Embrace This: Most People Hug Their Dogs More Than They Hug Other People

Friends, relatives, and even spouses take a back seat to dogs when it comes to hugs, according to a new survey.


Got dog fur across the fronts of your sweaters and shirts? Not surprising, according to a recent dog owner survey. Blame it on our dogs being just too embraceable to resist.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of those surveyed say they hug their dogs more often than they hug “certain people” in their lives. Nearly one-third (30 percent) say they hug their dogs more than their relatives, and one-quarter (26 percent) say they hug their dogs more than they hug their best friends.

That’s a lot of dog love, and could help explain what (at least to me) seems to be a rise in fur/lint rollers in stores.

But is one dog’s affection gain someone else’s loss? Does the good old physics law of the conservation of mass/energy apply here? Possibly. The survey of 482 U.S. adult dog owners in the Beneful Baked Delights survey found that 10 percent of women say they hug their dogs more than they hug their spouses or significant others. That probably translates to 10 percent of spouses who would like to be treated like a dog.

So what’s so intoxicating about hugging a dog? The majority of owners surveyed say that hugging their dog makes them smile and feel happier. Nearly 40 percent say hugging their dog causes them to forget about the stress in their lives.

Hugging isn’t just a one-way street, either. According to the survey, more than 60 percent of owners say that when they hug their dog, the dog returns their affection.

I think it’s true. Dogs may not hug you back, but they embrace with their eyes and a certain way of leaning and being quiet and in the moment of the hug.

What’s your hugging history? Do you hug your dog more than you do certain friends and loved ones? How does it make you feel to hug your pooch? Does it melt away stress, or just get you fretting about your black cashmere sweater suddenly turning the same color as your dog? And how does it make your dog feel? I realize certain dogs may not like being hugged. If you have a significant other, has s/he complained that your dog gets too much of your affection? Let us know!

For now, I sign off with big hugs. (For Jake, that is. Sorry, he’s just looking too adorable curled up at my feet all loyal and cozy as write this.)

Photos via Shutterstock: Man hugging dog, woman hugging dog

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