Study says dogs love their humans so much they ‘cry happy tears’ when they’re reunited

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You are so very unconditionally loved. And if you don’t believe in a higher power, then that love comes from your dog.

Science says so

According to a new study in a recent issue of Current Biology, your dogs loves you so much that they cry “happy tears” when you come home from being away

The study was conducted by a scientist who wanted scientific proof behind her dog’s overjoyed reaction to them returning home.

Scientists were aware that a dog’s tear ducts will flush dirt or debris from their eyes

However, their tear duct production has never been linked to emotion until this study.

“In humans, tear volume increases during emotional arousal. To our knowledge, no previous studies have investigated the relationship between emotional arousal and tear volume in animals,” the study’s summary reads.

Professor Takefumi Kikusui of Azabu University in Japan first got a hunch that oxytocin, a.k.a. the love hormone, might be the cause between his dog’s tears when his poodle nursed her babies.

He then decided to investigate whether dogs cry because they are overflowing with the emotion of love.

First Kiusui tested the baseline tear volume of dogs.

Then they separated the dog from their owners and remeasured the tear volume when the dog owners returned to their dogs.

They also tested a dog’s tear volume when reunited with a person they didn’t know well.

The study found that a dog’s tear production would increase by 10 percent when they were reunited with their owners.

“We performed the Schirmer tear test (STT) and measured tear volume in dogs before and after reunions with owners and familiar non-owners. Tear volume increased significantly during reunion with the owner, but not with a familiar non-owner,” the study states.

Scientists also found that tear volume increased when an oxytocin chemical solution was directly applied to the dogs’ eyes.

“Suggesting that oxytocin might mediate tear secretion during owner-dog reunions,” the study said.

There was also another part of the study where humans had to rate their impressions of photos of dogs with and without artificial tears.

“They assigned more positive scores to the photos with artificial tears. These results suggest that emotion-elicited tears can facilitate human–dog emotional connections,” the study explains.

Dogs were also found to gaze at their owners, wag their tails, jump, and lick their owner’s faces when they were reunited.

“Dogs reportedly have human-like social-cognitive skills, which are thought to result from convergent evolution with humans. Eye contact plays a pivotal role in attachment behavior in dogs, with eye contact between dogs and humans eliciting human caregiving behavior,” the study explains.

“It is also hypothesized that canine tear production during reunions with owners can facilitate human caregiving, a phenomenon which has similarly been reported in human children,” the stuFurthermore, dogs have evolved muscles responsible for raising the inner eyebrows, which trigger nurturing behavior in humans. A dog’s gaze initiates interactions with its owner, and stimulates secretion of oxytocin, a key hormone involved in bond formation, in owners.”

So, basically, your dog loves you so much it brings them to tears.

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