Reason #32 to Adopt a Shelter Dog: Shelter dogs snuggle better!

I don’t think I’ve loved a campaign more than I love this one. Shelter Dogs Snuggle Better was created by Austin Animal Services. As a shelter worker myself, I am supremely envious that their staff get to wear shirts that proudly announce this on the back. [They say cuddle, we say snuggle. Tomato. Tomahto.]

Shelter dogs snuggle. So. Hard. And that’s just one of the many reasons we love them.

One of the well-known perks of having a dog is SNUGGLES. Whether you’re single or in relationship, having a dog to snuggle is absolutely necessary. Studies have shown that petting a dog reduces stress. You don’t have to enjoy snuggling to appreciate less stress in your life.


The statement that shelter dogs snuggle better makes for good marketing, but is it really true? Well, we should first start by acknowledging that all dogs are individuals. Just as all humans vary in their love of snuggling, so do our dogs.

For instance, take my husband and I. On a scale of 1 to 100 my need for snuggles is a 102. My husband would rate his need at an 8. We are lucky we get along so well. But in the snuggles department, we could use some help from the dog.

My last dog, who I loved more than anyone, was not a snuggler. A former shelter dog, Lucy tolerated me sitting close enough to touch her (and the occasional spoon) for about three minutes. Then she would get up and move away. She’d always reposition to where she could see but not touch me. Like a good dog, she tolerated my snuggling. And like a good mom, I let her end the snuggles when she needed to.

My current sidekick Hope is much more snuggly. She, too, is a former shelter dog. Hope doesn’t ALWAYS need snuggles. But when she does, she snuggles HARD. I got lucky with her in this regard. And my husband is very grateful he’s off the hook for snuggles.


So, do shelter dogs snuggle better? The obvious answer is YASSSSSS! Have you ever taken a shelter dog away from the kennel for some R&R? Without fail, these dogs rest so much harder than any other dogs I work with. That would make sense given the stress of living in a shelter. And if they are the kind of dog that enjoys snuggles, then you’re in for a treat. Because there ain’t no snuggle like a shelter dog snuggle!

For real though, know that you have much to gain from a shelter dog snuggle. Even if you aren’t the snuggling type. One of my favorite fun facts about dogs is that petting them releases the bonding “love” hormone, oxytocin. And that fMRI scans of the brain show similarities between the mother-child bond and the mother-dog bond. You guys! Even science supports snuggling with your dog!

Moral of the story: Shelter dogs snuggle better. And that’s why you should adopt one. Like, right now!

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