Do You Know Your Pet's Love Language?

by Britt
Photo credit: Dean Drobot /

Relationship therapists have long used the concept of “Love Languages” to encourage better communication among couples. It defines how we express and receive love and sorts these behaviors into five categories – acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, gift-giving, and quality time. But did you ever stop to consider how your pet may fit into this framework? The folks at Nulo Pet Food did!

Recently, the brand partnered with OnePoll to survey 2,000 cat and dog parents to better understand the secret to your pet’s heart.

The survey found that quality time is the most popular love language among cats and dogs (27%). This refers to showing affection by giving your pet your undivided attention, with this increase in attention leaving our pets feeling loved and cared for. For 62% of respondents, this meant allowing their pet to sleep in their bed each night, while 40% reported that they would include their pet in their daily plans whenever possible.

Of course, food still scored high in offering a path to a pet’s heart despite not technically being part of the original five love languages.

53% of pet parents said they showed love by providing their pets with high-quality meals, which could technically fall under both acts of service and gift-giving. Dedicated to their pets' overall well-being, 47% answered that they showed love by prioritizing their pet’s health and nutrition over all else, and 32% focused on adding variety to their diet.

“With 69% of respondents willing to put their pet’s dietary needs before their own, the data clearly shows just how important a role pets plan in their people’s lives,” explained Heather Acuff, Ph.D., Nulo’s Director of Research & Development. “Not only are pet parents speaking their pet’s love language, they’re going above and beyond to provide optimum care and nutrition to ensure the healthiest and happiest lives for their pets.”

What inspires us to prioritize our pets so highly in our lives? These furry family members hold an important role in our lives, with 47% of pet owners believing their pet views them as a best friend and 42% stating that their pet sees them in the same way.

This data gives us an insight into the dedication that pet parents show in providing quality nutrition to their dogs and cats. When asked why they feed their current diet, 50% said they strongly believed their pet enjoyed the food, 35% chose the diet for its high-quality ingredients, and 29% decided on a diet based on their budget.

How important is variety in our pets’ diets? Only 48% of those surveyed believed they could survive eating the same meal every day for three months. It highlights the importance of products like food toppers that allow us to provide variation and make mealtime interesting while still prioritizing feeding a well-balanced diet. This includes commercial food toppers and pet-friendly human foods like pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, and more.

Ultimately, the data reveals that food is one of the most significant ways we express our love and affection to our pets – possibly even making it the sixth love language for pets and pet parents!


Britt Kascjak is a proud pet mom, sharing her heart (and her home) with her “pack” which includes her husband John, their 2 dogs – Indiana and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx. She has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. In her free time, she enjoys traveling around the country camping, hiking, and canoeing with her pets.

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