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And here’s why — plus, a few unexpected couplings that make us so happy they do.
If you’ve ever seen two bonded cats cuddle in a sunny window or your dogs chase each other around in the backyard, you have no doubt: Your pets love each other as much as you love them. And now science is backing it up.
Inspired by a sad moment saying goodbye to his dying dog, scientist and author Paul Zak began to wonder what the biological connections between humans and animals and animals and other animals were. Research has shown that the human brain releases the chemical oxytocin (sometimes known as “the neurochemical of love”) when we’re treated kindly; its levels rise when you hug a loved one or shake hands with an attractive person and spike during sexual climax. A boost in oxytocin can make you start to care about others, even a total stranger.