I Love My Pet: Signs of Affection

Dogs have many ways of showing affection to their owners. They’re saying the "L" word over and over again - you just need to learn how to recognize it.

If you want to learn about unconditional love, become a pet parent. When you're having a rough day at work, your outfit looks a bit frumpy, or dinner is an hour late, your dog will still love you--and show it! Pet signs of affection vary depending on the animal, but here are a few telltale signs that my dogs are happy to see me.

The Wag

Both my bull terrier mix and Weimaraner know how to shake their backsides. The main way they show affection and happiness is by getting up and dancing around. They can actually do full-body wags by swaying their rears and heads when they're extremely excited. When they greet me at the door after I've been gone for several hours, those pups wag for at least five minutes before they're ready to settle down.

The Sniff

Dogs are inquisitive. My bull terrier mix likes to sniff visitors. When it's time to cuddle, he sniffs my face. He uses tiny, gentle breaths to take in the scent around my eyes, hair, and mouth. He doesn't give doggy smooches, but he sniffs to let me know he's content and happy. Now that's true doggy love!

The Lick

My Weimaraner, on the other hand, is a kisser. Well, since dogs can't actually pucker their lips, she licks. It's not uncommon for her to show her affection with a few swipes carefully placed on my face. If she's in a kissy mood after dinner, and a few morsels of food linger on my lips, she can kiss dozens of times.

The Sigh

In the evenings, my husband and I cuddle our dogs on the couch while watching television. We both know the dogs love their belly rubs and petting when they let out long, winded sighs. They are relaxed and resting. When they roll into our legs and cuddle in closer, their affection is clear.

The Smile

Sometimes my dogs simply stare at me and smile. The corners of their lips are upturned, they're concentrating on me, and they open their mouths just a little bit to show their lips. They truly do smile! This is one of my favorite pet signs of affection because 100 percent of their concentration is on me--not a bone or a squeaky toy--for that brief moment.

About the Author: Angela Tague

Angela Tague enjoys writing about pet care, volunteering with an animal-assisted therapy program and exploring nature trails with her husband and two dogs.