Dogs Can Cry Tears of Happiness, New Study Finds
Whether you’re on vacation or just at work all day, few things compare to the warm welcome pet owners receive from their furry friends. And while unbridled affection can make your eyes soar, did you know it can also fill your dog’s eyes with tears of happiness? According to a new study published in the journal Current biologyyour pup may shed a few tears of joy when he sees you after a long period of time.
Your dog can also shed tears of happiness
This is the first time that research has linked dog tears to emotion. before the study, it was believed that water only formed in their tear ducts to keep their eyes clean. The inspiration for the research came from Takefumi Kikusui, a professor at the Human-Animal Interaction and Reciprocity Laboratory at Ababa University in Japan, who decided to investigate tears in dogs after seeing one of her poodles having misty eyes while nursing her puppies.
The moment with her own pup gave Kikusui the idea that oxytocin, known as the maternal or love hormone, increases tears in dogs. To better understand their theory, the research team used a standard test to measure the tear volume of 20 dogs before and after reuniting a loved one. They found that the volume increased when each dog was reunited with their owner, as opposed to someone they didn’t know.
To further examine the connection between tears and a puppy’s emotion, researchers added oxytocin to dogs’ eyes and found that their tear volume increased. Additionally, the team asked people to rate photos of dog faces with and without artificial tears. They found that participants gave a more positive response to dogs that appeared to have watery eyes. Ultimately, scientists believe that producing tears in puppies forges stronger bonds between humans and their pets.
“We had never heard of the discovery that animals shed tears in joyful situations, such as reuniting with their owners, and we were all thrilled that this was a world first,” Kikusui said in a statement. Press release. Although more research is needed – scientists still don’t know if negative emotions also produce dog tears – the team is confident the connection shows the impact of the dog-human bond. “Dogs have become a partner to humans, and we can bond,” Kikusui said, noting that those tears also indicate the depth of that relationship. “In this process, dogs that show watery eyes when interacting with the owner may be more cared for by the owner.”
This story first appeared on www.marthastewart.com
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