Close this search box.
Home DOG TRENDS & STYLESDog Humanisation Understanding the Phenomenon of Dog Humanisation: Why Dogs are Being Treated like Humans

Understanding the Phenomenon of Dog Humanisation: Why Dogs are Being Treated like Humans

by Bella Woof
dog health

Understanding the Phenomenon of Dog Humanisation: Why Dogs are Being Treated like Humans


Over the years, there has been a significant shift in the way dogs are being treated by humans. Many pet owners are starting to view their beloved four-legged friends as more than just animals; they are treating them like members of the family. This phenomenon, known as dog humanisation, has gained momentum in recent times and has raised several questions about the line between human and animal relationships. In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind this growing trend and explore the various factors contributing to the humanisation of dogs.

What is Dog Humanisation?

Dog humanisation refers to the act of treating dogs as if they were human beings. This involves assigning human-like qualities, emotions, and even behaviors to our furry friends. From dressing them up in cute outfits to celebrating their birthdays and throwing them lavish parties, pet owners are going above and beyond to make their dogs feel like family. This shift in perception has transformed the way we interact with our pets and has even influenced various industries.

Reasons for Dog Humanisation

There are several factors contributing to the rise of dog humanisation. Understanding these reasons can provide insights into the psychological and emotional needs that drive individuals to treat dogs as humans.

1. Companionship and Emotional Support

One of the primary reasons for dog humanisation is the need for companionship and emotional support. Dogs have been our faithful companions for centuries and have demonstrated an unparalleled degree of loyalty and love. Many people see their dogs as sources of comfort, joy, and unconditional love. In a society that is becoming increasingly isolated and detached, dogs fulfill a void that cannot be met by human relationships alone. As a result, pet owners are eager to reciprocate this love and affection by treating their dogs like family members.

2. Changing Family Structures

The traditional family structure has evolved over the years, with fewer people living in nuclear families and an increasing number of individuals living alone or in single-person households. Dogs help fill this void and provide a sense of family and companionship. For individuals who do not have children or a partner, dogs become a vital emotional support system, leading to a greater inclination towards human-like treatment of pets.

3. Anthropomorphic Media Representations

The media plays a significant role in shaping public perceptions and attitudes. In recent years, dogs have been portrayed more than ever in movies, TV shows, and advertisements as characters with human-like qualities. Popular films like “Lassie” and “Lady and the Tramp” have depicted dogs with emotions, intelligence, and a wide range of behaviors that closely resemble those of humans. Such representations contribute to the anthropomorphization of dogs, making it easier for pet owners to see them as part of the family.

4. Attitudes towards Animals

Society’s attitude towards animals has transformed over time. Dogs, in particular, are no longer seen merely as property or working animals, but as sentient beings capable of experiencing emotions and feelings. With increasing awareness about animal welfare, people are more inclined to treat animals with kindness and empathy, blurring the line between humans and animals. Treating dogs as humans, therefore, aligns with this evolving attitude towards animals.

5. Consumerism and the Pet Industry

The pet industry is booming, with millions of dollars being spent on pet products and services each year. Companies are capitalizing on the notion of dog humanisation by offering a wide range of luxury items such as designer clothes, gourmet treats, and even hotels exclusively catering to pets. The existence of such products and services encourages pet owners to view and treat their dogs as humans, fueling the dog humanisation phenomenon.

FAQs about Dog Humanisation

Q1. Is dog humanisation harmful to dogs?

While dog humanisation may involve pampering and indulgence, it is generally not harmful to dogs as long as their basic needs, such as nutrition, exercise, and medical care, are met. It is important to remember that dogs are still animals with their own instincts and behaviors, and it is crucial to strike a balance between treating them as family members and ensuring they live a fulfilled life as an animal.

Q2. Does dog humanisation affect the dog-owner relationship?

Dog humanisation can have both positive and negative effects on the dog-owner relationship. On one hand, treating dogs as family members can strengthen the bond between the owner and the pet, leading to increased loyalty and affection. On the other hand, excessive humanisation can lead to problems such as separation anxiety when the dog is not included in human activities. It is essential to find a balance that meets the emotional needs of both the pet and the owner.

Q3. Are there any risks associated with dog humanisation?

One potential risk of dog humanisation is the tendency to project human emotions and behaviors onto dogs, which can lead to misunderstandings and misinterpretations of their needs. Dogs communicate through body language and instinctive behaviors, which may differ significantly from human communication. It is crucial for pet owners to understand and respect their dog’s natural behaviors and needs to ensure their well-being.

Q4. Does dog humanisation have any impact on society?

The phenomenon of dog humanisation has broader societal implications. As more people treat dogs as humans, it can contribute to a more compassionate and empathetic society towards animals. It also highlights the importance of responsible pet ownership and the need to provide proper care and treatment for all animals. However, there is a risk of neglecting other animal welfare issues by focusing solely on the human-dog relationship.


The phenomenon of dog humanisation is a complex and multifaceted trend that stems from the deep emotional connection between humans and dogs. It is driven by the need for companionship, changing family structures, media representations, evolving attitudes towards animals, and the influence of consumerism. While dog humanisation can enhance the bond between pets and owners, it is important to remember that dogs are unique beings with their own set of instincts and behaviors. Striking a balance between treating dogs as family members and respecting their inherent nature is key to ensuring their overall well-being. As society continues to evolve, so will our understanding and treatment of dogs, ultimately shaping the future of human-animal relationships.

You may also like

Leave a Comment