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Study Reveals That Dogs Cry Happy Tears When Reunited With Owners Because Of “Love Hormone”

Study Reveals That Dogs Cry Happy Tears When Reunited With Owners Because Of “Love Hormone”

"In this process, it is possible that the dogs that show teary eyes during interaction with the owner would be cared for by the owner more."

It is well-known that dogs are human's best friends. Proving it again, a recent study published in Current Biology, titled Increase of tear volume in dogs after reunion with owners is mediated by oxytocin, indicates that when dogs are reunited with their owners after lengthy periods of separation, their eyes flood up with tears, perhaps tying their tears to emotions for the first time.

One of the authors of the study, Takefumi Kikusui, said in a statement, "We found that dogs shed tears associated with positive emotions." He added that the presence of tears might be related to the release of oxytocin. Kikusui, a professor at the Laboratory of Human-Animal Interaction and Reciprocity at Azabu University in Japan, said that six years ago, one of his poodles gave birth, and her eyes began welling up as she nursed the pups, reports PEOPLE. He said, "That gave me the idea that oxytocin might increase tears."

 



 

 

During interactions, oxytocin, popularly known as the "love hormone," has been identified in both dogs and their human owners. According to the latest research, the release of oxytocin strengthens the link between humans and dogs. Kikusui said, "Dogs have become a partner of humans, and we can form bonds. In this process, it is possible that the dogs that show teary eyes during interaction with the owner would be cared for by the owner more."

According to a 2020 Canine Cottages study, dogs' heart rates increase by 46 percent when their owner says "I love you," while snuggling reduces their bpm by 23 percent. When their owners are reunited with their pets after a long separation, their heart rates jumped by 10%. 

 



 

 

According to a study published in April, researchers discovered that the phenomena known as "puppy dog eyes" was most likely attained via thousands of years of selective breeding to give dogs more human-like looks. 

Researchers can detect how a dog feels by measuring the size of their pupils, according to Medical News Today. Another study titled Nasal Oxytocin Treatment Biases Dogs’ Visual Attention, published in Frontiers in Psychology, also came to the conclusion that every time we show any kind of affection towards dogs, they release oxytocin that increases their attachment to us, per Medical News Today.

The nicer we are, the more attached a dog becomes and releases the "love hormone." This can also get to a point where they might ignore dangerous cues when they are around the person they love.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320170

https://people.com/pets/dogs-shed-tears-joy-when-reunited-their-owners-study/

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822%2822%2901132-0

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01854/full

Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Jaromir Chalabala / EyeEm