The answer is Yes! Dog love is real. There are a large number of animals within the animal kingdom that can experience affection and build strong bonds. Love is one of the purest and most intense feelings we can ever feel.
Like people, dogs can feel these emotions from puppyhood. Dogs are characterized by a developed intuition, so they are also capable of feeling emotions.
How Does The Dog’s Brain React to Love?
Dogs have the cerebral capacities to give and receive love, to miss and look for each other when they are separated and to rejoice when they see each other again. They also have the cerebral capacities to protect each other and to build healthy social bonds. These behaviors can be dog-to-dog or dog-to-human. Your pet enjoys the time it shares with you, it worries about you, it welcomes the verbal and physical affection you give it.
Several studies have shown that the pets’ emotional sensitivity is related to the domestication process, their adaptation to the family environment and the bond they form with those around them.
We have already learned that dogs can experience emotions and perform demonstrations of affection, but do they feel the romantic love that humans do? Yes and no. They do not develop romantic love as humans do but they do demonstrate the same devotion and passionate reactions.
Dogs possess the same hormone that we humans have, thanks to which we are able to feel love. This hormone is known as “oxytocin” and controls our social, sexual, emotional and even parental behavior. Studies conducted in 2014 at the University of Tokyo proved that canine brains release oxytocin when interacting with other dogs, humans and animals with whom they have bonded or live with.
Dogs are able to love. They may not take you out to dinner or on a trip to Italy as a demonstration of their love. However, there were dogs that gave their lives for their humans or who sat forever waiting for the arrival of a deceased owner. There is no doubt that these are the most authentic demonstrations of love that exist… These are true proofs of love.
So if dogs are able to feel love for their owners, they may also feel love for other dogs. Those who have more than one dog at home are witnesses of the intense friendly bond that exists between them, even with cats.
But it’s not all rosy. They also feel the absence and grief at the death of an animal companion, which can even lead them to depression and alter their usual behaviors. During a dog’s grief, it is important to continue the routine and encourage your pet with games and affection. It will make it feel safe and supported. Do not introduce another dog immediately to your home. This may not have the desired result. We recommend waiting a reasonable time to do so.
How Are These Feelings?
Now that we have cleared up some doubts about love and how it works in the brain, we come across a new question: Does canine love develop in the same way as human love?
Taking into account that numerous studies suggest that the mental development of dogs is similar to that of a 2- or 3-year-old human, we could conclude that the love of a dog would be similar to that of a child of that age. It should also be taken into account that a child at that age has not fully developed his or her emotional capacities. This, though, is subject to debate.
Numerous experts assure that dogs can feel more intense and different love than children, but this affection is not comparable at all to the love of a human adult. Many people and specialists support this theory.
The Innocence of Dog Love
We can conclude that children and animal love share a number of common characteristics. It is a purer love in essence that is constantly demonstrated.
Dogs enjoy all sorts of interactions with their own kind, animals, and humans. Dog love is unique, unconditional, and undoubtedly special.