The many benefits of a dog's unconditional love

Good for you, good for your dog too

This month, for the last week of April we are rounding up our campaign by focusing on dogs’ unconditional love, and the benefits this companionship offers us humans.

To get involved, send us your favourite photo of you and your dog, or upload it to Instagram using #LoveWithBarc 🧡

A Dog's Unconditional Love with Owner


It's official - dogs are one of the most loved animals in the UK, with over 13 million British households now owning dogs as pets (that's just under 50% of UK homes!).  

You probably won't be surprised to hear this, as there are so many reasons to love dogs. Not only do they make amazing pets, they also provide incredible assistance for people with impairments, disabilities and mental health illnesses. 

Unconditional love is defined as affection without any limitations, or love without conditions. This type of love is commonly associated with dogs, a species that is celebrated for providing loyal companionship to humans.  

Here at Barc London, our brand is centred around this belief. As we continue to build our Barc family, we explore the connection between dogs and humans to help dog owners get the most out of their relationships with their pups. 

In our guide below, we delve into the connection between man and dog, with top tips to help you and your dog bond for life. 


Discover more about dogs' unconditional love:

Why do dogs love humans?
Do dogs actually love their owners?
Do dogs know that we love them?
How to show your dog you love them:
Do dogs understand kisses?
How to say 'I love you' in dog language:
LOVE with Barc London
    Ways to strengthen the bond and connection between you and your dog
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    Why do dogs love humans?

    There's no doubt that dogs love humans, just think about how happy and excited they get to see their owners, even after a long time spent apart. The primary reason that dogs are able to give so much love is because, they, like humans, have the ability to release oxytocin when they interact with someone or something that they like.

    Oxytocin, also known as the 'love hormone' is a chemical that releases in response to activation of sensory nerves. One way that these sensory nerves can be initiated is through contact - with actions like touch, stroking and tickling.

    In addition, dogs are pack animals. They are naturally inclined to stay closely nestled to their owners for protection and comfort, which is why so many dogs enjoy being cuddled and sleeping close by to their owners.

    Dog Showing Love and Affection to Baby

    Do dogs actually love their owners?

    It might sound far-fetched to some, but there are a number of studies that have helped to evidence the belief that dogs do in fact love their owners. Dogs are important members of the family, and it's not just owners that see it this way.

    Just like a child, a dog relies on its pet parent for food, shelter, exercise, love and affection. Similarly, many pet owners depend on their dogs for companionship, affection & motivation to exercise and engage in self-care. This symbiotic relationship is largely what makes human-canine bonding so special. 

    Do dogs know we love them?

    Yes, dogs are aware of and able to interpret human love and affection. The bond between dogs and their owners is a special one, and as you build a bond with your dog, you learn to communicate its love language through facial expressions, body language and signs of affection. 

    However, as with any relationship in life, it's important to take time and effort to engage with your dog and deepen the connection you share.

    How to show your dog you love them: 

    There are so many ways you can show your dog unconditional love. In return, your dog will become one of your most trusted companions, and will be there for you through the ups and downs of life. To show your dog you love them: 

    1. Daily Playtime 🎾

    Dogs love to play! As we explored in the second week of our campaign, playing with dogs offers so many benefits to both humans and pups. Taking time out of your day to engage in interactive play will help to develop the bond between you. It's a great way to appeal to what your dog loves best, while also engaging in much needed light relief after a long and busy day at work. 

    2. Regular Cuddles 👐

    Both humans and animals are able to release oxytocin through touch, so cuddling with your dog is a great way to demonstrate your love for them. Not only are hugs and cuddles enjoyable for pups, they'll also make you feel good too! 

    3. Eye Contact 👀

    Dogs use eye contact to help decipher their owners' emotions, so giving your dog regular eye contact is another useful way to bond with your pup and build a connection and understanding. This eye contact is an important instinct among dogs, and another way that oxytocin levels get raised. 

    4. Regular Walks 🍃

    Going for daily dog walks is a perfect way to spend time with your dog, while also ensuring both you and pup get the exercise needed to stay healthy in mind and body. Through walks outdoors, you can continue to establish a deep bond with your dog and help them learn good behaviours. 

