Dogs cuddle to get warmth, for bonding and because cuddling releases chemicals that make them feel good. Cuddling goes way back to dogs’ basic survival needs to keep warm through others’ body heat. Cuddling occurs immediately between puppies and mothers. The mother comforts her puppies and protects them. From the beginning of a dog’s life, cuddling is recognized as a basic instinct. Dogs use other dogs for this basic need as is seen in piled pups napping. They quickly learn the need can also be met by humans.
Cuddling releases the hormone oxytocin. This is known as the love hormone. It is also released during childbirth and breastfeeding. Its affect is calming and comforting. Studies have found that just three minutes of cuddling between dogs and owners increases oxytocin levels in both animals and their owners. So that primal urge your K9 possesses is also good for your health.