|Every dog owner feels a special bond with his or her four-legged friend.
However, a new study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior reveals that this bond goes much deeper than we think — in fact, the connection between humans and dogs actually exists on a hormonal level.
According to a June 9 Fox News article, the study found that participating in competitive dog trials resulted in elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the saliva of both dog handlers and the dogs themselves. Interestingly enough, teams of dogs paired with men showed higher levels of cortisol in their saliva.
This isn’t the first time science has proven the bond that humans have with dogs is more than puppy love. Prior studies have shown that puppy owners with increased levels of oxytocin, or the “love hormone,” influence a boost in the oxytocin production of their pets.
It’s proof that dogs experience a broad spectrum of emotions that are influenced by those of their owners. And while dogs do get lonely and stressed, a mere 20-minute walk, during which your dog can socialize with you and others she meets on the street, can significantly boost her mood.
In Charlotte, NC, dogs are actually helping travelers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport de-stress during long layovers and hectic transfers.
According to the Charlotte Observer, dogs with the CLT Canine Crew are now roaming the airport’s main terminal, outfitted in vests that say “PET ME” in large yellow letters. The program currently has eight certified therapy dogs, each with his or her own handler. The handlers are available to give travelers directions to their next destination, and all the dogs are non-barkers.
Some of the dogs in the CLT Canine Crew are rescue animals, like Rosco, an American Foxhound who also visits nursing homes. Sweetpea is a retired racing Greyhound. Each dog’s job is to welcome travelers, interim Aviation Director Brent Cagle explained.
Given the fact that the program doesn’t cost the airport any money, there’s no denying the benefits and calming effects the CLT Canine Crew has for the airport’s millions of stressed, tired travelers.