The bond between a human and their pet is something that can't be measured by words alone, but there are some things you might want to know about the relationship. For example- do dogs produce more tears at times when they're overwhelmed with emotion like humans?
The answer seems apparent: yes!
A new study reported in Current Biology seems to say this is so..
The study used a sample of 25 dogs from different breeds and ages. Using high-speed cameras to record the canine's facial expressions and behaviors, they discovered that these pooches had increased tear production when meeting their owners after a period of separation. This was seen as an instinctive response to emotional arousal—a sign of joy, comfort, and love.
Lead author Dr. Anna Kis concluded that this increase in tears is likely triggered by the same neural pathways activated in humans when we experience strong emotions. The results provide evidence for what pet parents have long known—that dogs experience deep emotion toward us, just like we do towards them! Ultimately, it seems, our furry friends really can cry tears of joy.
In this case, it seems dogs produce tears in situations that humans would consider "happy." They haven't yet tested whether dogs produce tears in response to negative emotions, too
The authors suggest that this research could be beneficial for animal welfare, as it highlights the emotional bond between humans and their canine companions, and even sheds light on dogs’ ability to feel complex emotions such as love. Thus, this study may have wide-ranging implications for how we care for our four-legged friends. As Dr. Kis said: "We need to consider not only physical comfort but also emotional well-being when providing care."
With these findings in mind, it's clear that our furry friends deserve all the love and affection they can get!
A link to the study is here.