Dogs Found to Be Even Sweeter, Release Same "Love Hormone" as Humans

A new study claims that dogs release the same "love hormone" (oxytocin) that humans do when they're excited about a new relationship. How sweet! Even more reason for your friend to get one! (You would, but sadly your apartment doesn't allow it.)

For the experiment, reported by the NY Post, scientists at an animal refuge in Arkansas took blood samples from a mixed-breed terrier and a goat and tested their oxytocin levels separately. (The animals often played together.) (Here's a video to get a sense of what that might possibly look like.) The scientists then put them in a pen to interact for 15 minutes, during which the dog's oxytocin levels rose 48 percent. This rise, the researchers claim, is equivalent to that of a human who is excited about a new friendship. The study concluded that domesticated pets release the hormone when interacting both with other animals and humans.

Even more adorably, the goat had a 210 percent increase in oxytocin during the play session. "We essentially found that the goat might have been in love with the dog," explained head researcher Paul Zak. "The only time I have seen such a surge in oxytocin in humans is when someone sees their loved one, is romantically attracted to someone, or is shown an enormous kindness."

Awww. It's okay, little lovesick goat. You'll find someone someday!

[Image credit: Shutterstock]