How do you know you’re a dog person? Think back to the last time you were in a group of people sharing cute photos of their little (human) bundles of joy. You probably didn’t hesitate to pull out your phone and scroll through pages of candid shots of your little angel—which happens to be a dog (or several). It’s not hard to see why dog people have so much love for these loyal creatures—dogs and people have been BFFs for thousands of years. Here are some surefire ways that you can tell that you’re a bone-a-fide dog person:
1. Anytime you go for a walk without your dog it feels wrong—like you’re cheating on him, or like you’ve forgotten your wallet and keys. When you go to leave your house or workplace, you search frantically for a dog leash and poop bags (and maybe you even called your dog’s name, much to the confusion of co-workers). It takes a good minute or two before you realize you’re walking alone this time.
2. Dog hair—it’s the one accessory that you believe is acceptable to wear every single day. Dog people have come to accept this daily reality, and hey—it does go with everything. If you’re a dog person, you’ve probably subconsciously conditioned yourself to make sure your wardrobe matches your pup’s coat.
3. You believe in dog math, which calculates that one dog equals three dog beds. Your precious fluffster needs options for sleeping accommodations, which is why there’s a comfy dog bed or mat in every room of the house, plus an outdoor cot on the patio—and a travel bed in the car, too. Each indoor bed is a different style to suit your dog’s mood for the day.
4. When you leave for the day, you tell your pooch that it’s up to him to watch the house while you’re gone. This is a serious responsibility, and you put your full trust in your vigilant four-legged security system, even though you know that in reality, he can be easily bribed by the first person who walks in with a steak or even just a few mediocre treats.
5. And when you come back home, you expect a warm welcome from your furry family members. Dog people are thoroughly disappointed (and start questioning the authenticity of their pet’s love) if they don’t hear the paws of excited pups running toward the door as soon as they turn the key.
6. You are a firm believer that dogs and people are meant to share the bed. But “sharing” means that your snuggle buddy will choose his spot first, and your spot is the small slice of the bed that’s left—basically anywhere you can lie down without disturbing your pup.
7. There are always treats in the treat stand. A dog person doesn’t just have a random bag of treats. Instead, you’ll find an entire shelf or pantry devoted to carefully selected dog treats of every variety. Even if your dog will only eat chicken jerky, you have every possible type of chicken jerky—the highest quality, of course. And you bring several kinds with you on any outing with your tail-wagging pal.
8. The nuances of all the different forms and special diets are not lost on dog people. All dog food is not the same, and you know this because you’ve done extensive research on the nuances of grain-free, freeze-dried, limited ingredient and human-grade dog foods. You want to make sure you’re giving your amigo the food that’s just right for his age, lifestyle and sensitivities.
9. You have five nicknames for your hunny bun, sweetie pie, angel face. In addition to his actual name (that you only use at the vet), you expect your sugar muffin to answer to any of these imaginative terms of endearment, and that includes any variations or unrelated names that you happen to come up with.
10. Your social media pages are literally littered with dog stuff. These are mostly pics of your own dogs that capture the latest cute thing they did, but a good number are pics, memes or videos of random dogs you passed on the street or recent posts that are shared from one of the dog-themed pages you follow.
11. No matter how different your lifestyles are, you feel an instant connection to other dog people. It’s not unheard of for you to share your life story, and your dog’s, with another pet parent at the dog park. Their dog starts playing fetch with you, and the next thing you know, you’re swapping homemade dog food recipes.
If you’ve been nodding along in agreement, welcome to the dog lover club—you’re a dog person! If you need a more precise calculation of your level of dog appreciation, here’s a handy scale:
Number of statements you said yes to:
1-3: You might not yet see the spiritual connection between dogs and people, but don’t worry; we can tell that you have dog-loving potential!
4-7: You probably own at least one pooch, and you’re well on your way to becoming a certified dog person.
8-11: You’ve had dogs your whole life, and you believe life isn’t truly fulfilling without a dog by your side.
Nikki Naser, Pet Central Senior Editor
Instead of owning 30 cats, Nikki has an impressive collection of 30 cat-themed T-shirts, and just 4 pets—a ginger-haired senior cat, a senior Maine Coon, a middle-aged Choodle, and a young kitty who showed up one day on the back steps. A former Orlando resident, Nikki worked on several tourism publications before moving to South Beach. When she’s not stopping to take pics of community cats to post on Instagram, Nikki spends her time with the office pets at Chewy, writing for their Pet Central blog.