Melbourne: The bond between an owner and a pet dog is so strong that their hearts beat in sync with each other when they are reunited, a new study suggests.
- In the study, dog owners were separated from their pets and then reunited
- Heart rates lowered to the point where heart rhythms mirrored each other
- Both experienced reduced levels of stress when in contact with each other
Researchers found that not only does our heart rate become lower when in the company of dogs - but so too does the canine's - to the point where both heart rhythms mirror one another.
In the study, three Australian dog owners were separated from their pets and then reunited, to see what kind of effect they had on each other's heart rate.
"There was a really strong coherence in the heart rate pattern of both the owner and dog," said Mia Cobb from Monash University in Australia.
"Upon being reunited within the first minute, each heart rhythm became almost directly aligned and we saw a reduction straight away," said Cobb.
The results showed the way in which both the owner and dog experienced reduced levels of stress when in contact with each other, she said.
"This project is a really good illustration of what most owners experience every night when they come home from work and are reunited with their companion," said Cobb. She said the response is not only limited to dogs and the same effect can also be seen in cats, lizards and birds, 'Huffington Post Australia' reported.
We would likely experience the same response even with other people's pets, but it is stronger when the animal is known to us, Cobb said.
"This kind of effect of experiencing a lowered heart rate makes a significant difference to our overall wellbeing," she said.
"If we can decrease our heart rate by hanging out with our animals, that is something that can really benefit the community," Cobb added.