We all feel a close connection with our pets. They instantly become a part of our family, beloved companions and friends. Some even claim that their connection is so strong with their dog that it can read their emotions. Their dog may be more affectionate to them if they have had a bad day or their dog will not leave their side when they are ill. Is there any truth to this or just wishful thinking?
Not so wishful actually. A recent study has confirmed dogs have developed certain skills that allow them to process human emotions. Since living in such close proximity to humans, they have actually learned some of our emotions and have physical reactions to them.
In this study, scientists held photos of humans displaying various expressions to the side view of 26 dogs while they were eating. When they were shown a photo with a person expressing the stronger emotions of fear, anger and happiness, it actually increased the dog’s cardiac activity, they turned their heads to the left and the scientist also noticed that it took the dogs a longer time to resume eating again. When the dogs were shown more relaxed and non threating emotions such as surprise, they turned their head to the right and were able to resume eating again.
The findings in this study support previous studies conducted with other animals, including mammals. The more intense or negative emotions appear to be processed by the right hemisphere of a dog’s brain while neutral and positive emotions are processed by the left side.
All science aside, the unconditional love and deep connection people have with their pets, whether it is a dog, cat, bird, reptile or rodent, is undeniable.
Contact us today at 410-465-6518 for the routine veterinary care of your furry family member by the Best Veterinarian in Ellicott City, MD.