The album generally received positive reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic wrote: "Although Maggie Estep's poetry, prose and songs lose some power when they are not seen live, Love Is a Dog from Hell is a more effective album than her debut, No More Mister Nice Girl. Estep sounds more comfortable in the studio than before, and the musical backdrops are a little sharper," while also describing her words as "stellar, capturing her acidic wit at its biting best." Tom Roe of CMJ also praised the album, stating: "Estep sounds more at home in this environment than making all that pseudo-metal noise." He also compared Estep to other "poets with musical sides", such as John S. Hall and Laurie Anderson, while noting the newly introduced ambient and techno elements in her music.