As a dog parent, you’ll agree that a dog is man’s best friend. From greeting us with sloppy kisses to making us smile even on our worst days to acting as service pets to rescuing our hearts, our relationship with our dog makes us happy. But did you know, there’s actually a science behind this canine-human bond?

According to scientists, there’s data that supports why we feel happy around our domesticated pals. Our canine-human connections release oxytocin, “the love hormone.” While this powerful hormone is thought to be involved in mother-infant bonding and romantic connections, it’s also related to group attitudes and prejudice. Oxytocin’s stress-reducing benefits run deep. When we share a home with pets, our lifespan has been shown to increase dramatically. Many people turn to therapy dogs for emotional support.

The relationship between a dog and its caregiver is simple: the caregiver provides food, water and shelter, and receives love in return. But if you have a dog, you already know that the relationship is more than that. Dogs are capable of forming unique relationships with other humans. The definition of love is non-discriminatory, non-judgmental, and unconditional. Dogs have as much capacity to have a deep and different relationships with humans. They do not judge by faults, insecurities, looks, smells, everything. When a friend or other family member arrives, ever notice how your dog might become more excited or on the best behavior?

Remember to look at dog-human relationships with both parties involved. Dogs bring endless happiness to our lives, and we have a responsibility to create an equal relationship, it’s what makes your bond fulfilling.

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