Anyone who has a pet can attest to the bond between human and animal. They can cheer us up if we’re having a bad day. They can give us purpose. And unconditional love is present. While we know that the human-animal bond is a strong one, we sometimes might wonder just how strong it actually is.
In a recent study, Dr. Craig Duncan of Australian Catholic University and canine scientist Mia Cobb of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia took a look at how strong that bond might be in terms of stress and our hearts.
“I look at stress and anxiety and how it affects human performance on a daily basis. I also know personally the incredible toll it can take on your health. My own heart attack was brought on by stress and it nearly killed me. The Hearts Aligned project aims to show how pet ownership can help us positively deal with the stressors of daily life,” Duncan told news.com.au.
In the Hearts Aligned study, people with varying degrees of stress were brought in with their dogs. To start, Cobb and Duncan attached heart monitors to three dogs and their owners. They were then separated, then reunited, while being monitored, news.com.au reports.
The video of the study, released by Pedigree Australia, shows that while separated both the dogs and their owners had elevated heart rates. When they were reunited, their heart rates dropped.
“I wasn’t expecting how much they were synched up and it surprised and impressed me,” Cobb told the news site.
What would we do without the human-animal bond?