Is the love we have for our dogs one way traffic?
A recent study helps us to understand the answer to this in more depth than ever before...
The study by Miho Nagasawa at Azabu University in Japan found that when dog owners and their dogs gazed into each others eyes, the "love hormone" oxytocin, which elicits caring behaviour and is important in bonding between mothers and their children, increased in dog owners by 300%.
This might explain why so many of us treat our beloved dogs in much the same way as if they were our own children.
But it wasn't only the owners who experienced a surge in the hormone associated with happiness and love... the dog's oxytocin levels also increased by 130% by staring into their owner's eyes.
Previously, humans were thought to be unique in using eye contact to strengthen oxytocin bonding, but this study suggests that dogs have either evolved or can be conditioned to do this, too.
So, it's true - your dog really does love you like you love them!