What do dogs really think of us?
We all feel like we have a special bond with our pets. We can tell what they need when they need it, and when they are happy, sad, or scared. We feel like we can communicate with them – that they intuitively know how we are feeling and always know just what to do to comfort us or make us smile. But until recently, we didn’t really know what dogs thought of us. Luckily, recent brain imaging studies have revealed what exactly is going on in our pups’ heads.
A study done at Emory University found that the smell of a dog’s human owner activated the reward center of the dog’s brain in a way not even matched by the smell of other dogs. The brain’s reward center triggers the release of certain chemicals that humans associate with a “warm fuzzy feeling.” When dogs smell their owners, their brain releases the same feel-good hormones humans release when we receive a hug.
According to another study done at Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, dogs process emotionally laden vocal cues in a very similar way to humans. So, if you think your dog can tell whether you are happy or sad, you are right!
Further studies revealed that dogs perceive us the way small toddlers would perceive their parents. When a dog is frightened, it will run straight to their owner. Studies found that other animals run away entirely and do not seek protection from humans. Dogs, however, seek their owner’s presence like a small child would seek out their mother or father.
These studies help us to more clearly understand the emotional and physical care that our pets need. Dogs require a lot of attention and a big time commitment. Luckily, for those with busy schedules who still want to experience the special connection between owner and dog, there is help! Walk! ATX is available to give your dog the individualized love, care, and attention they need to make sure their physical and emotional needs are met. Call us today at (512) 655-9557 for more information about our dog walking, dog training, and pet sitting services!