Dogs, reunited with their owners, cry tears of joy

Dogs literally cry tears of joy when they see their owners after they’ve been away, scientists have found in the first study of its kind that is also totally going to make us cry, too.

Published in the Current Biology journal, this study by Japanese researchers found not only that dogs shed happy tears, but also that the love hormone oxytocin — the same one that causes humans to feel emotional bonds with each other and with animals — may be underlying that mechanism.

Researcher and paper co-writer Takefumi Kikusui of Azabu University in Japan said in a press release about the study that he first began to wonder about oxytocin tears in dogs when his standard poodle gave birth to puppies about six years ago. He noticed then that his dog had tears in her eyes as she nursed the puppies, and has been fascinated by the topic ever since.

My parents bought my first dog for me when I was 5 years old. An Alaskan Husky, his name was Hank. And that’s about all I can put down on this page, right now.

4 thoughts on “Dogs, reunited with their owners, cry tears of joy

  1. Pavlov says:

    Scientists have decoded visual images from a dog’s brain, offering a first look at how the canine mind reconstructs what it sees.
    The results suggest that dogs are more attuned to actions in their environment rather than to who or what is doing the action. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/964886
    The researchers recorded the fMRI neural data for two awake, unrestrained dogs as they watched videos in three 30-minute sessions, for a total of 90 minutes. They then used a machine-learning algorithm to analyze the patterns in the neural data.”
    Functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_magnetic_resonance_imaging

  2. Doggonit says:

    “The neurohormone oxytocin is well-known for promoting social bonds and generating pleasurable feelings, for example from art, exercise, or sex. But the hormone has many other functions, such as the regulation of lactation and uterine contractions in females, and the regulation of ejaculation, sperm transport, and testosterone production in males.
    Now, researchers from Michigan State University show that in zebrafish and human cell cultures, oxytocin has yet another, unsuspected, function: it stimulates stem cells derived from the heart’s outer layer (epicardium) to migrate into its middle layer (myocardium) and there develop into cardiomyocytes, muscle cells that generate heart contractions. This discovery could one day be used to promote the regeneration of the human heart after a heart attack. The results are published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology.” https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/966281

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