Your Pet’s FeelingsBy Morgan | August 20, 2019
We all know that we are our pet’s world. The way they rush to the door to greet us or insist on a cuddle while we’re watching our favourite tv show, but what do they really feel and is it akin to the love we have for them. We thought we’d take the opportunity to explain just how your pet feels about you and the emotions that they experience on a day to day basis.
What Emotions can Your Pet Feel?
Humans are certainly not alone in the ability to experience emotion; however the emotions our pets feel are not as varied as those we are capable of. It is widely accepted scientifically that dogs experience the six primary emotions of anger, happiness, fear, surprise, disgust and sadness. There is also significant evidence that would suggest that they are capable of six additional more complex emotions, those being shame, jealousy, guilt, disappointment, compassion and pride. It is believed cats show the same basic six emotions also, however the research into this is far less conclusive.
How does My Pet Express these Emotions?
Much like humans, your pet will display their emotions in a number of ways:
- Behaviourally: Is your pet jumping off the walls when you bring out the leash? Hiding under the bed at the sound of thunder or moping about when one of you leaves the home? These are all behavioural displays of their emotions.
- Facial Expressions, Ears and Tail: You’ve probably noticed the multitude of facial expressions your dog is capable of or the many potions they can put their ears in.You may have even noticed the different wags their tails can have or the numerous positions their tail can take. All of these are displays of different emotions they are experiencing at any one time.
Can I Change My Pet’s Mood?
Of course, just like humans, the brain of a dog or cat will release dopamine (the pleasure hormone) when receiving pleasure such as playing fetch or getting a cuddle from their owner.Their brain will also release cortisol (the stress hormone) when they’re stressed, such as an intruder in their home or fireworks nearby. If you feel like your pet is feeling a bit glum, then you can stimulate the release of dopamine by doing things that bring them pleasure and in turn improve their mood.
So, if you’ve ever wondered if your pet feels emotions and really loves you, the evidence would suggest that they do. We know you love them too, so when they need a vet for any reason, save them the stress and have Vets on Call visit them in the comfort of their own home. Now you know they’d do the same for you!