Your pet's love language revealed for Valentine's Day

February 13, 2023 - 4 min read

This article was written for the United Kingdom market and the advice provided may not be accurate for those in the United States.

pet love languages

Communication is the key to any loving relationship — even the one you have with your pets. 

And just like people, our furry friends have different ways of expressing and receiving love. The squeaky meows, the muddy sticks, the laptop-sitting — it could all be your pet’s way of saying ‘I love you’.

Recognising and understanding different love languages can be the first step towards building stronger bonds and relationships. But it’s also very easy for love languages to get lost in translation, especially when the significant other in question is a chatty cat or an overexcited dog. 

That’s where we step in. In our research we discovered that three quarters of UK pet owners wish their furry friend could speak their language, and that two thirds are convinced pets also have their own love language.

So with Valentine’s Day approaching, we asked our in-house vet, Dr Kirsten Ronngren, to help out with some translations. We've identified five pet love languages — and asked her to provide some top tips on how to communicate with each one. 

Ready to learn how your pet says it best?

Barks of Affirmation

Do you get serenaded by friendly barks when you step in the door? Treated to a chorus of meows while filling up the food bowl? Or does your pet like to treat you to unsolicited woofs while you’re trying to get some peace and quiet? These guys are very vocal in their appreciation of you – and always love hearing your voice back in return.

Dr Kirsten says…

“At times deafening (but always adorable), these pets respond really well to training and praise, so make sure to always offer them verbal, positive reinforcement.

"This also means they’ll recognise when the tone of your voice changes, so being vocal, both in a concise and light manner, will help your pet learn and understand what you’re trying to tell them.

"Pets who are soothed by your voice could also benefit from background noise such as the radio when alone in the house to keep them calm ahead of your return home.” 

Play Time

Whether it’s a round of fetch or an exciting game of ‘mouse-on-a-string’, all these pets want is your undivided attention. And they’ll demand it too, by bringing you toys, wagging their tail expectantly and pulling off that classic puppy dog stare. Pets who communicate through this love language will want to be in close proximity to you and may struggle when left alone for too long.

Dr Kirsten says…

“If this is your pet’s love language, making time to play with your pet is a must - they love human company and might wake you up extra early to show you their affection if they don’t get enough one-on-one time. Making sure they've had enough exercise and mental stimulation before you leave the house is essential.”

Physical Fussing

Does your pet repeatedly lick your face, climb on your lap or jump up – even when they know they’re not supposed to? These pets want one thing more than anything else – and that’s lots of physical fuss.

Dr Kirsten says…

“To show your pet you care, provide lots of cuddles, belly rubs and fur strokes and they’ll be your best friend for life. This can also be a way to soothe them during stressful moments.

"Making sure to give your pet physical reassurance and affection is important, particularly when in unfamiliar territory. It’s also vital to understand when this is not the case, as independent pets can find too much physical contact unsettling, and may well tell you when they’ve had enough.”

Acts of Shadowing

Pets with this love language just want to find ways to show they’re there for you, whether that’s a cuddle after a long day, or giving you kisses when you might be upset. They’re incredibly intuitive, and always know when you’ve had a bad day. So you can always count on them to be your furry comfort blanket when you’re feeling down.

Dr Kirsten says…

“Offering your pet physical and verbal signs of affection during these moments is a great way to show your pet you appreciate them. Demonstrating appreciation by being there for them, from a long walk outdoors to giving physical comfort in stressful situations.”

Garden Gifts

You might think that surprising you with a live mouse first thing in the morning isn’t the most loving thing a pet could do. Think again. In pet speak, it’s a gift equivalent to a bunch of roses - it could also be their way of getting your attention. Gifts from the garden (no matter how muddy) are a gesture of their love.

Dr Kirsten says…

“Don’t worry, communicating with your pet in this language doesn’t need to involve a rodent or dirt on your carpet. It can mean you making them a simple homemade treat, or playing a game using their favourite toy.

"Dogs with this love language will also respond well to treats, so make sure to pack them before puppy training!”

Scarlett White
Senior Copywriter

Scarlett is an experienced copywriter who’s worked within a variety of industries, including health, beauty and interiors. Before joining ManyPets as Senior Copywriter in 2022 to focus on pet health, she held in-house copywriting roles at MADE.COM and Liz Earle Beauty Co. She has a penchant for puns, a love of dogs and a degree in English Literature.