How many times a day do you say “I love you” to your dog? We mean literally saying the words out loud to your pooch. Well, you might want to think about doing it more often. A new study has confirmed that our four-legged friends really do understand what we mean with those three little words!
A doggie boarding company in the UK, Canine Cottages, worked with a dog behavioral expert to observe the heart rates of dogs while being showered with affection. Specifically, they looked at how they react to just seeing their owners, hearing them say “I love you,” and getting cuddles.
Most owners know how excited their pooches are to see them after being apart for even just five minutes. These results confirm that pups average a 10 percent heart rate increase while greeting their favorite humans. But hearing the words “I love you” made their heart soar more than four times as fast with an average 46 percent increase!
You don’t need to worry about causing any cardiac issues, though — giving your dog good cuddle as you tell them how much you love them will even things out by lowering the heart rate back down by about 22 percent.
Of course, every canine is different. The study doesn’t go into details about exactly how many dogs they observed, the different breeds, ages, or other criteria. However, it’s really no surprise to learn how elated our pooches are to feel the love.
They also list a few ways you can tell your pup is saying “I love you” right back, including one you might not have thought about before. Things like sloppy smooches, staying close, and begging for pets or belly rubs are pretty obvious signs of mutual adoration. But even something like chewing on your stuff is a sign of love, despite how frustrating it might feel for us.
The study explains that chewing releases endorphins that help relax dogs — and chomping on something that smells like their favorite human boosts their happiness even more. That’s why you might come home to find teeth marks on your shoes after the little rascal has been left alone for awhile. (Keeping your belongings hidden away and leaving plenty of chew toys around can help curb this sweet-yet-destructive habit.)
Now go ahead and tell your dog just how much you love them — and don’t forget to give them plenty of snuggles, too!