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In short, yes–dogs can love you back. Dogs have an unmatched ability compared to other animals to identify and form emotional connections with humans. Dogs are a man’s best friend for a good reason–they are loyal and beautiful creatures that love us no matter what. Having a dog has myriad benefits. Let’s explore some ways dogs can show their love.
When your dog stares at you when they don’t need anything, that is one of the ways they show their love. The human oxytocin levels that typically increase during your bond with an infant work with your canine as well.
The oxytocin love and happiness hormone spikes in humans and dogs when you pet them, play with them or stare at them. This strengthens your bond and reinforces your connection to one another. Dogs hug us with their eyes to show us their admiration. Have you ever heard anything cuter? Dogs dream about their daily lives, so chances are that their dreams consist of you too.
Dogs can sense stressful situations and identify your emotions—dogs pickup on visual cues that their owners are in distress and can sniff out some diseases. Breath and sweat samples from humans during stressful situations show that dogs can detect the stress hormone comparatively with baseline level participants. Stress odors are distinguishable by canines, so they can tell when you are under the weather and can often sense how you feel before you can.
Dogs can also form such strong attachments to their owners that they can experience separation anxiety when they are away from their humans. When you leave dogs without the person they love, they can experience separation anxiety and feel isolated and alone.
Your dog may refuse to eat or drink in your absence or constantly howl or bark while you are gone. Traumatic experiences or changes in ownership can cause separation anxiety in doggies. Talk with your vet to rule out medical issues and consider an anti-anxiety medication to reduce your dog’s symptoms.
Dogs show their love by wagging their tails and getting excited when they return home, but dogs can show their love in myriad ways. When they bring you their toys, they show that they trust you and want to share something they love with you. When they lean against you, they show their affection and show you that you make them feel safe and secure. Your dog can learn how to smile at you to express their love through your behavior.
Reinforce their smiles by smiling back at them and talking to them in a positive tone. Some dogs can raise their eyebrows to show affection and try to communicate with you. Rolling over and exposing their belly can mean that your dog loves and trusts you. If your dog tries to herd you or follows you around, they want to show their companionship and consider you their leader.
They also want to ensure that they are guarding and protecting you from outside forces. They want to show you that they care, so they jump and lick and do everything they can to ensure that you know how much they love you.
The answer to this controversial question is a resounding yes, your dogs can love you, although they may show it differently. Your canine companion can reciprocate your emotions and if they aren’t already, become your very best friend.