12 Weird Things Dog Lovers Do (that freak normal people out)

Let’s face it. Dog lovers are weird.

It’s a good thing we have each other to hang around with. Because if normal people saw what dog lovers do every day, they would freak out.

Honey the golden retriever thinks dog lovers are weird.

Dog lovers are weird for taking pictures of dogs doing nothing. What’s up with that?

Weird Things Dog Lovers Do

Am I telling secrets if I publish this list?

Smell dog’s feet. You can’t hide the truth from me. I know you wait until they’re sleeping and then breathe in the aroma of their feet paddling in the air.

Taste dog food. Video evidence here and here. How do you expect me to know if it’s good enough to serve to my dog if I don’t taste it first?

Spoon their dogs. I bet some of you take the right position so your dog can nestle close to you in bed without even thinking about it.

Dog lovers are weird.

Ginny wonders why I’m always watching her butt. She stopped wagging her tail to get a little privacy.

Look for winking a$$holes. No, not that jerk on the bus who keeps hitting on you. But real fuzzy a$$holes signaling the cue to prep your plastic bag on a walk. Which reminds me…

Pick up poop in your hands. Sure, you cover your hand with a thin plastic bag. But that doesn’t make it any less weird to non dog lovers. Not to mention if you pick up dog poop in a snowball.

Honey the golden retriever thinks dog lovers are weird.

He spent weeks yelping every time I bit him when I was a puppy. Now he encourages me to bite his glove. This dog lover is weird.

Shiver at outdoor dining establishments. Sure, it’s freaking cold. But if I’m only allowed to dine with my dog at restaurants with outdoor seating, dang it, pass me my coat.

Spend hours preparing homemade dog meals. No that’s not the weird part. That comes when you stand over the sink eating crackers and cheese because you’re too tired to cook a decent meal for yourself.

Toss cheese at your dog when the UPS truck pulls up. Hey, it keeps her quiet. And teaches her that men in uniform are safe. What’s weird about that?

Walk in zig zag patterns. Normal people walk where they need to go. Dog lovers, with reactive dogs, cross the street, jump behind shrubs, and turn into driveways to avoid things that scare their dog. A three block walk on a busy day can register six miles on the pedometer.

Ask at your favorite bar if they’ll be showing Puppy Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday. C’mon, large men chasing each other down a field or puppies? Is it even a competition?

Howl with your dog. Oh, you haven’t tried this one yet? You should. It’s loads of fun.

Love dogs too much to care that you’re freaking “normal” people out. I just pity them. Don’t you?

Honey loves her weird dog lover mom.

Okay, you’re weird. But I love you too.

A little weirdness is a beautiful thing. Especially when it results in a loving relationship. So dog lovers—just keeping doing those things you do. And don’t worry about freaking out the normals. The rest of us weird dog lovers know exactly how you feel.

Your Turn: Time to share. What weird things do you do with your dog that freak normal people out? No judging here. We’re weird too. 

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  1. We plan most of our trips or vacations around them. If I have a business trip out of town…better coordinate so Steve isn’t going away too. A vacation alone, just the two of us? Rare and usually results in one of the dogs getting sick, so we tend to think it’s jinxed.

  2. lol! Add a new one: not doing one (or more) of the things on the list, and instead of patting yourself on the back for being (slightly more) normal, worrying that in some way you are deficient as a dog owner! (I don’t smell paws – am I missing out/neglectful?!)

    I definitely think my non-pet/non-dog friends think blogging about my dogs is a bit excessive. Ah well.

    • That’s a good one! Blogging about your dog! Yes, normal people do think that is odd!

    • So true! When I told my dad about the Ruby blog he said “What can you possibly have to say?” A LOT!

    • OMD, you really raised the neuroses to a whole new level by worrying that you weren’t neurotic enough about your dog. You win!

      • Nearly crying with laughter: because it all rings true.
        Nellie smells delicious – digestive biscuits.

        We live in Astana, Kazakhstan (minus 32C today); the frozen popsicle poos are fantastic. I’ve caught vomit on car journeys – and caught the odd indoor poo with bare hands before it hits the floor.

        When Nellie is being fussy with food, I pick up the bowl and pretend that I’m eating it, to encourage her. Admittedly, this does not have a high success rate.

