Is My Dog an Empath?


Does your dog seem very sensitive to you? Do you and your partner sit around wondering if your pet secretly “gets” more than you think? Are you wondering if your dog might be picking up on your anxiety? Is animal empathy real?

As an animal communicator for more than twenty years, I have answers to these questions!

What is an Empath?

First, let’s define “Empath.” An empath is someone who aligns with the feelings, emotions, energy, and intention of their environment. If their environment is chaotic, an empath often experiences this chaos within themselves. If the people around an empath are negative, again, an empath experiences this negativity within themselves as well.

When you spend time on the phone with a friend that is very upset about something, and find yourself feeling upset as well (even though the situation the person is upset about doesn’t affect you), you are being empathic.

When you are in a busy mall during the holidays, and everyone bustling around in a hurry is making you feel hurried, you are experiencing energetic empathy.

And this type of intuitive empathy isn’t just limited to people. Animals have actually mastered it! That’s why I like to call it, “Intuitive Animal Empathy.”

Why Animals Are the Best Empaths

In the wild, animals use their natural empathy to stay alive. They “feel” when the intention of the tiger across the savannah changes or when their partner animal is getting angry or when a predator is nearby.  Over time (a lot of time!) they have honed their intuitive empathy to tune in to what they need to know to survive.

Although we view our human world as safe, our pets do not naturally exist within that safety. When we bring animals into our human world as pets, we often don’t realize how the animals must then use their natural empathic skills to survive.

Your dog is no longer using intuitive animal empathy to sense the energetic balance of her pack, she’s now using it to sense your emotions to determine if she’s safe.

Cats, horses, hamsters, and all other pets use their empathy in this same way!

The Three Signs Your Dog is an Empath (Animal Empathy at Work)

Sign 1: How your pet behaves when you are sad or emotional

When you’re upset, what does your dog do? Animals often experience their human’s emotions as if they are their own emotions.

In my family, when I am upset, my dog feels this within her body and responds by giving me space. When my husband is upset, my dog also feels that within her body.

After “experiencing” their human’s emotions through their intuitive empathy, animals will then take steps to re-balance things. So, the space that my dog gives me when she feels my upset is what I desire. In turn, this space helps me feel better, which in turn, relieves my upset. This is different from my husband’s upset. He desires to pet her, so when she feels his upset, she moves toward him.

An animal’s empathy is what allows them to take steps to re-create balance in their life. That’s why my dog does what she does when she feels my or my husband’s emotions. And this is one way you can know they your dog is empathic!

Sign 2:  How your pet responds to intention

Why are animals so empathic? Remember, it’s because it has helped them survive in the wild!

Think about how tigers and gazelle’s can all exist calmly together for some time, until things shift with the tiger. Suddenly, because the tiger has become hungry, the gazelle’s begin to look more like lunch and savannah co-horts. The gazelles, through their intuitive empathy, sense this and start running.

Have you ever walked your dog down the street, calmly, only to suddenly have him growl at one specific person? Were you wondering what was happening? Very often, your dog was “feeling” the intention that person you just passed by. Perhaps that person was angry. Perhaps that person was looking to lash out…  these are important things that an animal will use her empathy to pick up on!

Sign 3: How your pet responds through empathy is the bigger picture

Animals function at both the physical world level (where they feel hunger and cold and warmth) and the Soul Level where they step back from their physical existence to understand the bigger picture of our existence.

Your pet has access to more information about you, your soul’s growth, your soul lessons and your Soul Contracts! This means that your pet knows what makes your heart sing, when you’re overgiving to your best friend from childhood, and when you’re treating your body badly.

And they get much of this information through the filter of their intuitive empathy.

So, for example, the cat who hisses as the new boyfriend? This cat is picking up on the new boyfriend’s emotions, energetic balance, intention AND the alignment between you and your new boyfriend. That hiss could very well be the message from your cat that this guy isn’t the right guy for you.

If you can’t quite figure out whether it’s emotion, energy or intention that your animal seems to be feeling through – step back and look at the big pic. What in your pet using their intuitive empathy to convey to you?

The Big Mistake with Animal Empathy

This brings us to the huge challenge that so many people have around animal empathy. It is TRUSTING that their pet really is empathic and is taking an action to rebalance things. Whether your pet is rebalancing the energy in the room or helping you rebalance a relationship, trust that there are no coincidences.

It is not a coincidence that your dog growled at that guy you just passed.

It is not a coincidence that your cat hides whenever your overzealous mother-in-law comes over.

It is not a coincidence that the moment you start missing your beloved, your other pet promptly sits in your lap.

TRUST and watch what happens!