Özil told Sport-Magazine that he was actually scared of dogs as a kid and only recently overcame his fear.
The 26-year-old often shares pictures of his black pug Balboa and cites him as the reason he developed a respect for dogs.
“I have one dog, his name is Balboa,” Özil said.
“But I was frightened of dogs as a kid! I wanted to overcome my fear, so I decided the best way to do this would be to own a dog. I got it as a puppy, raised it and have overcome my fear. Now, I love dogs.”
Özil has shared several pictures of Balboa over the last few months to his millions of followers.
The 26-year-old also has a soft spot for Lions. Özil often shares pictures of Lions on Instagram and even has a tattoo of the king of the jungle on his arm.
The World Cup winner did recently reveal that he sees himself as sharing the traits of a Lion.
“I see myself as a bit of a Lion,” Özil said speaking to Fanatik.
“Lions protect their family, they are like a king.