Every owner will confirm that they feel positive emotions when they are in contact with their pets. The most frequently emotions mentioned are the sense of relaxation, calmness, joy and even love. What does science say? Do animals love us? If so, how much?
From a scientific point of view, "measuring love" is not a difficult task - just test the level of oxytocin. The most obvious function of this hormone secretion is the mutual bonding of mother and child, just after birth, which occurs in both humans and other mammals. For this reason, oxytocin is colloquially called the "love hormone" because it is responsible for attachment, feelings of closeness and trust, although under its influence we also become more possessive and envious. Numerous research results indicate that oxytocin secretion is stimulated by touch or by looking into the eyes, both in interpersonal and human-animal contacts. Research by prof. Paul Zak points to the fact that when a person sees their own child, the level of oxytocin in the blood can rise twice. After giving a foreign hand to a person, it increases slightly, by 5-10% (although, when a stranger or stranger is attractive, it can increase by up to 50%). So take care during Valentine's Day
So, are we abusing the statement that we love our dog and he loves us? Absolutely not! Japanese scientists from Azabu University (Department of Animal Science and Biotechnology) measured oxytocin levels in the urine of owners and their dogs before and after they spent 30 minutes together. At that time, people stared into the eyes of their dogs, petted them and spoke to them. It turned out that half an hour of such closeness caused a significant increase in the level of "love hormone" in both people and their pooches - as much as 300% in man and 130% in the dog. The correlation is that the longer the positive contact, the higher the oxytocin level and the increase in oxytocin concentration in dogs was proportional to that observed in their caregivers.
Time to report the latest statistics. According to Jennifer McDermott, Americans in 2018 allocated a staggering sum of $ 822.9 million to Valentine's gifts for their dogs and cats. As the graphic below shows, men are more eager to give presents to their animals than women, Americans have bought more expensive gifts for cats than dogs.
It is time for the next surprising facts that were given on the Trupanion Blog, although I personally think that we can look at them with a grain of salt.
Here are some of them:
63% of people celebrate Valentine's Day with their pet
37% of people plan a romantic dinner with their pet - I wonder what our other human halves think about it? ;)
73% percent of Valentine's gifts are treats
Are you sure that showing love to our animals through food is the only right way? Definitely not! Dog nature has two wonderful qualities! They are extremely social animals, which means that above all they value the attention shown by man. Secondly, entering adulthood and even old age, they have not lost their fun skills!
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, therefore! The answer is clear!
Let's spend this Valentine's Day hugging, making fun and eating delights! The same applies to our beloved guys and women, as well as our four-legged favourites!
Together with Snow, we wish you much love.