Life

Things You Know To Be True If You Love Dogs

Can there ever be enough cute dog photos in your phone?

All dog-lovers have certain things in common. For example, we all think every dog is adorable, no matter what breed. We leap at the chance to pet basically any pooch we see. And we not only say that dogs are a man’s best friend — we genuinely believe it.

But those aren’t the only qualities that dog people share. Here’s a look at just a few of the things that all dog-lovers know to be true.

There’s Nothing Cuter Than A Sleeping Doggy

Is there a more angelic picture than a dog curled up and happily dozing away on the couch? You’d be hard-pressed to find one! But did you know there’s actually a reason that pooches tuck themselves into a little ball when they sleep? It goes beyond simply conserving body heat. The habit can be traced back to their ancestor’s days in the wild when they curled up in order to protect their organs from potential predators. Domesticated dogs — including your pup! — now often revert to the position to feel safe during the vulnerable state of sleep, even while at home. 

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Dog Hair Really Does Get Everywhere, But You Don’t Care

Dog hair. No dog owner can escape it, no matter how hard they try. It gets pretty much everywhere, from your clothes (sometimes even when it’s right out the laundry!) to your carpet to your couch. Though the amount your dog sheds depends largely on the breed, you can help keep it in check by keeping your pooch on a healthy and nutritional diet and maintaining regular grooming habits. Still, having your dog to come home to every day is totally worth it … even when you have to keep a lint roller in every room. 

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Not Stopping To Pet A Dog Is Just. Too. Hard.

If you love dogs, you probably find it really hard — OK, actually impossible — to resist stopping to pet a cute pup on the street. It doesn’t matter if you’re running late or your friends are rolling their eyes at you — you just cannot resist that little fluffy Maltipoo coming down the sidewalk. And if you have a dog yourself, this may apply doubly to you. After all, if your pooch is dragging you over to say hi to a buddy, who are you to stop them?

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Dogs Really Do Know When You’re Sad

Dog-lovers know how pooches seem to get extra cuddly whenever you’re crying or just feeling down. And no, that’s not just in your imagination. Not only can canines often sense how you’re feeling, but they can also empathize with you. That means that they’ll go out of their way to lay on your lap, nuzzle you or just generally be extra loving to try to comfort you.

The most amazing part is that a dog doesn’t even have to be yours to be attuned to your emotions. In one experiment, pups were just as likely to comfort crying strangers as they were their owners, despite not having any emotional connection to them. Dogs: We seriously don’t deserve them.    

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Your Voice Changes Whenever You See A Cute Puppy 

Every dog-lover or owner has fallen prey to the “Who’s a good boy/girl?” syndrome. After all, it’s almost impossible to resist busting out an exaggerated baby voice when you’re looking at your dog’s sweet face.

The good news: The next time one of your friends or family members mocks your canine-induced baby talk, you can back up your argument with science. A 2018 study suggested that pooches may actually prefer “the equivalent of dog baby talk,” opting to spend more time with those who spoke in that tone during an experiment.  

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Who Needs An Alarm Clock When You Have A Dog? 

Becoming a dog owner basically means never having to buy an alarm clock or set one on your phone ever again. Why? Because your dog will wake you up at the same time every morning, as you will soon find out. Even if you’re dying for an extra few minutes of sleep, chances are you won’t stay irritated at your pooch for long. After all, waking up to their eager faces and happy tail-wagging beats an obnoxious screeching sound any day. 

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You’re Familiar With The Way Their Paws Smell

Much like a little puppy breath isn’t too bothersome to a true dog-lover, chances are you’re quite familiar with (and maybe even enjoy!) the scent of your dog’s paws. Unlike human feet, which aren’t known for their pleasant odor, canine paws have a salty-sweet smell that some have even likened to Fritos. What’s with the corn chip scent, you ask? Apparently, as with human body odor, it’s a product of the bacteria that live on doggie paws. If you aren’t a Fritos fan or the scent becomes overwhelming, a little soap and water wash should help curb the scent.

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Leaving Your Dog Never Gets Easier

One of the only bad parts about being a dog owner: having to leave your dog at home! No matter how many times you have to do it, you always feel a little guilty about leaving them behind — especially when they fix you with that sad, puppy dog stare.

Sadly, while many of us wish we could spend all day with our pooch, it’s not really possible. The best thing to do is to find ways to make your dog comfortable at home alone by leaving the radio on for some ambient noise, keeping out some of their favorite toys, etc. If your dog becomes emotionally unstable or destructive in your absence, they could be suffering from separation anxiety, which may require help from a professional. 

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Dogs Basically Have Their Own Language

Like people, dogs all have their own way of communicating — and it’s up to us to learn their language. While you may not ever be able to decipher every single bark or tail wag, knowing what your dog is “saying” becomes like second nature over time.

Of course, it’s important to know that not every move is the same for every dog. For example, tail wags don’t always mean a dog is happy and may actually be a sign of hesitation. At the end of the day, though, you know your dog best. And by the way, they know you pretty well, too. 