  3. Well, considering Ma does some of the things listed above and doesn’t think they are “weird”, I guess the “weird” thing she also does is have conversations with me while we are walking. Of course, sometimes she notices people coming towards us so she stops talking so they won’t think she is a “whacko”…but then I stop and give her this look that says “What? Don’t leave me hanging in the middle of a story!” and she starts talking again. BOL

    • But haven’t you seen people talking to themselves around the neighborhood? They usually have a thing sticking out of their ear. I think that’s much weirder than talking to an obviously intelligent, and poetic, dog. :)

  4. I thought everyone talked to their dogs. Kind of like singing while driving a car. My dogs have too many weird moments from the humans to list. just a dog way of life. The cat however is placed in a cage during baths (human) and meals. She was feral as a kitten. She will jump in the shower with me (then freak out). When we eat she will jump on the table and steal food from our plates.

    • While I wouldn’t want to wish suffering on your or your cat, I would totally love to see her jumping into the shower with you. :)

  5. LOL! That is such a great list…I think Mom does all but one of those things! Since she has had dogs for so long, they don’t even seem weird to her anymore. She also has no problem reaching her hand into our mouths to retrieve something disgusting we are trying to swallow or her all time fav is pulling a long piece of grass out of our butt that is stuck there! Humans do disgusting stuff with their mini humans that is maybe even worse than what Mom does with us dogs. Who cares. We are family! Great post!

  6. Another great post! How do you keep coming up with such great topics?!

    Smell their feet? For sure! They’ve got Frito-Toes!
    I feed raw….NO taste-testing in my house…Ew!
    Spooning, Yes…Looking for a Wink….not so much.
    Picking up poop may be the only thing “normal” people think is OK, even heroic.
    I hate being cold so no outdoor dining unless the temperature suits my delicate senses 😉
    I don’t cook for my dogs but they definitely eat way better/healthier than I do!
    No cheese, we just wait for the UPS/Fedex chaos to subside….
    Thanks to Jimmy, I zig-zag with the best of them!
    Howl? – Hell yes!
    Never worry about being normal because none of us are! Dog or non-dog…..

    And I’ve got one to add to the list…..Having your car permanently set up to carry the dog(s), plus having it covered with dog-related bumper stickers, magnets and dog family stick figures.

    • I love your spirit!

      And back when I had a car, it wasn’t set up for the dogs. That’s just the way it was. But if people needed to ride with us, we’d throw a sheet on the backseat to protect them from all the dog hair. After all, it was the dogs’ car first. :)

      • My car is permanently set-up for the dogs with a hammock-style seat cover. On the extremely rare occasions when a human has to sit in the back seat, I just take it off and throw it in the trunk. Now that I’m not working, I rarely play chauffeur to more than one person at a time (hubby). And I have a “Who Rescued Who” magnet on my car but no bumper stickers (only because I keep forgetting to put my one dog- related one on the car).

  7. Diana Drucker says:

    I had a dog who smelled great and her feet smelled like corn chips. My current dog smells doggy and a little sour but I still sniff her.

  8. Yup – done ’em all! If I could add one thing to the list – our Alfie always gives the best answers to any question I might have, he is a very clever pooch :-)

    • Although I don’t feel nearly creative enough to share Honey’s answers to my questions on the blog, she talks to me all the time. Interestingly, you can tell a lot about MY state of mind by what HONEY says to me. Gee, I wonder how that happens? :)

  9. Got to agree with Jen – spending hours per week blogging about the dog might be considered, um, a bit odd to non-dog-lovers. And, yes, we definitely do the zig-zag walk. (Was actually just thinking on our walk just now about the post I did on “The Avoidance Walk.”)

    Okay… here’s a weird one… In the winter, when I scoop her poop, I hold on to the bag. Makes a nice hand-warmer. :) (You’re sure no one’s going to judge???)

    • I do this, too. You are not alone.

      And am I the only one who is excited when it’s freezes and I can pick up the frozen poopsicles that I missed that much easier?

    • Yep, I’m with you and Susan. I have definitely used the poopy hand warmer.

