Your pets have a larger effect on your body and brain than you might think. They have the ability to increase levels of oxytocin in the brain, bringing you a state of calm. Following is a transcript of the video.
Narrator: Puppies, they’re the furry friends we take for granted. But, how does having one affect us?
Meg Olmert: My name is Meg Olmert and I’m the author of “Made For Each Other: the biology of the human-animal bond.”
Olmert: There is a feedback system that both neurochemically and psychologically and behaviorally that sets up between you and your pet. And how good you are to your pet is often exactly reflected back.
…[A] mother will have certain brain regions light up very strongly in the dopamine and oxytocin rich areas when they look at a picture of their baby versus just another infant. When you look at a picture of your dog versus another dog, you see the same thing.
Narrator: What happens to your body when you’re with your dog?
Olmert: Your heart rate comes down, your blood pressure comes down, your heart rate variability which is the ability of the heart to duck and dive and respond to stress improves. You release oxytocin, the opioids, adrenaline, and serotonin. So, all of these great reward chemicals and anti-stress chemicals can be released.
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