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Doggy Breath Shouldn’t Interfere With Cuddling 

Most of the time, doggy breath isn’t exactly fresh. But that doesn’t prevent most dog-lovers from holding their pooches close or letting them affectionately slobber everywhere. After all, we know they’re just trying to show love, right? Still, it’s important to pay attention to a pup’s oral hygiene. Though bad breath can generally be fixed with a good teeth cleaning, a consistent case of terrible breath can also be a symptom of certain health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease or liver disease.   

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The Fourth Of July Requires Planning—And We’re Not Talking BBQs

As fun as Fourth of July fireworks are for humans, they’re definitely not enjoyable for dogs. Most pooches find the loud noise terrifying, and the holiday has become one of the most common times of year for dogs to run away. So, when the Fourth rolls around every year, dog owners know it only means one thing: Your poor pup is about to freak out.

The important thing is to give your pets a little extra attention and make a plan to keep them safe. Some owners opt to celebrate away from the noise altogether. But if that’s not an option, keeping your pooch indoors with the TV or radio on to help drown out the noise can help them stay calm. 

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There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Dog Photos

Dogs are always doing something cute — whether it ’s looking up at you with adoring eyes or just generally being totally lovable. When these moments happen, you can’t help but whip out your phone to take a picture. In fact, you may or may not have a mini photo shoot pretty much every time your dog unintentionally strikes an adorable pose. If you’re not taking photos of your own dog, you’re probably spending a good portion of time checking out doggie photos or videos on Instagram. And who could blame you? They’re just so darn cute!

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Head Tilts Will Always Make You Smile

The only thing that comes close to rivaling a sleeping puppy in cuteness: the signature doggie head tilt. Nothing brightens up a bad day or brings a smile to your face faster than when your dog cocks their head to the side and shoots you one of their adorable, inquisitive looks. You can practically hear the confused “huh?” going on in their brains.

It turns out that while dogs do tilt their head when they hear or see something new and strange, the practice can also be encouraged by their owners. Dogs catch on pretty quickly that humans love the head tilt, and they’ll start to repeat the behavior accordingly.

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There’s Always Room For A Dog In Your Bed

If you always let your dog sleep in your bed (regardless of whether you actually have room or not), you’re definitely not the only one. Nearly 45 percent of dog owners allow their pooches to sleep in bed with them at night.

But sharing your space with your pet doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be doomed to have a bad night’s sleep. A 2018 study found that women actually sleep better next to their dogs than they do with a human partner.

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Sleeping Next To A Dog Means Getting An Occasional Kick Or Two

One thing that dog-lovers are all too familiar with: Dogs can make just as much noise and motion in their sleep as humans. This can take many different forms, from some low whines to a couple of quick kicks to full-on air running (which, unless it wakes you from a dead sleep, is never not funny to watch). Most of the time, pooches are just dreaming (maybe even about you!). However, if the twitching remains constant or doesn’t stop after they wake, you may want to take your pet to the vet to be safe.  

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You Can Spot Another Dog Person From A Mile Away

If there’s one thing a dog-lover knows how to do, it’s find another person who shares their love of dogs. Whether you run into each other on the street while walking your respective pooches or find yourself instantly bonding with a new acquaintance over that adorable puppy Instagram account you both follow, dog people always seem to find each other. It’s like we all have some sort of radar.

There may be a scientific reason for this, too. While research has yet to confirm or deny whether dog-lovers attract each other, one recent study did find that dog people tend to be more extraverted than cat people — which could explain all those impromptu conversations at the dog park. 

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Your Dog Is A Top Priority, Even When Money Is Tight 

Quality dog food. A visit to the vet. A new doggie bed. Whatever your pooch needs, you’re willing to fork over some dough to make it happen — even if it means passing up certain luxuries for yourself. To owners, dogs are a beloved family member, which means they are way more of a financial priority than that new pair of shoes. Millennials, in particular, are willing to spend more on their pooch. A 2018 study found that millennial dog owners spend an average of $1,285 a year on their pets and were willing to spend around $2,000 to treat a sick pooch.

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Getting A Dog Means Having An Audience Everywhere You Go

You know you’re a true dog-lover when you don’t mind your dog trailing behind you everywhere you go — and we do mean everywhere. Whether due to separation anxiety or just out of simple curiosity, dogs often follow their human companions all around the house, from the kitchen to the bedroom to, yes, even the bathroom. Sure, you can try to shut them out, but chances are you’ll melt at the first sad bark or heartbreaking scratch at the door. Before you know it, having your pooch lay on the bath mat as you shower just seems normal. 

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You Only Cry At Movies When There’s A Dog Involved

Sure, you might tear up when sad things happen to human characters in movies. But when something bad happens to a dog in a film, you can barely catch your breath between sobs. Seriously — movies like “Marley & Me” should come with an emotional distress warning. Take heart in knowing that you’re far from the only one to feel this way. A 2018 study suggested that most people boast higher empathy levels for dogs than they do for adult humans.

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Sometimes You Prefer Dogs Over People

Our dogs become our best and most loyal friends, so it’s no surprise that sometimes you’d rather just stay in with your pooch than go out with your human pals. After all, hanging out at home with the dog requires absolutely no planning and no stress. If all you want to do is sit on the couch in pajamas and watch Netflix while eating pizza, your dog won’t judge you — although he might ask for a piece of your crust.

