Study Finds That a Dog’s Heart Rate Jumps When You Say “I Love You” To Them

Tell Your Dog I Love You

Photo: Stock Photos from MANGOSTAR/Shutterstock

Have you told your dog lately that you love it? You may want to start saying those three little words every chance you get. A recent study has proved what dog-lovers always suspected: dogs understand and physically react to this loving phrase. The study by Canine Cottage measured canine bodily reactions and found pups' heart rates increased an average of 46.2% while being told, “I love you.”

The heart-warming study used monitors to track dogs' pulses through different activities. The researchers found that saying the specific phrase “I love you” to your dog excites the animal and elevates its heart rate. In contrast, cuddling your pet has a calming effect. Snuggles with their human decreased dogs' resting heart rate by an average of 22.7%. These bodily responses to emotional stimuli are a two-way street. The study reported that human heart rates increased by about 10.4% when they saw their dogs. This data adds to the body of science explaining why dogs are “man's best friend.”

While a dog's heart rate can shed light on its emotions, “love” probably means something slightly different to humans and dogs. Dogs lick faces, wag their tails, and jump on their owners with enthusiasm to demonstrate their love and loyalty. Humans offer belly rubs, head scratches, and chew toys as signs of devotion. But some expressions of love are not understood so easily across species. According to Canine Cottage, dogs do not maliciously chew and destroy their humans’ things. This frustrating behavior actually stems from a desire to calm themselves by chewing upon an object with their human's delightful scent. This annoying behavior is really a mark of how much your dog loves you.

You can find more puppy love facts on Canine Cottage's website. And don't forget to tell your pup you love them today and make their heart jump for joy.

A new study by Canine Cottage found that a dog's heart rate jumps 46.2% when you say, “I love you.”

Good Boy Smile

Photo: Stock Photos from DON HUAN/Shutterstock

Dogs understand and get excited by expressions of love, while cuddles actually calm a dog and lower its pulse.

Dog Vet

Photo: Stock Photos from DI STUDIO/Shutterstock

Humans' heart rates increase upon seeing their pup. The biological reaction to love goes both ways.

Pug Dog Yoga Funny

Photo: Stock Photos from YUTTANA JAOWATTANA/Shutterstock

h/t: [GreenMatters]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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