      However, I do it a little less often now that I’m using flushable poop bags. I worry that the moisture of the poop combined with the moisture in my hands is going to dissolve them before I get home. :)

  10. Those were great and so true to me. I also have caught dog pee in my hand to keep from going on the rug.

    • You just shared that to make sure we didn’t envy the glamorous life of a dog breeder, right? :)

      I haven’t done it with dog pee, but I have caught my share of vomit.

  11. Letting dogs lick our faces after who-knows-what-else they’ve been licking. And, while I’m on the subject, letting dogs lick our fingers clean after eating Cheetos.

    • OMD, I can’t believe my list forgot lickies. Goes to show that no list will ever be complete without lots of dog crazy collaborators. :)

  12. I’m sure the non-dog neighbors watch in horror as I pick up dog poo with just the thin layer of a used grocery bag as my “glove” and walk around our yard with the plastic grocery bag of a weeks worth poo. Just in case they are watching, I might examine a “sample” to see what Beamer may have passed.

    “Is that part of the rose bush? hummmm”

    • It’s a little horrifying how good we get at deciphering poop ingredients. I even found myself dissecting the contents of a pile of vomit recently.

      BTW, chopsticks are a helpful tool. :)

  13. Lol… I’ve seen people do all kinds of weird things with their pets. Or at least things others would consider weird anyways. This is a hilarious list. My confession is that I love it when my dog licks my feet and sometimes, I make her lick them lol. It feels good!

    • I bet you love when the dogs lick you dry coming out of the shower too. :)

    • Ohhhh, Ann. My Toby used to lick my feet too. I definitely didn’t need a pedicure after that. 😀

      Sage is a bit more reserved but she sure likes a massage!

  14. I do nearly everything listed, including the ones in the comments.
    1) Yes, I think dog poo makes a great hand warmer in the winter.
    2) Yes, I let my dogs lick my face.
    3) And I think I’ve found my peeps here, when you listed smelling dog feet as number 1, and so many people here agree. I think my dogs’ feet smell like popcorn, but corn chips would also make sense to me.

    My additions? Tell me if I’m wrong, but I think dog people (and cat people for that matter) create an entire vocabulary around their fur family members, creating words to describe their behaviors, toys, sleeping places etc. For example, when my dogs nibble at their feet , probably to scratch an itch, my family calls it “nygning.” We keep a few plush toys around after they’ve been de-stuffed and eviscerated; my dogs love to play with the “pelts.” And when we’re not exactly sure what one of our dogs is doing, we say they are “pupstrating.”

    Not to mention the jillion pet names we have for each of our animals. “Lilah” is her given name, but we call her “Lilah Fish,” “Lilah Girly” “Stealth Dog” (She’s black as midnight), “Lilah Toes,” “CatDog” “Lilah Bear” etc.

    And BTW, I don’t care if it’s weird or it freaks people out. To all of us–and most important, to our dogs–it’s perfectly normal.

    • I love all the words and phrases you’ve invented. That sounds like an awesome blog post that I bet would get lots of interesting comments.

      We don’t make up many words. But we sometimes joke about what religion or philosophy our dog follows. :)

  15. I am so glad my mom met all you dog- and animal lovers on the blogs, because she doesn’t feel weird at all anymore :-)

  16. Fabulous in every way! I love the smell of “Dorritos paws.”

    • I’ve always loved the smell. But having my first golden retriever, there’s even better when they’re stinky and furry. :)

  17. I’ve confessed to the practice of letting them be the pre-wash before the dishes go into the dishwasher (with water at maximum temperature) so I can’t hide from that one. Surprisingly quite a few people admitted this once I came out of the closet with my confession. But we all love the Super Bowl and never miss a play or a commercial.

    • I’ve always loved the smell. But having my first golden retriever, there’s even better when they’re stinky and furry. :)

  18. I love these, they are all absolutely true! I inspect poop (for GI distress), tell my dogs “see you later, momma loves you” everyday, check the pet section at EVERY store I go to, and take pictures of their daily meals…

  19. Howling? Absolutely! And we drag Jen out of bed every morning at 4:30 and let her put a coat on before taking us outside. So what if she’s still half asleep and her hair’s all over her head? We gotta pee!

