of oxytocin, the "feel good" hormone.

2. Sleeping in Your Spot

Your dog might crawl into your bed every time you leave for work in the morning, and even if the fuzz on your pillow is a little frustrating, it's good to know that this helps dogs feel closer to you even while you're away. Your scent is strong on your bed, and it makes your pup feel loved.

3. "Lean on Me"

Does your dog nearly push you over with her love sometimes? Your dog might be a leaner, pushing into you with all of his weight. Research shows that this is your dog seeking your attention and affection.

4. Being in Tune With Your Emotions

Have you ever noticed that your dog stays particularly close when you're feeling down, even whining and nuzzling you when you cry? You're not crazy—your dog can sense your emotions and will respond to comfort you. Since dogs have been living with humans for tens of thousands of years, it only stands to reason that they're getting good at reading our emotional signals.

5. Going Ballistic When You Get Home

Can anyone give a welcome home reception like a dog? Your canine companion probably does his own imitation of a flash mob (all by himself) when you walk through the door after a day of separation. This is another one of your dog's ways of saying, "I love you!"

We all love our pets and want to keep them healthy and happy. If you have any questions about your dog's behavior, or if it's time for Fido's next checkup, give us a call.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.