We already know that dogs are good for human health, and that walking your dog makes you happier, but how does your dog feel about you? Do they like it when you take endless selfies of them sleeping? Do they want you to coo in their faces when you get home from work? Do they enjoy being squeezed for sofa cuddles?
Well, it turns out that maybe they do. More than cats, that’s for sure. Apparently, your dog loves you almost five times more than your cat does – which might help you make your mind up when it comes to the old dogs vs cats debate.
A study appears to prove that your pet pooch is the more affectionate of the two, which may not come as too much of a surprise considering that cats are known for being the more aloof species.
Neuroscientist Paul Zak took saliva samples from ten dogs and ten cats for the BBC documentary, Cats vs Dogs. He then allowed the pets to play with their owners for ten minutes before taking another sample from each animal to test for oxytocin, also known as the love hormone.
The Express reports that dogs showed a 57.2% increase in oxytocin, whereas cats only exhibited a 12% increase.
Zak said: ‘I was really surprised to discover that dogs produced such high levels of oxytocin. The dog level of 57.2 percent is a very powerful response.
‘From this sample it’s true to say that these dogs love their owners five times more than the cats do.’
He continued: ‘It was also a nice surprise to discover that cats produce any at all. At least some of the time, cats seem to bond with their owners.’
So even though they’re comparatively more independent, your cat does love you – just not as much as your dog does.