Why Do Dogs Like To Cuddle?

Have you ever noticed how your pup looks at you with his big, brown eyes after a long day?

Or how he wraps his furry arms around your waist and gives you a snuggly hug every morning?

Dogs are some of the most beloved pets, and it’s easy to see why.

Not only do they provide us with loads of love and companionship, but it’s also in their nature to offer comfort through cuddling.

But what about cuddling makes dogs so eager to do it?

In this article, we will explore why most dogs like to cuddle and why physical contact plays an important role in canine communication.

The Reasons Why Do Dogs Like To Cuddle

little brown puppy cuddling with woman


A dog cuddles because it provides them with a sense of warmth and comfort.

Research suggests that when dogs are physically close to someone they care about, their oxytocin levels significantly increase.

That is a chemical responsible for creating feelings of love and connection.

Therefore, to pet dogs is not just comforting to the dog, but it’s also incredibly beneficial for its overall well-being.

Lap dogs are more likely to feel safe, secure, and relaxed in challenging situations.

The next time your pup is nestled up beside you on the couch or curling into your lap for some loving head scratches, take comfort knowing your dog is happier and healthier thanks to its cozy cuddle session!

Makes Them Feel Secure

Cuddling is very important for their emotional development and stability.

It helps them to feel secure and relaxed in challenging or uncomfortable environments, as well as during times of fear and stress.

Dogs that get lots of love, affection, and cuddles from their owners are often well-balanced emotionally.

That allows them to better deal with external pressures and experience greater overall well-being.

Additionally, cuddling can serve as a form of physical reassurance for an anxious dog.

And this creates a special connection between the dog and its owner.

Through the power of cuddling, dogs can be comforted during rough times and reminded how much they are cherished.

Comfort And Love

woman cuddling with dog

Dogs like to cuddle because it is a powerful show of dogs love and comfort that dog owners and pet parents share with their canine companions.

Dogs enjoy the mutual comforting touch between them and their owners.

That is a unique experience that humans often seek out from other people.

Dogs have the instinct to use physical contact to express themselves and be reassured.

Cuddle time can even help address anxiety in canines during extended times apart from their loved ones.

Overall, cuddling and puppies snuggle is an essential part of the bond between pets and pet families, so it should never be underestimated or overlooked.

Releases Oxytocin, Which Makes Them Feel Happy

Dog cuddling is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have with your pup!

And it is also one of the important human dog interactions.

Not only does it provide comfort and love for both dog and owner, but studies have also shown that it releases a hormone in dogs called oxytocin.

Oxytocin is often referred to as the “love hormone” as it plays an important role in social behaviors such as trust, bonding, and even pleasure.

Consequently, when we allow our dog to cuddle other family members or us, it results in a surge of the melanocyte-stimulating hormone.

That makes the dog feel relaxed and happy.

So next time you come across your dog trying to snuggle up to you on the couch, don’t be surprised; they just want some love!

Try To Bond With Their Human Companions

white brown dog cuddling with human in punk pullover

Dogs need to be close to their human companions, which is why they like to cuddle.

It serves as an alert that the dog wants closeness and common understanding with you, so it will come and put its head on your lap or even try to curl up next to you.

It can often be considered a sign of affection, with the dog trying to get closer to you to form an emotional bond.

This behavior also helps with scent-marking since dogs have a keen sense of smell.

Therefore, cuddling can suggest dogs love, bonds with you, and feels secure when near you.

Affection And Friendship

Dogs often love to cuddle because it allows them to show and receive love, comfort, and affection.

Dogs are known to be loyal and loving furry friends who enjoy the physical touch and the emotional bond.

They can express intense emotion through cuddles, including happiness, joy, contentment, and unconditional love.

This strong connection of friendship through cuddling helps to strengthen their security and overall well-being.

Can Cuddling With Dogs Be Bad?

white black dog is cuddling

Though it can be tempting to cuddle up with a cozy pup, recent research suggests that some forms of human-dog contact may not benefit canine health.

While dogs can be incredibly intuitive and soothing companions, forming close physical connections with humans appears to lead to higher levels of stress hormones in their bodies.

Increased stress can cause long-term behavior issues or even medical conditions.

So it is a good idea to consider the type and amount of physical contact when interacting with our canine friends.

Giving space and engaging in lower-intensity activities like walking can be great alternative ways to bond with your dog.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Wants To Be Cuddled?

dark brown dog is cuddling

You now know the answer for the question “why do dogs like to cuddle”.

But how do you know if your dog want’s to cuddle at a special moment?

Luckily, there are several signs you can look out for that will let you know when cuddling is welcome.

Be on the lookout for an open posture – tails wagging and ears forward indicate that your pup feels relaxed and ready to receive affection.

Your fur baby may also come closer to you, nuzzle their head against your leg or move their body closer to yours as an invitation for more intimacy.

If you still aren’t sure, take it slow by starting with light petting near their collar or scratching behind their ears – chances are they’ll lean into it!

Keep in mind that different dogs have different needs.

So pay attention to your canine companion’s body language and go with what works best for them.

Why Do Some Dogs Cuddle More Than Others?

There are many reasons why some dogs cuddle more than others, although it is hard to pinpoint one exact answer.

In general, it can be attributed to a combination of personality traits and exposure to positive experiences during the early stages of life.

For instance, if a pup is exposed to being around humans and gets physical loving, they will grow up wanting those kinds of affectionate interactions.

Similarly, those that come from a more solitary background may not have the same levels of comfort with physical touch, leading them to cuddle less.

Ultimately, no two dogs are exactly alike, and factors such as breed and age may also play a role in how much they enjoy cuddling with their owners.

dog is cuddling with a little boy

Health Benefits For Humans

Cuddling with dogs has long been seen as a way to provide comfort and companionship.

But researchers have recently discovered there are also health benefits for humans.

A study from 2019 found that pets help relieve stress and even lessen the risk of allergies for children.

Canine cuddles can also reduce blood pressure and improve mood.

This means our furry friends may be able to help us combat anxiety, depression, and loneliness.

Cuddling with dogs provides both physical and emotional benefits to their humans.

Do Dogs Feel Love When You Cuddle Them?

It is easy to assume that when we cuddle our dogs, they experience love and other positive emotions.

After all, it is natural for humans to express affection through physical contact, such as hugging and snuggling.

Dogs do respond positively to this kind of attention from us and may even offer us displays of affection in return.

Dogs initiate closeness to us.

When dogs are cuddled, they tend to show signs of contentment, such as relaxed body language, tail wagging, licking, and purring-like sounds.

Their reactions give us an indication that they experience more than just comfort when being cuddled.

white dog cuddling with human legs

While the extent of their feelings remains unclear, there’s no doubt that our canine companions benefit greatly from being loved by us in any form.

Before You Go…

Now you know why dogs like to cuddle.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Or watch this video:

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.