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Research Reveals Why Our Dogs Love The Holidays As Much As We Do

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The holidays are a joyful and exciting time for many of us, and the excitement is not exclusive to just us humans. Studies have shown that our pups get just as happy during the holiday season as we do, and the exact reasons why will surely make your heart melt. 

Research shows that our dogs love the gifts, leftover food scraps and extra time with their owners during the holidays.

Just like children who are counting down the days until Christmas morning, your dogs are also jumping for joy, their tails constantly wagging in anticipation of the big holiday. They too, are spoiled with gifts, affection, and love during the holidays, and look forward to them every year. 

A study conducted by Orijen and OnePoll discovered that our dogs receive an extra amount of attention from their owners during the holidays, whether it be an increased amount of pets, more leftover food from their plates, or a surplus of toys and treats in their stockings. 

During the holidays, most of us have a few days off from work or school. We often spend more time in our homes so that we can be with our families, prepare meals, and decompress from all the holiday shopping and stress. Most dogs are naturally social animals who enjoy being in the company of their owners. When their humans are around, the hormone oxytocin, also known as the social hormone, increases in dogs.

Why Our Dogs Love The Holidays Just As Much As We Do Photo: 4 PM production / Shutterstock

The release of oxytocin helps to promote the attachment between individuals and their animals. Ever wonder why your dog often follows you from room to room when you are home? Their oxytocin levels go up each time they see us, and they want to be closer to us. 

The more we are at home, the more oxytocin a dog produces, and the happier they are. 

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Not only do our dogs have more time with us around the holidays, but many of them also receive extra servings of food.

We are often preparing Christmas hams, latkes, turkey, brisket and other dishes to serve to our families, and with so much food, there is bound to be leftovers and scraps that fall on the floor. 

Why Our Dogs Love The Holidays Just As Much As We Do Photo: Gryllus M / Shutterstock

The study found that seven in 10 dogs are allowed to feast on the table scraps, which is an upgrade from their usual kibble. And if they’re lucky enough, they may even get to lick the spoon after their owner makes frosting for their Christmas cookies. 

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In addition to all of the extra attention and food that their owners give to them during their holidays, most dogs are also included in the family’s usual holiday traditions. 

Seventy-four percent of dog owners share that they always have presents for their pup to open on Christmas morning, while 84 percent of them include them in their annual holiday cards

Why Our Dogs Love The Holidays Just As Much As We Do Photo: Tatyana Vyc / Shutterstock

While it doesn’t take much to make a dog happy, many of them love to tear apart wrapping paper and discover new toys or delicious treats that they can enjoy over the holidays! 

Every dog has a different temperament, and while they cannot tell us themselves that they enjoy the holidays, the evidence is clear in their wagging tails, facial expressions, and how they cuddle up next to us in front of the fireplace while we open gifts. 

It doesn’t matter how and where we spend our holidays. As long as we carve out some time for our beloved dogs, they will be content and appreciative and certainly add to the joy of the holiday season. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.