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Getting Home To Feed The Dog Overrules Other Social Plans

It’s a fact of every dog-lover’s life: When it comes to your social calendar, your pooch takes priority. How many times have you had to cancel or alter your plans because you had to get home and feed the dog? OK, if you’re being honest, sometimes you were just using that as an excuse. And then there are those nights when you’re supposed to be getting ready but your dog is asleep on your lap and you just can’t bear to move. Hey, it’s your dog’s world … you’re just living in it. 

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Your Dog Has A Say In Your Love Life

Speaking of a dog’s impact on your social calendar, most dog-lovers will agree on one thing: Pups play an important factor when it comes to choosing potential romantic partners. If your date hates dogs or just doesn’t get along with yours, you pretty much know that it’s doomed from the start. And no, that doesn’t make you crazy — in fact, it puts you in the majority, according to recent research. A recent study found that 57 percent of dog owners say a new partner absolutely must win over their furry pals before the human owners can fall for them. 

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Dogs Are A Kid’s Best Friend

While it’s normal to be a little nervous about introducing a dog to your child or vice versa, dog-lovers know that your little Fido or Fluffy is pretty much guaranteed to be your kid’s best friend. They’ll play together, they’ll comfort each other and they’ll make for some darn cute Instagram photos. But the upsides of their relationship go beyond simple social media cred. Research has proven that kids who grow up with dogs experience all kinds of benefits, from lower stress levels and higher self-esteem to better cognitive skills.  

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You Swear Your Dog Understands What You’re Saying 

Have you ever been chatting to your dog (oh, come on, we all do it), only to look down and swear that he or she knows exactly what you’re saying? Well, you may not have been completely wrong. Canines do understand what we’re talking about … kind of. According to a 2018 study, dogs do have the capacity to process some aspects of human language, but they also rely on cues — such as gestures, intonation and emotional expressions — to decipher what people are telling them. 

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Every Pillow And Blanket Is Dog Territory  

Even when they have their own designated bed, pillow or resting space, most dogs have no problem curling up on pretty much anything they find comfortable — which means favorite blankets and fluffiest pillows quickly become shared territory. But although you might suddenly find yourself having to fight for pillow space on the couch or bed, the truth is you don’t really mind sharing. After all, the sight of your beloved pooch wrapped up in your coziest comforter is pretty darn adorable. 

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Jealousy Goes Both Ways

Sure, dogs might get a little bothered when they see you or another one of their favorite humans petting another pooch. But admit it — you’re not immune to experiencing the same feeling of jealousy when the situation is reversed. When your dog goes running up to your friend before greeting you or chooses another lap to lay on, you can’t help but feel a bit betrayed. Of course, that disappears the minute your pooch changes their mind and plops down next to you instead.

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A Dog’s Soulful Gaze Really Is Telling You Something 

Do a dog’s facial expressions really have meaning? Most dog-lovers are sure of it. When your pup fixes you with that wide-eyed stare, you just know he’s trying to tell you something. Well, it turns out you’re not completely wrong. A 2017 study suggested that not only do dogs produce more facial movements when a human is paying attention to them, but also that these doggy expressions are likely a mechanism of communication — not just an unconscious movement, as previously speculated. See? We knew it all along!

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Holidays Are For Buying Dog Presents

While you may give your dogs a treat for their birthday, you also make sure to include them on other holidays throughout the year, too. A new toy for Christmas? Check. A Halloween costume? Yup. A Valentine’s Day treat? You just can’t resist — and you’re not the only one. According to a recent study, Americans will spend an average of $81.56 buying treats and gifts for their dogs on Valentine’s Day alone. Of course, your pooch won’t mind if you don’t buy them presents — they’re just as happy with a belly rub or an extra-long walk. 

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Every Dog Is A Puppy—At Least, At Heart

Depending on the breed, dogs are only technically considered puppies for a relatively short period of time. Small breeds typically mature into adults after about nine months, while bigger breeds take somewhere around 15 months to make the transition. But real dog-lovers don’t care about the mathematics of it all. Every single pooch — from the biggest German Shepard to the teeniest chihuahua — will always be just a sweet puppy in our eyes. 

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A Cuddle With A Pup Always Makes You Feel Better  

When you’ve come home after a hectic day, there’s nothing like a good cuddle from your dog to help brighten your mood. After all, it’s virtually impossible to stay in a funk when your pooch starts manically licking your face or settles their head in your lap with a happy sigh. And if you have any lingering doubts as to your dog’s mood-boosting powers, just look to science. Multiple research studies have proven it over the years. 

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Owning A Dog Changes Your Life

There are plenty of ways to show your love for dogs without ever actually owning one, whether it’s volunteering to care for them at a local animal shelter or buying treats to give to your sister’s beloved pooch. But becoming a dog owner takes your appreciation to a whole new level. Once you get used to having a dog around, it becomes nearly impossible to imagine your life or home without one — and you’ll never want to go back.

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