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Head Over Paws: Five Ways Your Pet Shows You Love

“But man himself cannot express love and humility by external signs so plainly as does a dog, when with drooping ears, hanging lips, flexuous body, and wagging tail, he meets his beloved master.”

Noted scientist Charles Darwin was a lover of dogs, and even sailed to Patagonia on a ship aptly named The Beagle in 1831. Years later, his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals paved the way for future animal lovers, documenting the endless source of love between pets and guardians.

In honor of February 14th and inspired by Darwin, we thought we’d try to list all the ways your pet shows love.

Your Cat’s Heartfelt Offerings

Your cat may not be overtly affectionate, but if you tune in to his or her subtle signs of love, you won’t be disappointed. A sweet medley of meows, purrs, and even clicks prove that your kitten or senior kitty loves you. Other strange cat behaviors also signify love, including:


  • The head bop – So simple and sweet, your cat will gear up considerably to ram his or her head into you. Take it as a compliment!
  • Twitchy tail – Your sweet kitty’s tail is a magnificent emotional communicator, and it can convey a whole range of feelings. When you hang out together, your cat may drape or wrap his or her tail around you. Also, an upright tail that quivers when you’re nearby is one of the highest expressions of love. Ever.
  • Long blinks – This is love in the first degree and is actually referred to as a “cat kiss.” This indicates your cat trusts you implicitly (you know, long enough for a long blink). You’ll know the long blink when you see it, and your heart will simply melt.
  • Snuggle-Snuggletons – Your pet shows love by trailing you around. This compulsion to be close to you can lead to snuggle time on the couch or even bedtime cuddles at night. Does your cat show his or her belly to you? This is an ultimate display of trust and love, so give that belly a good scratch!
  • Grooming – Lots of cats tend to show love by grooming a beloved human companion. That sandpaper tongue might feel funny, but your cat means well!

The Pooch Parade of Love

Your sweet puppy or senior dog can’t resist showing – and sharing – expressions of love. Despite some common odd dog behaviors, your pooch is probably consistent in displaying affection for you:


  • Wagging – Your pet shows love by furiously wagging his or her tail whenever you come around. Anything but subtle, the tail wag is an obvious communicator that relays enthusiastic love and affection.
  • Leaning – This is the greatest feeling in the world. If you’re out for a walk and pause to rest, your dog may lean against you, non-verbally saying “I love you.” Likewise, your pooch may come up to where you’re sitting and rest his or her head on your knee. Is that an invitation for an ear scratch or an expression of utter devotion? We’ll let you decide.
  • Jumping – Although this isn’t the best behavior during obedience class, your dog is prone to jump up to greet you if you’ve been apart for some time. While this may be a nuisance to extended family members or guests, jumping is a common way for your pet to show love.
  • Trailing you – Like many cats, your dog might follow you wherever you go. This “underfoot” approach can sometimes point to separation anxiety or other behaviors, but it also means “I belong to you.”
  • Sustained eye contact – Have you ever wondered if your dog could read your mind? Your pet shows love by meeting you wherever you are and can get a pretty good idea just by gazing into your eyes.

Your Pet Shows Love!

Remember, we love your pet, and we love hearing from you! Please let us know if you have other suggestions for how your pet shows love.

The post Head Over Paws: Five Ways Your Pet Shows You Love appeared first on West Park Animal Hospital Blog.