Pets are just great, aren't they?
Research has shown that contact with animals can have extraordinary effects on our physical and mental health, so its hardly surprising just how much time we want to spend with our pets. They're the perfect companions!
But, what is it about our relationships with our pets that makes them so special?
Well, the answer might surprise you...
The relationships that we share with our pets are, in fact, not that different to those we create with humans (well, chemically anyway...). When we cuddle our pets, the chemical Oxytocin is released naturally from the brain into the blood. This same release happens in most mammals during social and sexual behaviours.
Oxytocin, commonly known as the 'love hormone', promotes feelings of trust and generosity, which is why we love cuddling our pets so much. It also helps us to understand the strength of our bonds with our pets, which we often see as equal to those with humans.
Beyond cuddling our pets, Oxytocin plays a major part in many other life processes. As with pets, the chemical is released in our human relationships, acting in a similar way and promoting feelings of contentment and love.
It is also produced by women during labour, helping them to bond with the baby and stimulating the production of breast milk. It's effectively an integral part of all of our bonding activities.
So, there you have it. From our pets to our partners, and even our teddy bears, Oxytocin is the reason that we just can't get enough cuddles. It's no surprise, then, just how much of an effect pets can have on children's growth and development! Who knew it was all so complex...
If you're an animal lover but aren't in a situation to care for a pet full-time, why not consider becoming a carer at Tailster. Subject to approval, you'll be able to help our clients by caring for their pets, and get paid for doing it! For more information, click here.