Many dog owners frequently tell their pet that they love them, and science shows that they are not crazy to do so. In fact, a dogs heart rate jumps when you say ‘I love you’. Even if your dog cannot use words, he will respond lovingly, showing that they understand.
It is no longer a guessing game what happens to a dog when loving attention is shown. A behavior expert in dogs concluded that a dog’s heart rate increased by 46.2% when they heard the words “I love you.” Similarly, dogs also experience the same effect in reaction to most other types of love.
However, what love means to a dog is still up in the air. There’s no way to tell if a dog’s version of love is the same as ours, but it’s pure happiness either way. It is still nice to know that you are the reason for your pet’s excitement and happiness.
Dogs have a wide range of emotions and finally there is scientific evidence to back up some of the theories. Knowing that a dog’s heart rate jumps when they hear “I love you” is a step in the right direction. To better understand and learn some signs that your dog’s heart rate has increased, it is important to know what the researchers determined.
Researchers explain how and why the heart rate of dogs increases
In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, the researchers focused on the emotional state of the dogs and how it affects heart rate. The researchers determined that a dog’s heart rate would increase during times of excitement. This included when they saw their owners and when their owners gave love to their pets.
Using heart rate variability (also known as HRV), the researchers compared the dogs when they weren’t being social and when they were. Through their research, they determined that this is a valuable way to determine a pet dog’s emotional response. When the heart rate increased, the dog felt excited, which is what happens when a dog is given love.
While that study confirms the emotional response of dogs, another study further explains why this occurs. When a dog is shown love, such as when its owner says “I love you”, there is an increase in oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is known to make people and animals feel happier and experience a sense of well-being.
Oxytocin is released when there is a feeling of love, comfort, or socialization. When a dog feels loved, he will have a higher level of oxytocin present, which will make him want to spend even more time around you. Continuing the cycle, they will get excited every time you love them and pay special attention to them.
What Doesn’t Make Your Heart Rate Jump
Now that you know why and how your heartbeat spikes when you say “I love you,” you may be wondering what has the opposite effect. Instead of making a dog emotional as if to say “I love you,” hugging him can help lower the heart rate. It helps calm the pet and lowers its pulse, allowing both of you to enjoy comforting hugs.
How to tell when your dog is excited and feeling love
Contrary to popular belief, tail wagging is not the only way a dog will show that it is excited. Many signs indicate that your dog has an increased heart rate as a result of excitement and love. Some of them are extremely amazing, while others you may already know.
1 – chew your stuff
While you may think that your pet is being naughty when it chews on your slippers or tennis shoes, this is not the case. They are not trying to be mean, instead they are just trying to show how much they love you.
Since his scent is on your item, a dog will feel closer to you if he is near or on him. Then to release endorphins and relax, the dogs will chew on things. Before you know it, they’ll be chewing on your shoe trying to relax while they catch your scent.
Keep in mind that this is only the case if your dog chews on things while you are away from home. This means they miss you. However, if you do it while you are home, it could be a sign that you want more attention.
2 – They come to you when they are hurt
When a pet approaches you when they are hurt, it is a sign of affection and comfort. You may notice that they give you a leg when they hurt them. Or you can experience a dog putting his head on your lap when he is not feeling well.
If a dog wasn’t excited or feeling a sense of love from you, it wouldn’t behave this way. They went somewhere alone when they were in pain. So if your dog approaches you in times of distress, you should be flattered.
This is a sure sign that a dog is excited to see you. They love to kiss and lick their owner, and this is one of the best ways they can do it.
If you wonder how much you are missed, just think of how many kisses you will get from your pet when you return. There will be no doubt in your mind that you are His person if you lick and kisses without end.
4 – They greet you excitedly
This is where tail wagging comes into play. When a dog is excited to be around you, it will immediately start wagging its tail. Also, they will jump and move all over the place to show their delight.
5 – They beg
Believe it or not, dogs don’t beg just because they’re a pest. If your pet is begging and barking while you are holding something, it is a sign of love. Give them a little attention and affection and you can alleviate some of the begging behaviors.
6 – They bring you things
If your dog randomly brings you a toy or treasure from outside, it’s a treat. Dogs won’t share with those they don’t love and don’t trust, so if your pet does this, it’s a good sign.
7 – They lie down with the belly up
There is no more vulnerable position for dogs than to lie down with their belly up. If your dog does this with you, he really trusts you. They know that if you touch their belly it will be for love and not to hurt them.
8 – They are loyal
Dogs are known to be loyal, so it’s no wonder that when they’re loyal, they feel love. This shows up in a number of ways, including barking at strangers near your house or on your porch. They want to protect you and keep you safe, and this is the way they know how to do it.
Do human hearts react in the same way as dogs?
You’re probably wondering if this works both ways. Since dogs are known to cheer up their owners, it is a good indicator that the human heart rate increases when they are in the presence of their pets. The same studies mentioned above show that human heart rate increases by around 10% when they see your dog.
Humans should truly treasure their pets because their love goes beyond that 10% increase in heart rate. Many people have even said that they cancel plans with other people to spend time with their dogs. Now if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Benefits of having a pet
Now that you know the effects that dogs have on you, you can enjoy the idea that pets are good for you. However, it goes beyond an increased heart rate and a desire to spend time with your pet. Pet owners also experience the following Benefits:
- a drop in blood pressure
- low cholesterol levels
- decreased triglyceride levels
- less feelings of loneliness
- more exercise and outdoor activity
- greater socialization
- offers social support to children
- improved behavior for children who have a dog
- a greater sense of empathy
- decreased levels of anxiety and stress
While you already know that your dog loves you, it’s nice to have that science-backed thinking. Since science shows that dogs’ heart rates go up, that’s all the more reason to tell you more often. Besides, it will also be beneficial for you.
Remember all the signs that your dog is excited, feeling love, or missing you. When they do things that seem bad at first, it may be their way of easing those intense feelings. Often times these types of behaviors are signs of a dog’s love.
Dogs will love you unconditionally and will be undeniably loyal to their owner. Remember the effect of showing love to them and continue to let them know that they are loved and cared for. The next time someone tells you that they are crazy about talking to dogs, share these facts and studies with them.