Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pet dogs rival humans for emotional satisfaction

cuddle chemical
Who needs children when a puppy can provide a similar emotional experience? After playing with their pets, dog owners experience a burst in a hormone linked to infant care, not to mention romantic love and friendship, new research finds.

Nicknamed the "cuddle chemical" and the "love drug", oxytocin has been found to dampen stress, combat depression, and breed trust in humans. Studies of voles, mice and rats also point to oxytocin's role in pair bonding and social memory.

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