    5. Ear & Belly Rubs 👂

    If there's one thing that most dogs love, it's having their ears and bellies rubbed and tickled. A dog's ears are a part of their body that has several nerve endings that extend to their internal organs. When they get rubbed, these nerves send signals to the brain that increase the production of endorphins, the 'feel good hormone'.

    Anatomy and physiology of animals The ear ,

    As you can see from the diagram, the ear is a gateway that sends nerve impulses throughout the body. Massaging this area not only releases endorphins, it also helps to improve blood and serve supply to all the organ systems of the body.

    To rub your dogs ears, you should start at the base of the ear and stroke out towards the end of the ear flap gently, circular motions work wonders for relaxation. There are lots of ways to massage dogs' ears, but you should always make sure your dog is comfortable with this type of touch.

    6. Tricks & Treats 🦴

    We know that dogs benefit hugely from mental stimulation, so in addition to playing games with your dog, you can take time to teach him or her new tricks! These training sessions are another amazing way to develop trust, while challenging your dog's brain through learning. As you teach your dog new tricks, be sure to reward them with lots of yummy treats.

    7. Verbal Praise 🗣️

    When it comes to showing a dog you love them, tone of voice is more important than you might think. Dogs are extremely receptive to sound, and as a result are able to understand whether or not you're happy with them through the pitch of your voice. 

    A neuroscientist at Eotvos Lorand University in Hungary helps to explain that dogs process sounds in a very similar way to us humans. When dogs head speech, they separate the meaning of words from intonation. While the left hemisphere of the brain processes meaning, intonation is processed in the right hemisphere. 

    In the university's study into dog behaviour and cognition, their findings revealed that dogs brains lit up when they heard verbal praise spoken enthusiastically, but not:

    • When they heard verbal praise spoken in a flat tone
    • When they heard random words spoken in an enthusiastic tone

    Do dogs understand kisses?

    No, technically dogs are not able to understand kisses in the way that humans see them. However, over time, dogs can learn that this display of affection is linked to positive emotions and feelings of love.

    Dog Kisses

    All dogs are different, but usually, dogs that are familiar with kisses will often exhibit body movements that we understand to be positive responses - such as wagging their tails or licking a human back.

    💋  Signs your dog enjoys kisses:

    • Tail wagging 
    • Tilting head up 
    • Nuzzling into you 
    • Licking 
    • Jumping up 
    • Panting with a smile
    • Acting excited


    How to say 'I love you' in dog language:

    One of the best ways you can communicate love to your dog is by sharing eye contact regularly. When a dog and human gaze at each other lovingly, the hormone oxytocin is raised in both species. 

    In Japan, a research group examined human and dog participants for a study into the role oxytocin played in inter-species social bonding. The purpose of the study focused on whether the role of the 'dog's gaze' influenced levels of oxytocin. 

    The study analysed urine samples of dogs and humans for concentrations of oxytocin before and after interaction with each other. During the experiment, dog owners interacted with their dogs for thirty minutes. For the control part of the experiment, owners were instructed not to look at their dogs directly. 

    Urinary oxytocin levels were found to be higher in both owners and dogs after interactions with dogs included eye contact.


    An Unbreakable Bond & One Brand Later

    LOVE with Barc London

    With the understanding of the importance of developing a connection with your dog, we aim to provide dog owners with helpful information and advice to enhance their dogs' lives. 

    Barc London was founded as a result of the deep connection between founder Alexander Fell and his dog Archie. Though Archie passed away in April 2021, his legacy lives on through Barc London.  

    You can find out more about the heart and message behind our brand in our founder and CEO's honest startup story, An Unbreakable Bond & One Brand Later

    "All my personal growth was made easier with him by my side. Even in the most isolating parts of my life, I was never alone. It was me and him against the world.  

    Sometimes wdon't need words of wisdom to fix things, just someone who is present with us, to sit through the uncomfortable times and be a shoulder to cry on. That having someone consistent will carry you through to brighter days. 

    He showed me that the simple things in life are the best, that those who we hold dear to our hearts are the ones we carry with us wherever we go." 

    - Alexander Fell

     We'd love to find out more about how your dog's unconditional love has shaped your life. Let us know in the comments below! 


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