    • It’s nice of you to at least let Jen put her coat on. Because stepping out in pajamas on a chilly morning would be enough to get almost anyone howling. :)

  20. I tick a good number of those boxes. Do they make dog feet scented perfume?

  21. If they did, who would want it? The bottle couldn’t be cute or fuzzy enough to replace a dog. :)

  22. Ann Sowards says:

    Personally, there are several people I know that think I’m just a tad OCD about my dogs because I load up all 6 wieners, deaf and blind Fritz included, every day to take to the PO. That’s the one of two places to go up here. I roll down the windows, pop them all into three booster seats, and drive five miles an hour so they can fully appreciate the woods we drive through. Then, they get to bark like crazy when I exit the car to get the mail. I shrug at people and say,” Dachshunds. What r ya gonna do?” Personally, I think they need that barking time. Keeps idiots away from my car, too. And everyone can feel superior about their well behaved, quiet dogs minding their own business in their own cars. I don’t care. Everyone needs to cut loose once in a while.

    • Besides the fact that barking is what dogs do. I go nuts when people feel the need to correct all normal dog behavior.

      Sounds like your post office trips are fun for all of you. :)

  23. Ha ha ha! Oh, the part about eating cheese and crackers after cooking for the dog — so true!

    And we look for stores to shop in that welcome our dogs as shoppers, too. I’d rather give my money to Bass Pro than Dick’s Sporting Goods for one big reason.

    • I was wondering if I was alone on that one. It’s happened more than a few times here. :)

      I love that you shop with the dogs. I can relate. It puts me in the strange position of having more positive feelings about our local, indoor mall filled with chain stores because they host two dog-friendly days than about our downtown, outdoor, pedestrian mall filled with unique local businesses that ban dogs. My love for dogs makes me go against everything I’d normally do.

    • Heck, all I’ve been “brave” enough to cook for my dogs are some of their treats and I definitely taste-test those! :-)

  24. #1 !!! I love the smell of my dogs’ feet. it smells like popcorn. Another weird thing we do that would freak a non-dog person out… eat food that our dogs might have licked. So I’m at a barbecue with my dogs, sitting on the soft green grass, and eating a delicious hamburger when Maya decides it smells so good she is going to sneak in a little taste. Do I still eat my hamburger just because Maya might have recently licked her butt too? Heck no! I’m going to finish my hamburger.

    • I hate to say it, but the way beef is produced in this country, there are probably fewer germs from Maya’s butt licking than already in the burger when she licked it to begin with. :(


    Play contact audiobooks or TV to mask the sounds of the big scary world.
    Spend a ridiculous amount on novel proteins for the dog, but refuse to buy a decent cut of beef for yourself
    Handle dehydrated animal peni$ and allow it on your carpets & couches (and apparently, have them fall out of your coat at work events. awkward.)
    Drink/eat things that have had dog snout in them

    I could seriously go on all day. #CrazyDogLady

  26. Love this, so true what we dog people do.

  27. Oh man – you described me to a “T”! LOL!

  28. OK so here is mine. I had to chuckle about the poop in the snowball and the picking it up though hand is covered in plastic. Yet I know my neighbors really think I an insane as one unbeknownst to me stood watching me as I was squeezing the poop in the little plastic bag. See my little girl has a fetish for eating rocks and I just wanted to make sure it had past on through. It would have been one thing if it were a one time deal but with her it started to become a regular routine. Glad now that she has gotten over her love for eating rocks but I will not forget the time I have spent squeezing poop.

  29. And I still don’t think we are all coming out of the closet on the things we all do. As I read all the things there is none that surprise me let alone shock me, though they would be enough to freak out the the abnormal non dog and cat lovers! I must admit that I not only smell my dogs paws but I kiss my girls paws as well. I not only do that but I allow them both to eat from my own fork as well as out of my mouth even as I eat. I lick and play bite their ears and mouth and of course what would it all be with out a little kissing. Even with all this my wife and I have no problem with with each other doing this as we both interact with them the same. Being both of ours are wolfdogs this is a very normal and natural form of pack communication and play. It is all normal to us TRUE dog lovers and it only freaks out the abnormal non dog lovers even though they seem to out number us. I am sure there are many that wonder if I have some kind of unnatural affection for my kids. Well I say let them wonder LOL

  30. Oh and lets not forget standing out in a torrential down pour in a severe thunder storm or in sub freezing temperatures patiently waiting for them to poop as we are drenched or frozed to death at pre-dawn hours.

