Hugs — the perfect source of affection, right? Kisses aren't appropriate for every occasion, but you can never go wrong with a hug. They are perfect for family, for your partner, for your best friends, and even your animals. Yep, I'm willing to bet that animals hugging people are the best kind of hugs.
Maybe it's because animals are known for their unconditional love. When you give a dog your time, your energy, and your love, they give it back a million times over. Trust is huge to them, and a hug is their way of telling you just how much they love you. Even animals that aren't necessarily pets, like elephants or lions, have been known to give a hug to those they trust and love. A study has found that not only do hugs make us feel good, but hugs also have health benefits and can prevent people from getting sick. And science has proven that having a pet keeps people calm. So combine a hug with a loving animal and you've just got a really cute way to rid yourself of anxiety and keep you in tip top shape.
Hugs are so lovely that there's an entire day to celebrate them — Jan. 21. So in honor of National Hug Day, here are 23 perfect gifs of animals hugging people. If you're feeling a little down, this is the perfect medicine next to giving your own pup a squeeze.