Most of us know how much joy our furry friends can bring to our lives, but did you know that the love we feel for our dogs can actually rewire our brains for happiness? Not only do our dogs make us laugh, smile, and provide us with companionship, but this incredible bond can have a positive impact not only on our mental and physical health, but our overall wellbeing too. Through a combination of hormones, chemicals, physical contact and unconditional love, our dogs can help us to feel more content, relaxed and secure, experience more joy and lower our stress levels.
From releasing feel-good hormones to providing us with a sense of purpose, the special bond between us and our four-legged friends offers a multitude of benefits. In this article, we’ll explore how the love for our dogs can rewire our brains for happiness and the science behind it.
What Happens in the Brain When We Love Our Dogs
Dogs are a constant source of unconditional love and they make us feel love in a way that no other animal can. The feelings of love and affection that we experience towards our dogs can have a wide range of positive effects on both our physical and mental health. When we fall in love with our canine companions, this feeling can have a dramatic impact on our brain chemistry. The presence of oxytocin and endorphins, hormones that promote feelings of warmth and love, can significantly boost our wellbeing. This is because, when we fall in love with our dogs, our brains are effectively rewired to benefit from this hormone surge.
The Science Behind It
Studies have shown that the love we feel for our dogs changes the way our brains work. Scientists have found that when we’re around our beloved canines, the hormone oxytocin is released. Oxytocin, or ‘the love hormone’ is responsible for feelings of love, bonding, and feeling more connected to others. This feeling of love is what makes dogs such great companions.
The boost in oxytocin we get from cuddling and spending time with our dogs can help to reduce blood pressure and you’ll also experience lower levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol. This is why dogs are able to calm us down and make us feel more at ease.
When you’re around your dog, you’ll be inspired to be kinder to others, be more forgiving of yourself, and be more grateful for all that you have in your life.
Human-Animal Bonding: The Power of Love
Humans have been interacting with animals for centuries, and since falling in love with our canine companions, humans have developed a deep-rooted bond with these animals. This unique connection has helped us to evolve as a species, as it allows us to form close bonds with other humans and animals. However, this special breed of love doesn’t just benefit us; it also has a positive effect on our dogs. The love we have for our dogs can provide them with a sense of purpose. This can help to reduce the amount of time that dogs spend idle, as they’ll now spend more of their time focused on fulfilling their duties and this has a positive impact on the dogs’ well-being too. As such, this form of positive emotion can help to rewire their brains for happiness just as much as ours.
The love for our dogs is a powerful feeling that can have a significant impact on our wellbeing, as well as theirs. The science is clear – interaction with our dogs on a daily basis provides amazing benefits to our health and can improve our lives in so many ways. So this Valentines Day, give your dog some extra hugs and kisses and experience the pure love and happiness your brain receives in return.