  31. I’ve actually never tasted Elka’s food, or treats. But yes, we regularly smell the dog. The top of her head, especially around her ears, smells rather like chocolate. When she was a puppy and went to sleep, she smelled like a pan of baked brownies.

    Elka and I hold conversations. I talk to her, she cocks her head and looks at me and listens, and frequently will make noises (and behave) in appropriate response. People don’t expect this, and more than one person on the sidewalk has been surprised to hear me talking, and then surprised again when they find I’m talking to the dog!

  32. LOVE this post. I didn’t realize how weird we all are until I was reading it. But on the other hand, it made me realize how happy I am to be part of this great, weird group of dog lovers! :)

  33. Great post! The walking in zig zags made me laugh the most….Cricket and I often turn around abruptly when we see another person and dog coming.
    I’d also add that my beagles’ ears smell very good….I smell them more than their paws. And not just all the time we spend writing about our pets, but the amount of time we spend reading what others are writing about their pets….and just sucking in all the information we can. Not to mention crying when someone else loses their pet, oftentimes people we don’t even know.

  34. 1. Smell his ears when he’s sleeping
    2. Make a sandwich/ salad/ or almost any other meal while keeping in mind that I need to cut an extra piece of cheese or celery for he who waits patiently
    3. Order a meal with the forethought of knowing I’ll be getting a doggy bag that really is a doggy bag.
    4. Taking a walk at the big box pet stores when the weather’s too hot/cold or on any given Sunday
    5. Plan shopping trips and social events around his walking schedule
    6. Use an underground parking lot on hot days or heated parking garage on cold days instead of available street level parking
    7. Let him push his toes up against me when he’s sleeping/ resting even though I really should get up and get something done
    8 read dog blogs

  35. I laugh at Squishy when he bawls in the house…he’s bored or wants his mamma.
    I don’t smell paws.
    I always have a dog in the car with me, temperature allowing; recently, it’s Crimson Tide, who doesn’t take “no” for an answer and can sit next to a bag of dog food for hours not bothering it.
    I’ve arranged my home for the dogs; hosting my Dinner for Six for church at a restaurant.
    Spoon, fork, whatever is needed to let everyone be comfy (not necessarily counting me).
    Fun post!

  36. I talk to my girls ALL the time! I have to, especially during the week while Sam is at work. I’d go out of my mind if I didn’t have the dogs to talk to! I’ve probably done all 12 things on your list at least once over the years, but since they were “normal” to me they never stood out in my memories.

    Oh, and add calling Callie and Shadow “the girls”…when one of my now close friends and I first started working together at our last job, she finally got up the courage — her words, not mine — to ask me who I was talking about because she didn’t think I had human children. When I told her that my girls are Golden Retrievers, she looked at me like I had three heads. She eventually got used to it, but I always got a great laugh at her facial expressions until she did. Now that she’s a cat mom, she finally understands. :-)

  37. other than the trying the food and feeding RAW – yep I have and do do everything on that list! Although not the snow ball poo pick up – not enough snow!

  38. I thought of another one…..Having your house decorated with countless framed photographs of your dogs….We had friends come over who had never been in our house…The wife made a comment like “wow, you really have a lot of pictures of your dogs around”…..and (to myself) I was like “and your point is?”. Really, it had never occurred to me. It just seemed normal :-)

  39. I only just found your wonderful blog! I had to participate in this, even though it was a while ago! I have a few to add, and I admit to everything on the lists! My first greyhound boy Lucky used to like to smell the inside of my mouth, so I would open my mouth wide, and he would stick his big snout in to sniff!!! The first time a friend witnessed this, he started screaming! Next, I sometimes put baby carrots in my mouth and chew them a little, and then drop them into my hand and feed to the dogs. The most recent is that I bought a bunch of infant hats to put on the dogs for pictures for their blog!!! I was chuckling to myself when I was shopping at the baby store. I was praying that no one would ask me anything about my baby!