Let's face it, dog people love their dogs. And why wouldn't they? Dogs are incredible! As a devoted dog owner, you may find yourself preferring your dog's company over anyone else's. From the millions of photos you take of your dog to the funny nicknames you have for your best pal — your dog is the center of your universe. But you may start to wonder...wait a minute! Why do I only like dogs? Why do I love my dog more than anyone else? Do not fret: there may be a reason for your puppy love.
Dogs and humans have a special relationship
If you have ever been overwhelmed by the love you have for your dog, your fuzzy feelings are completely valid...and backed by science! According to studies by animal behaviorist Takefumi Kikusui, interactions between a human and their dog elicit the same oxytocin response between mothers and their infants. Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland. When the hormone is released, it increases feelings of trust, bonding, and altruism. So, if you've ever considered yourself a dog-mom or dog-dad, blame the hormones for that sweet bond to your dog!
Video of the Day
Why am I more empathetic towards my dog?
Loving dogs more than humans is actually pretty common. Research published in Society & Animals suggests that people are more empathetic toward dogs than their fellow adult humans. In the study, participants were shown fake newspaper clippings with a fake report that a victim was attacked. The participants were each given the same report with the "victim" being either a one-year-old baby, a 30-year-old adult, a puppy, and a six-year-old dog. They were then asked questions to measure their level of empathy towards the "victims." The study found that only the baby human elicited more sympathy than an adult dog from the participants. The researchers concluded that the study illustrated how much people think of pets as a part of their family.
Dogs encourage healthy habits
Having a dog requires a lot of patience and selflessness, and it also encourages healthy habits. Going out for walks, setting daily routines, and of course, lots of snuggles, love, and companionship from your dog help you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Your dog may even encourage you to be your best self — it's no wonder you may love your dog more than anyone else!
Dogs are good for your heart
You may be in love with your dog, but what you may not know is that your dog may be keeping your heart healthy! According to the Harvard Medical School, having a dog can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Several studies also demonstrate that dog owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels compared to people without dogs.
Why does my dog prefer my significant other over me?
If you are in love with your dog, but your canine prefers a certain someone else, there could be reasons for this. According to the American Kennel Club, it could be due to a variety of factors such as temperament compatibility, emotional cues, scents, and smells. Or it could be wanting to spend time with someone they don't get to as often! Don't worry about this too much — there is plenty of love to go around.
Your love for your dog is strong because your dog makes you a better human. Dog and human interactions increase the same oxytocin response seen between mothers and their infants. So, it makes sense why you love your dog so strongly — you consider your dog to be a part of your family! Having a dog can also encourage you to have better health and an active lifestyle. This may also encourage even more positive feelings towards your pet. Be sure to reciprocate the love by taking good care of your canine companion.