To dedicated dog owners, our furry companions feel more like children or family members than household pets. There is no debating the connection between you and your dog. One look into those puppy eyes after a long day can be all you need to get the good feelings flowing again.
Have you ever experienced immediate happiness or stress relief by simply staring into their eyes? This is not something you are imagining. This happiness release is actually a biological response and is a key to natural calming for dogs.
While less dog friendly people may think treating an animal like a child is silly, there is actual scientific and biological evidence proving a very unique bond between humans and dogs.
Have you ever heard of the hormone Oxytocin? How to make your dog like you.
It’s generally aligned with stress reduction, natural calming, and maternal bonding, released through the Pituitary Gland during activities like exercise, breastfeeding between a mother and a child, childbirth, and sex. Oxytocin is commonly known as the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone” and has a great natural calming effect on dogs.
For researchers, understanding the Oxytocin feedback loop is nothing new. Typically, oxytocin is released between the same mammal species (i.e: dogs to their puppies, humans to their human infants) to promote maternal bonding and species promulgation.
But a recent study released in Science shows a highly unique relationship between humans and dogs.
According to the study, Oxytocin is released when a pet and their owner simply gaze into each other’s eyes. This is the first time researchers have seen an Oxytocin loop between two different species, proving many of the claims about dogs being man’s best friend to be true.
Human-dog interactions elicit a similar type of Oxytocin release that is only found between mothers and their infants. So those who consider our dogs to be our children can feel a bit more justified.
How do dogs and humans have this highly unique relationship? Most experts say it has to do with the long history of coevolution between humans and dogs.
Humans began domesticating dogs somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago, depending on who you ask. Since then, both have grown and evolved together in a unique symbiotic relationship. Some experts believe that this oxytocin feedback loop was incredibly significant in the domestication of dogs.
How Does Oxytocin Help You and Your Anxious Dog?
Oxytocin helps form bonds, socially and maternally. But it has additional benefits beyond bonding. Oxytocin has an anti-anxiety effect and can increase attachment and empathy. The hormone can also play a part in psychological stability, trust and relaxation.
Finding this wildly unique relationship between dogs and humans, researchers are becoming more and more interested in the role therapy dogs can play in helping humans cope with conditions on the autism spectrum and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
If you have a nervous dog, spending quality time with your pup while making eye contact can go a long way for reducing their stress.
If you need additional help treating your stressed dog, try Therabis Calm & Quiet. Therabis Calm & Quiet was formulated by a veterinarian using hemp protein powder and a comprehensive vitamin blend. Therabis is enhanced with L-Theanine from green tea to increase alpha wave generation and is used as a natural calming aid for dogs.