Tue, 03 May 2016 12:00:43 +0000
Fiona MacRae reports for the Daily Mail, May 1, 2016, that an Australian study found that the bond between humans and dogs is so strong that their hearts beat in sync.
The researchers separated three dogs from their owners, strapped heart monitors on people and dogs, then measured what happened when they were reunited.
At first, doggy and human heart rates quickly fell, but then began to mirror each other. Despite beating at different rates, they followed the same pattern, with each dog’s heart rising and falling in tandem with its human’s.
Melbourne’s Monash University researcher Mia Cobb said, “I was impressed at how much they came together. The fact that they shared patterns do closely surprised me.”
The study, which was funded by pet food firm Pedigree, is just the latest to show that having pets is good for our hearts. When we’re with our pets, our stress level and heart rates are lowered. Pets also help keep loneliness at bay.
In fact, a review of research by the American Heart Association found that pet owners, especially dog owners, have healthier hearts than other people. In the case of dog owners, this may be because of the necessity to go for walks, whatever the weather. Dogs may even guard against glaucoma, one of the most common causes of blindness.
Cobb’s colleague Dr. Craig Duncan, said: “Stress is a major killer in today’s society and, as we get busier and busier, it is something that is really important for us to try to help with. The Hearts Aligned project aims to show how pet ownership can help us positively deal with the stressors of everyday life.”