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Do you know what happens to your dog when you say "I love you"?

woman holding her Jack Russell Terrier dog dog-wow
© Shutterstock

We've all asked the questions: do dogs really love us? Or are they just in it for the treats? A new study has the answer, and we think you'll be delighted with its findings.

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 09/10/2020, 10:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:24

The study, commissioned by Canine Cottages, used specially designed collars to measure the dog's heart rate before and after they heard those three magic words: I love you.

It noted a 46.2% increase in heart rate after owners told their dogs just how much they love them, which proves just how important we are to our furry friends.

It's official; Dogs love us!

Scientists also discovered that a dog's heart rate drops by 22.7% as soon as they start getting cuddles from their favourite humans. This is strong evidence that our dogs feel more relaxed and comfortable whenever they're close to us.

Shannon Keary, Campaigns Manager at Canine Cottages, said the latest findings confirmed what many of us had suspected all along. She said:

"In the UK we are a nation of dog lovers, but although we know how much we love our pets, we've never really known if, or how, our dogs show their affection for us. [But] From this data, we can now officially say that our dogs really do love us!"

True love is a two-way street

True love has to work both ways, so researchers tracked the human's heart rate too. They found it increases by around 10.4% when owners are reunited with their pups.

10%? Is that all? Because it feels much higher for us. So maybe they should rerun that part of the experiment!