Increase of tear volume in dogs after reunion with owners is mediated by oxytocin

  • Posted by: Cara Fudge
Increased tear volume in dogs

Tear volume in dogs increases after reunion with owners

Dogs are known for their loyalty and love for their owners, but a new study shows that there may be more to the bond between humans and dogs than meets the eye. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo, found that dogs’ tear volume increases after reunion with their owners, and that this increase is mediated by oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a hormone that is involved in social bonding and attachment, and is often referred to as the “love hormone.” The researchers found that levels of oxytocin increased in both dogs and their owners after they were reunited, and was associated with an increase in tear volume.

This study provides new insight into the nature of the bond between humans and dogs, and suggests that it may be even stronger than we thought.

Pet happy with owner

Role of oxytocin: mediates the increase in tear volume

When dogs are reunited with their owners after being separated, they experience an increase in tear volume. This is mediated by oxytocin, which is released when the dog sees its owner again, it also has calming and stress-reducing effects for both dogs and humans.

This increase in tear volume may be due to the fact that oxytocin promotes social behaviour and affiliation. It has been shown to reduce anxiety and fearfulness in both humans and animals. Therefore, it is possible that oxytocin plays a role in calming dogs down when they are reunited with their owners after being separated.

Oxytocin is just one of many hormones that contribute to the complex emotions that we feel towards our pets.

Other factors contributing to tear volume increase

There are many factors that can contribute to the increased tear volume in dogs after reunion with their owners. Other possible factors include:

  1. The dog’s diet: If a dog is not getting enough nutrients, they may be more prone to tears.
  2. Allergies: If a dog is allergic to something in their environment, they may shed more tears as a result.
  3. Eye infections or other eye diseases: These can cause increased tearing and discharge from the eyes.
  4. Emotional state: If a dog is anxious or stressed, they may produce more tears than usual.
Dog's happiest when with owners

Conclusion: more research needed

Though this study provides some evidence for an increase in tear volume in dogs after reunion with their owners, more research is needed to confirm these findings. It is possible that the results are due to other factors, such as stress or excitement. Future studies should control for these variables to better understand the role of oxytocin in dog tears.


If you found this article interesting, check out this one on feeding your dog raw meat.

Author: Cara Fudge

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