The unconditional love between dogs and their owners is undeniable.
Let's face it. You can't ever stay mad at your furry companion.
A dog's uncontrollable tail in response to the pure joy of seeing its master returning from a day at work may knock over a few things, but you laugh it off.
A happy pup may try to conceal its guilt after destroying your precious goose-down comforter. And even though an incriminating stray feather floats gently back down on your adorable culprit's wet nose, your gritted teeth loosen their grip.
The unconditional love is powerful.
But while that innate bond is already understood, a new study claims it can prove that you're in love with your dog.
And the feeling is mutual.
The research was conducted in two parts by Japanese universities and was published in the journal Science.
Researchers observed the interaction of 30 dogs and their owners and measured their respective levels of hormone oxytocin.
This "bonding hormone" is released during moments of human intimacy, including sex and between a mother and her child.
@slutup eye contact between humans and dogs triggers oxytocin release for them so its basically like hugging a dog… https://t.co/IXF6qpmRt8— Phillip K. Dickgirl (@Phillip K. Dickgirl)1552066380.0
The study showed that the same hormone also applies when you gaze into the eyes of your dog.
To bond with someone you care about, try staring at each other for 2 to 5 minutes straight. Oxytocin, the love chem… https://t.co/YP6QStwGIh— Tasha Jackson (@Tasha Jackson)1551909754.0
But does the level of oxytocin determine how long a dog locks eyes with you?
That's what researchers aimed to find out in the second phase. Turns out the longer your dog gets lost in your eyes determines just how much it freaking adores you.
They administered oxytocin to a new group of dogs and observed the duration of their gazes with owners.
Curiously, results also showed that the female dogs administered with oxytocin exhibited a longer gaze with their owners than the male counterparts with their masters.
The study confirmed Miho Nagasawa and her team's observation:
"They found that mutual gazing increased oxytocin levels, and sniffing oxytocin increased gazing in dogs, an effect that transferred to their owners."
Then they tried the gazing experiment with wolves.
"Wolves, who rarely engage in eye contact with their human handlers, seem resistant to this effect."
People are sharing tips on how to boost your oxytocin levels.
Get a dog!
@Peezkyweezky We should prescribe dogs before anti-depressants. I literally haven't had anxiety since my rescue plo… https://t.co/IptBhkLObt— Kit Tona "12 years left" (@Kit Tona "12 years left")1551449990.0
When we interact w/ dogs, our bodies release oxytocin which lowers blood pressure & cortisol levels, decreases infl… https://t.co/XFu7F3i1UI— Sgt. Jason Ratcliff (@Sgt. Jason Ratcliff)1550662029.0
Being cuddled up to your dog with your nose in their fur is so therapeutic, I know when I do that I get a rush of o… https://t.co/CUxw6Ok0lz— Mei-chan 🧚♀️ (@Mei-chan 🧚♀️)1551909487.0
No wonder dogs make great emotional support pets.
😍 Pet a dog today!😍 Dogs help humans reduce stress. Studies show that interactions with animals can decrease stress… https://t.co/wYKpB6nWXM— Care Around The Block (@Care Around The Block)1551888616.0
Look deep into these eyes and feel the #oxytocin flow! Learn more about the #psychology of #petlove on our latest e… https://t.co/NSstfkmTh9— Wine Mind Podcast (@Wine Mind Podcast)1551722263.0
@TheGreenDailyy Human anti-depressants work on everything from dogs to crabs. Also, you and your dog both produce o… https://t.co/OZLzAjQ9Kf— Member of the Tribe 🌎🌞 (@Member of the Tribe 🌎🌞)1551559585.0
@Tricia_Braun @niners_nhatty @KittyKilljoy94 @MsMollyRachael The latest research has learned that dogs get a huge b… https://t.co/yAhheSa7E1— Amy Richmond (@Amy Richmond)1551550977.0
@tona_kit Yeah, my little dog Doug is like a little Oxytocin sprinkler in my life. I wouldn't make it out the door without him— peezky weezky (@peezky weezky)1551449720.0
SCIENTISTS HAVE FOUND OUT THAT DOGS RELEASE OXYTOCIN WHEN THEY LOOK AT US IM RESLLY CRYING— SKETCHERS!!! (@SKETCHERS!!!)1551367008.0
Fact or fiction? Pet myths explained Dogs can fall in love? TRUE. They don't call it puppy love for nothing. Scien… https://t.co/GryvF9suJu— Daph Pets (@Daph Pets)1551346778.0
I need to cuddle with puppies and dogs. It’s is one of those days, and I need some oxytocin. https://t.co/ByAb8i0wQ2— Bitter Bambina (@Bitter Bambina)1551299468.0
@K9Kit I couldn't love them more if I tried. https://t.co/9baWU1gWMA— Michelle Diamante (@Michelle Diamante)1550768663.0
If you're not a dog owner already, you're missing out.
Research suggest that every time you interact with your dog their Oxytocin levels spike to a level that equals the… https://t.co/GnBjTBTGyr— UnsilentMajority 🖤 (@UnsilentMajority 🖤)1544886695.0
Have you told your dog how much you love them lately?