It seems your dog really loves you! A new study from Canine Cottages tracked the heart rates of four different dogs to find out what gets them excited when interacting with their owners.
They found that on average, the animal’s heart was 67 beats per minute (bpm), but when they were told “I love you” by their owners their heart rates jumped up to 98 bpm. Their heart rates also decreased from 67 bpm to 52 bpm when being cuddled by their owners.
The study also notes that a dog curling up next to its owner, on their lap, or at their feet, is a clear and evident sign of love, because dogs only lean on people whom they feel comfortable with. Dogs can also show love when they’re in pain by coming to someone they trust and holding up a paw or lying next to someone with their head in their lap.
Researcher Shannon Keary adds, “It’s amazing to see that our dogs’ heart rates increase when they are told they are loved, showing excitement, and decreases when having cuddles, showing contentedness. It’s also interesting to see all the weird and wonderful ways our pets show their love for us. From this data, we can now officially say that our dogs really do love us!”