You Really Love Your Dog Like a Child, Study Says

One study proves there's a maternal bond between dog and pet parent.

ByABC News
October 23, 2014, 1:01 PM
The feelings you have for your dog are stronger than you think.
The feelings you have for your dog are stronger than you think.
Getty Images

— -- You love your dog, that’s a no-brainer. And with Americans expected to spend an estimated $58.51 billion on the pet industry this year, it’s clear that the emotion is deeper than ever projected.

Now, Scientists have taken the unconditional love you have for your dog to the next level, confirming that it’s very similar to a mother-child connection.

“I don’t have a child but I have nieces and nephews and I could say I absolutely love my dog like a child” says Wendy Diamond, Chief Pet Officer at “My dog relies on me for absolutely everything; I would do anything for my dog.”

Just as pet parents are validating the adoration they have for their canines, research analysts at Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed that the bond between pup and pet parent were very similar to maternal love, according to the 2014 study published in PLOS ONE.

Researchers recruited a group of women who had a child between two and ten years old, as well as a dog that had been living in their households for at least two years.

Subjects were shown images of their dog and children where then a scanner picked up the signals of affection that were triggered in the brain.

“Mothers reported similar emotional ratings for their child and dog, which elicited greater positive emotional responses than unfamiliar children and dogs,” the study concluded.

Devin Crouch, stay-at-home tot and doggy mom and owner of the ‘carterandtoby’ Instagram account, believes you can absolutely love your dog like a baby.

“We have an almost two-year-old and I refer to Toby our dog as one of my children,” says Crouch. “I think by watching Toby love our son as if it’s one of his puppies or his brother that makes the love for I have for him even greater.”