It’s National Hug Your Dog Day! At Animal Clinic of Woodruff, it feels like we celebrate this everyday, but we’re glad that it’s an excuse for everyone else to give their dog a few extra cuddles!
To recognize this special day, we thought we’d highlight why dogs share unconditional love with us, what they receive when we hug them back, and a few new ideas for showing your dog just how much you love him!
The Science Behind a Dog’s Unconditional “Love”
Canine Scientist Clive Wynn, founder of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University notes that dogs have a special ability to form affectionate bonds with humans. He notes in this Washington Post article, that humans are inclined to call this response from dogs, “love,” but dog love may look different than human love. Scientists like Clive are inclined to seek answers about dog affection through measurable data points that build a clearer picture of what’s really going on.
The short answer is, their affection looks a lot like love!
When you break it down, what science has shown us is that the “love hormone” oxytocin becomes elevated in both dogs and humans when they are looking at each other. We also know that dogs have a unique way of sensing when an owner is in distress. Additionally, if they feel like they can help, they will act on it. They also are pack animals so they want to be around us, socializing on a regular basis.
Additionally, dogs have a unique capacity for bonding. It turns out that dogs are uniquely able to bond with anything. Whether it’s a penguin, a cat, or a human, dogs will become friends with them and that makes them uniquely special.
Ways You Can Share Your Love
On this National Hug Your Dog Day, here are some recommendations from our team at Animal Clinic of Woodruff for showing your dog your affection:
- Take your dog on a walk. Just the mere mention will have your dog running in circles with excitement!
- Share a few extra chew treats with your dog pal.
- Take your dog on a date! Check out the nearest “pet friendly” restaurant and have a little bonding time together.
- Don’t forget to give your dog a few extra hugs, pets, snuggles and belly scratches today. Just this gift alone will go along way!
Another way you can show your dog love is to make sure your dog is healthy and strong all winter long. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment to make sure they are up to date on their vaccines and overall pet health.