As a veterinarian I have seen the amazing effect of the bond between people and their dogs. Dogs give people strength, happiness and unconditional love. We see the calming effects of dogs on people and vice versa. Sometimes we never really understand this connection but we know it’s there.
Now a new, study sheds a little bit of light on this relationship and shows that the connection is not just emotional but physiological as well.
The experiment, jointly from Monash University in Australia and Pedigree Petfoods, took three pairs of dogs and their owners and hooked them all up to heart rate monitors. They separated the dogs from their owners and recorded the change in heartbeats as they were reunited. Within one minute, both heartbeats were seen to drop significantly and even appeared to mirror each other.
Mia Cobb, the canine expert who led the study alongside Dr. Craig Duncan, told Huffington Post that the results showed how the dog-human relationship is mutually advantageous in lowering stress levels. It’s already been proven dogs can lower our heart rate, helping to reduce stress, but this new research suggests the dogs are also benefitting physically from the relationship. Source
The cool thing is that BOTH dogs and people showed this effect and a slowing down of the heart rate, indicating lower stress levels and a calming effect.
So often, we as people want to know “what’s in it for me?”. The good news here is that reuniting with your dog is good for you AND it’s good for your dog. But you knew that already, didn’t you?