According to a new report from ROVER.COM, Valentine’s Day goes to the DOGS this year!
Rover.com, the world’s largest network of five-star pet sitters and strollers, today released its Decoding Your Dog’s Love Language report, which examines how dogs show affection to their human family members. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the report reveals how pet parents plan to pamper their beloved dogs after a year of proving their importance to human health and happiness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report includes new data showing that the majority (69%) of dog parents are planning to buy a gift for their furry family member this Valentine’s Day to show their dog that they care. And after a year in which 80% of pet parents said their dog had a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that the majority of respondents said this year’s gift will be even more significant than that last year . Giving gifts is just the beginning as the majority (60%) of people consider their dog to be their real Valentine’s Day this year.
According to Phil Tedeschi, clinical professor at the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, Institute for Human-Animal Connection and member of the Rover Dog People Panel, humans and dogs have the ability to send and receive messages of love to one another. Through millennia of interaction, humans and dogs have worked together to develop strategies for connecting. For dogs, this means wagging their tails, leaning against you, asking to play fetch, staring at you, licking you, and even wrestling. To reciprocate, people can use affirmative words like “good dog”, share resources like treats, cuddle their dogs, and actively play.
“I’ve been studying dogs for decades and one thing is absolutely clear: dogs have the ability to love their human counterparts, to reciprocate the love shown for them, and to communicate that affection in subtle and obvious ways,” says Tedeschi. “Perhaps more than ever in recent history, people have learned to rely on their dogs and appreciate them for their spiritual and emotional support during this pandemic – and this report provides reassuring evidence that people want to take advantage of Valentine’s Day, To say thank you for everything you do for me “
The love language of a dog
The report of deciphering your dog’s love language found that most pet parents believe they understand their pet’s communication strategies well. 88% of dog parents say they know their dog’s love language. Here are some examples of your dog’s love language, inspired by Gary Chapman’s five love languages, and tips from Tedeschi on how to celebrate them this Valentine’s Day:
Words of Affirmation: Does your dog wiggle his tail when you get home? They are likely looking for approval, much like they do to each other by noticing a newcomer to the dog park. Find a good voice and tone to say how much you care (“Samara, will you be my Valentine’s Day … you are cute!”) And use their name to give them credit. Dogs value being part of the conversation, hearing their name, and being recognized and involved.
Acts of Service: If your puppy continually asks to fetch or cuddle you for a hike or a bath, he may enjoy something called “Acts of Service,” which simply shows your dog that your actions make you like one Interested in special time together, gentle care or a specially prepared meal.
Receiving Presents: A dog who is constantly scratching its bowl or looking for more treats or toys may be one who appreciates presents. A dog’s sense of smell is about 100,000 times more sensitive than that of a human.1 Sharing resources (especially goodies that smell good!) Builds affinity, trust and connection – after all, that’s how we evolved together.
Physical Touch: If your dog’s love language is physical touch, you probably know! They are the dogs that want to cuddle all the time. Many dogs love a special physical connection, but like humans, we all have our own preferences when it comes to physical contact. Research has shown that dogs alter our brains and interpersonal neurobiology. By cuddling with our dogs we can share “dog love” as oxytocin, which is informally referred to as the “love hormone” due to its relevance for mother-child bonding, increases in both humans and companion dogs and creates a feeling of secure connection with a dog can convey another.
Quality Time: If your dog is leaning on you, it’s not because they’re lazy, it’s because of how they bond. To show them love, just try to be with your dog without the distraction, leave your phone and take out your earbuds, take them for a walk, or just look them in the eye, which will encourage bonding. Dogs watch and wait for moments when they can catch that gaze and bond with you. When you have more time, play with your dog: this is vital for all mammals and an important part of their health.
Deciphering Your Dog’s Love Language: Survey Results
“Dogs have again proven how much we rely on them for love and companionship,” said Kate Jaffe, Rover trend expert. “Whether it’s cuddling, playing, or just having good company in a year of social distancing, dogs have helped so many of us through these troubled times. This year, perhaps more than ever, the vast majority of us plan to go out of our way to express our love and adoration for our pups on Valentine’s Day. They earn it.”
I get my dog: The vast majority (88%) of dog parents say they know their dog’s love language.
What are the most popular love languages for dogs?
41% physical contact
21% quality time
Receive 13% gifts
11% affirmative words
8% files of service
The three main ways dog parents say their dog shows they love them are by being excited to see them when they get home, cuddling / cuddling, and their dog’s body language.
The top three ways dog owners show their love for their dog are with pets, hugs or cuddles, special foods or treats, and new toys.
The vast majority (94%) of dog parents believe that their dog loves them.
A unique Valentine’s Day
60 percent of dog owners consider their dog to be their Valentine’s Day this year.
Treat Yourself: Half of the dog parents said they would buy treats or food for their dog this Valentine’s Day.
The majority (69%) of dog parents plan to purchase a gift for their furry family member this Valentine’s Day. Almost half of pet parents said they bought a gift because they wanted to show their dog they care, and 40% said their dog brings joy to their lives.
The majority of respondents [dog owners] (61%) reported being in a relationship; 39% are single.
Pandemic Puppies: Almost half (49%) of pet parents said they had a new dog during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dogs Are the True MVPs of COVID-19: The majority (80%) of dog parents said their dog had a positive impact on their mental health during the pandemic. When asked what the top three reasons are to feel loved by your dog, offer much-needed companionship, and use their antics to reduce stress.
Visit here to review the results of the comprehensive report. A similar report was made for Rover Canada and Rover UK.
You can also click here to find out more!
Your Dog’s Love Language Report is based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. dog owners about Pollfish in January 2021.