Dogs really are capable of feeling love and affection. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Robert Simmons
New research suggests that the love of a pet towards its owner is more than just a way to elicit food.
While domesticated pets can often appear to be expressing their affections for you, some animal behaviorists have argued that such displays are based more on survival instincts than on the emotions of love or friendship as we understand them.
Now scientists in California believe that they have successfully demonstrated that some animals really are capable of exhibiting genuine affection for their owners. To do this the team looked for a release of oxytocin ( or "the love hormone" ) in the brain, the same chemical involved in the forming of close bonds between humans.
The results showed that animals such as dogs, cats and even goats experienced the same feelings of love and bonding with humans and other animals as humans do with other humans.
"That animals of different species induce oxytocin release in each other suggests that they, like us, may be capable of love," said Professor Paul Zak. "It is quite possible that Fido and Boots may feel the same way about you as you do about them. You can even call it love."
Source: Independent | Comments (27)