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How our pets show their love

How our pets show their love
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Our pets have their own special way of communicating their affection towards us – can you spot the signs that your special friend is wild about you? From dogs and cats to birds and guinea pigs, we’ve got so much pet love happening.

Your dog gives you puppy eyes

Your dog gives you puppy eyes
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You know how when you’re just chilling on the couch, watching Netflix, and your dog rests his head on your lap, gazing deeply into your eyes? That’s pup-speak for “I love you, human!”

“Just like humans, dogs use face and body language to communicate,” says Whitney Miller, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and Director of Veterinary Medicine for Petco. “Long intense eye contact from your dog is a way of showing they trust you and show affection towards you.” However, that doesn’t hold true for EVERY dog. Check out these 14 things you do that your dog actually hates.

Your cat gives you the slowest blink

Your cat gives you the slowest blink
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“For cats, slowly blinking is a gesture of acceptance and comfort. Cats do this with other cats because in the feline world, closing one’s eyes in front of another is a sign of trust,” Dr Miller explains. But wait, don’t stop there! You can return the compliment, telling your cat how much you love him too, by blinking slowly right back. A cat whisperer reveals the seven biggest mistakes cat owners make.

Your guinea pig sings

Your guinea pig sings
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“Guinea pigs are very vocal and will emit all kinds of squeaks, squeals, and even a few purr-like noises to show their affection,” Dr Miller says. It may even sound like they’re singing so consider it your own personal love song (and feel free to sing one back!), she adds.

Your bird shakes her tail feathers

Your bird shakes her tail feathers
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It’s not just dogs that wag their bottoms when they’re happy! “A bird’s tail feathers, like other pets’ tails, are also used as a method to communicate in the wild,” Dr Miller says. “Like a dog, a bird may fan out their feathers or wag their tail to tell you that they are glad to see you.”

Your cat rubs her chin on you

Your cat rubs her chin on you
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OK, so technically when cats rub their faces and chins on something it’s their way of marking their territory, says Gary Weitzman, DVM and author of National Geographic Complete Guide to Pet Health, Behavior, and Happiness. But don’t rule it out as a declaration of love! “Declaring ownership of you is a very feline way to say ‘I love you’,” he says. Find out the eight cat breeds with the friendliest personalities.

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Your dog brings you her favourite chewie toy

Your dog brings you her favourite chewie toy
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Sharing isn’t just for pre-schoolers! “If your dog brings you one of their favourite toys and drops it at your feet, it’s likely they are giving it to you as a gift,” Dr Miller says. “Sharing their favourite things is one way they demonstrate love.” Make sure you choose safe toys for your furry friends!

Your cat sleeps on your head

Your cat sleeps on your head
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“Cats show their love and bond with their person by tuning in to your activities and trying to participate in what you are doing,” says Jessica Char, a certified animal trainer and behaviour consultant with Feline Engineering. “Though they are famous for their napping abilities, cats will match the rhythm of their people, being awake more when their favourite humans are home and active.” So take it as a compliment when your cat plops his furry butt on your face at bedtime – he’s just doing what you do! Meanwhile, find out the 13 things you do that your cat actually hates.

Your cat rubs up against your legs

Your cat rubs up against your legs
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You may think your furry feline is just doing figure eights around your legs to remind you they need to be fed but there’s more to it than that, Dr Miller says. “Rubbing against their owners after being separated is cats’ way of saying, ‘I’m so glad to see you!’ or ‘I’ve missed you!’” she says. “Studies found that feral cats rub up against each other after being separated for a period of time.” Make sure you give her a pat back!

Your bird straight up tells you

Your bird straight up tells you
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Parrots and other smart birds are notorious for mimicking human speech but they’re not just “parroting” back what they’ve heard, they can understand the emotion behind the sentiment too, Dr Miller says. “Certain birds may mimic happy or loving noises they hear from their pet parents, and some are even smart enough to say, ‘I love you,’” she says.

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