Is the Gaze From Those Big Puppy Eyes the Look of Your Doggie's Love?

Research finds that sustained eye contact between a dog and its owner causes oxytocin to spike in both. Mutual gaze between dogs and the people who care for them produces a very similar physiological profile to what’s observed between mothers and infants. This overlap could both contribute to and facilitate our intense and deep-seated relationship with dogs. Increases in beta-endorphin, oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting, play and talking. Essentially, interacting with a dog, particularly a known dog, can have some of the same psychophysiological markers as when two emotionally attached people spend time together.