They are man’s best friends, children’s playmates and sources of unconditional love.
There are many people who do not know, that when a person looks at his dog or his cat – or any other animal – with a protective and affectionate attitude, oxytocin levels rise remarkably to the inside of the human body. Oxytocin is an excellent hormone of love, of fidelity, of compassion and trust.
For those who do not know, it is necessary to clarify that when someone falls in love, the hormone that plays a crucial role in this “special” state of the human being is, precisely, oxytocin. That is why it is called the “love hormone”. So, when two people fall in love, their brains release large amounts of oxytocin, a hormone that is directly related to the ability to build healthy and long-term relationships with people, and that helps create bonds and interpersonal links lasting character.
It is understood then, that the bond that is created between a pet and a human being is quite similar and close to that experienced by a mother or father in relation to their son or daughter. One can speak – properly – that it is an evolutionary connection that has taken place in function of so many years of close coexistence between humans and animals, whether it be dogs, cats, horses or other animals.
In some cases, this bond between a human being and a pet can be even stronger and more powerful than the one we develop with other people. It is enough to just observe what happens when someone we know loses his beloved pet he lives a process of mourning and loss that is almost traced to the one experienced when a loved one is lost, with all the concurrent symptoms. Anguish, sadness, pain, crying.
Some people run the risk of entering, even, in severe depressions that must be treated with all the seriousness that the case deserves. Making fun of these people who are mourning the loss of their pet – or minimizing their loss – can be a real offense for the bereaved person.
Never make fun of these people. Conversely, Offer all your support and sympathy to those who have lost their favorite pet.
In a fact that has been demonstrated empirically – and that is accepted by all those who understand what it means to have a pet – the possession of a pet has highly positive effects both on our physical health, as well as on our mental health. For those people who, for example, suffer from stress, or suffer from some serious illness of mood or loneliness, a pet can become a vital source of emotional support and, believe it or not, also social support.
Recent scientific studies suggest that certain pets -especially dogs- help to establish social relationships between human beings that can lead to the emergence of a lasting friendship relationship between these people, as a result of the mutual interest and interest in the pets of which they are owners.
In the specific case of dogs, these would act as “channelers” or “social lubricants”, in the sense that they would foster a friendly relationship between their owners. How does this condition occur? Very simple: the act of asking something about the pet, clarifying a doubt, or saying something positive about the dog of the other person on a walk in a park, becomes a kind of “communication bridge” between the two people, indistinct of the sex or age of each of them.
And that will always be a positive thing, especially for those who suffer from a certain degree of isolation or, simply, from loneliness.
Having, caring for and protecting a pet not only does your health (and your pet’s health) good, it can even lead people to make new friends and expand in a remarkable way your circle of friends.