Should You Treat Dogs Like Humans?

treat dogs like humans


Have you ever caught yourself talking to your dog like they’re your best friend? It’s a common scene in many households. But should you really treat your dog like a human? This is a question that has sparked much debate among pet owners and experts alike. Understanding the balance between affection and appropriate care is key to raising a content and healthy dog.

Understanding canine needs is important.

Before diving into whether or not you should treat your dog like a human, it’s crucial to understand their unique needs. Dogs and humans have different psychological and physical needs. Recognizing these differences can help you provide better care for your furry friend.

Popularity of Humanising Pets

In recent years, humanising pets has become increasingly popular. From dressing them up in adorable outfits to hosting birthday parties, pet owners are more inclined than ever to treat their dogs like family members. While this trend stems from love, it’s important to question if it’s beneficial for the pets themselves.

Canine psychology vs. human psychology

Differences in thought processes

Dogs don’t think the same way humans do. Dogs’ brains function differently, primarily focusing on instinct and survival. While humans are capable of complex thoughts and reasoning, dogs operate on a more straightforward, instinct-driven level.

Communication Styles

Humans rely heavily on verbal communication, but dogs communicate through body language, facial expressions, and vocalisations like barking and whining. Understanding these differences can help bridge the communication gap between you and your dog.

 The Impact of Humanising Dogs

Behavioural Issues

Treating dogs like humans can lead to various behavioural problems. For example, dogs might develop separation anxiety if they are overly coddled or not given enough independence. This can result in destructive behaviours, such as chewing furniture or excessive barking.

Emotional Health

Dogs need to feel secure and understand their role within the family. When treated like humans, they can become confused about their position in the pack, leading to stress and anxiety. Maintaining a balance between affection and discipline is essential for their emotional well-being.

Basic Needs: Dogs vs. Humans

Nutrition and diet

Unlike humans, dogs require a diet specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs. Feeding them human food can lead to obesity and other health issues. To ensure dogs receive the right nutrients, it’s crucial to provide a balanced diet.

Exercise Requirements

Dogs have higher physical activity needs compared to most humans. Regular exercise is crucial for their physical and mental health. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity and other health problems in dogs.

Socialisation Needs

While humans can thrive with minimal social interaction, dogs are social animals that require regular interactions with other dogs and humans. Proper socialisation from a young age can help prevent behavioural problems and ensure a well-adjusted pet.

Training and discipline

Positive Reinforcement

Using positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, is effective in training dogs. This approach encourages positive behaviour and strengthens the bond between you and your pet.

Consistency and boundaries

Consistency is key when training dogs. Establishing clear boundaries enables dogs to comprehend their expectations. Inconsistent rules can confuse dogs and lead to behavioural issues.

Importance of a Pack Leader

Dogs are pack animals by nature, and they need you to be their pack leader. Establishing yourself as a leader through firm and consistent training helps them feel secure and reduces anxiety.

Health care differences

Regular veterinary care

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are crucial for maintaining your dog’s health. Unlike humans, dogs can’t communicate when they’re feeling unwell, so routine visits help catch potential issues early.

Preventative Measures

Preventative care, such as vaccinations and flea treatments, is essential for keeping your dog healthy. Taking these measures can prevent serious health problems down the line.

Emergency Situations

Knowing how to handle emergencies is vital for any pet owner. Knowing first aid and having access to an emergency vet’s contact information can make all the difference in a crisis.

Emotional bonding and affection

Understanding Canine Affection

Dogs express affection differently than humans. They might show love by following you around, leaning on you, or bringing you their favourite toy. Recognizing these signs helps strengthen your bond with your dog.

Appropriate ways to show love

Of course you want to love your dog, but do so in ways they understand. This can include petting, playing, and spending quality time together, rather than treating them like a human child.

The role of routine in a dog’s life is significant.

Daily Schedules

Dogs thrive on routine. Having a consistent daily schedule for feeding, walking, and playtime provides structure and security for your dog.

The Comfort of Predictability

Predictability in their environment helps reduce stress and anxiety in dogs. Knowing what to expect each day makes them feel safe and comfortable.


Treating your dog with love and care is essential, but it’s equally important to respect their unique needs as a canine. By understanding the differences between dogs and humans, you can provide a balanced and healthy environment for your furry friend. Dogs thrive on routine, discipline, and appropriate affection. Striking the right balance ensures your dog lives a happy, healthy, and well-adjusted life.


Should dogs sleep in our beds?

It’s a personal decision, but take into account if it interferes with your sleep or your training. Ensure it doesn’t lead to behavioural issues.

Is it okay to talk to my dog like a human?

Yes, dogs can understand the tone and some words. It’s fine, as long as you also pay attention to their body language and cues.

Can dogs eat human food?

Generally, no. Many human foods can be harmful to dogs. Stick to dog-specific diets to ensure their health.

How can I tell if my dog is happy?

Signs of a joyful dog include a wagging tail, relaxed body posture, and playful behaviour. Each dog shows happiness differently, so learn your dog’s unique signals.

What are the signs of a well-trained dog?

A well-trained dog follows commands, behaves well in various environments, and interacts positively with other dogs and people.


As the editor of the blog, She curate insightful content that sparks curiosity and fosters learning. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail, she strive to bring diverse perspectives and engaging narratives to readers, ensuring every piece informs, inspires, and enriches.