We all know about the cliche, “man is a dog’s best friend.” Time and again, dogs have proven their loyalty to their humans, reciprocating our affection each time we cuddle up. They follow their humans everywhere and they appear to be ecstatic when their masters come home from work. But is it really what they feel? Are they simply motivated by the fact that you are a provider of food and shelter?
Does kissing you mean that he’s devoted to you or is it because you have some food bits on your mouth? Does he cuddle close because he really wants to be near you or does it mean that he only does it because he knows you’ll give him some treats eventually?
This got a lot of dog owners thinking about how a dog really feels about them. Do dogs really feel love like humans do or are people simply anthropomorphizing them, assuming that every affectionate move equates to devotion?
Writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis went on a four-month road trip to find out more about the canine-human relationship. He wrote his findings in the book Travels With Casey. To know if your dog really loves you and not just feel the need to please you for something in return, pay attention to the following signs.
1. Cuddling up with you after his meal.
What this means is that you are DEFINITELY not just a source for treats and all things yummy.
2. Remaining calm when you leave.
Just because your dog seems to be stopping you from leaving by whining, doesn’t mean that he or she will miss you. Simply, sepanx (separation anxiety) is real for him and that’s normal because they are pack animals after all. You’ll know that there’s that strong bond when he remains calm when you’re leaving. That only means that there is trust between you and that he knows you’ll be coming back. Trust equates to love.
3. Your dog sleeps beside you.
No matter how many comfortable spots there are in your home or even if he has his favorite bed, your dog still wants to sleep beside you.
4. Happiness at the sight of you
You can easily tell if your dog is happy when they see you and that’s proof enough.
5. When you love your dog…
Your dog will love you back.
We can never really tell how a dog genuinely feels about his owner. But like they say, “when you know, you know.” Really now, do you need more proof?