The magic effect of dogs

The magic effect of dogs

Most of us are guilty of calling our dog our baby. Maybe even treating it as one. The truth is that the feelings we feel towards our dogs compared to our children might not differ as much as one might think.

Dogs have been domesticated for around 45 000 years, causing their behaviour to change as well as their looks. Going from intimidating wolfs to cute, fluffy lap dogs took some time. But this cute look serves a purpose. Puppy eyes are not simply an expression but also a very real thing. 

When you look at your dogs face a chemical called oxytocin is released inside of you. It was originally linked to breast milk production as well as labour contractions. About 25 years ago it was discovered that the chemical is not only produced in the breasts and uterus but also the brain! More specifically in the area that controls behaviour and emotion. 

When oxytocin is released it helps with bonding, both parent and child and human and pet! By doing so our stress levels are reduced and we feel calmer and happier, strengthening the relationship.

Dogs positively affect our health in many ways. By taking us out on a walk we get exercise, fresh air and a purpose to leave the house. They are often the subject for social interactions and breaks down barriers between people who might never connect otherwise. 

So don’t feel bad for treating your dog like a baby, it’s in your DNA!

Sources: Business Insider, The Guardian.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Why do we often refer to our dogs as our babies?
Many dog owners refer to their dogs as their babies due to the strong emotional bond and feelings of affection they share with their pets, which can be similar to those felt towards children.

2. How long have dogs been domesticated?
Dogs have been domesticated for around 45,000 years, during which their behavior and appearance have significantly changed from their wild ancestors, wolves.

3. What is the significance of "puppy eyes"?
"Puppy eyes" are more than just an expression; they can trigger the release of oxytocin in humans, strengthening the emotional bond between a dog and its owner.

4. What is oxytocin and what role does it play?
Oxytocin is a chemical that plays a significant role in bonding and social behaviors. It was originally associated with breast milk production and labor contractions but is also produced in the brain, influencing emotions and behavior.

5. How does oxytocin affect the bond between humans and dogs?
When humans look at their dogs, oxytocin is released, helping to reduce stress levels and promote feelings of calm and happiness, thereby strengthening the bond between them.

6. Can dogs positively affect our health?
Yes, dogs positively affect our health in various ways, including encouraging physical activity, providing companionship, reducing stress, and facilitating social interactions.

7. Why do dogs help reduce stress levels?
Dogs help reduce stress levels by triggering the release of oxytocin in their owners, promoting a sense of calm and happiness.

8. How do dogs encourage social interactions?
Dogs often become the subject of conversations and interactions between people, breaking down social barriers and helping individuals connect more easily.

9. Is it scientifically supported to treat dogs like babies?
Yes, it is scientifically supported. The release of oxytocin when interacting with dogs suggests a biological basis for treating them with similar affection as we do babies.

10. Should I feel bad for treating my dog like a baby?
No, you should not feel bad for treating your dog like a baby. This behavior is rooted in human DNA and contributes positively to the emotional and physical well-being of both you and your pet.

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