Dogs and humans have a loving relationship, brain scans show

When shown a picture of their dog during an MRI scan, people will react as they would seeing a picture of their child. 

 Illustrative image of a person holding a dog. (photo credit: PXHERE)
Illustrative image of a person holding a dog.
(photo credit: PXHERE)

A dog is probably one of the only living creatures on earth that love you more than you can love yourself, new studies show, specifically with the following example: When shown a picture of their dog during an MRI scan, people will react as they would seeing a picture of their child. 

In Dr. Anna Machin’s new book, Why We Love: The New Science Behind Our Closest Relationships, she challenges her readers to reevaluate the significance of love within their being, to question their own perceptions, and to re-establish a connection with the essence of what it is to be a person.

Machin explores the close relationships humans hold with their loved ones… – most importantly with their furry canine pets.

Just like the human brain, the brain of a dog generates interchangeable chemicals. Chemicals such as beta-endorphins operate as opioids, which are produced when dogs are bonding with their owners.

People have more of a loving relationship with dogs than they do with cats, not only because they generate similar chemicals, but also because cats are less empathetic towards humans.

 Illustrative image of a dog. (credit: PXHERE) Illustrative image of a dog. (credit: PXHERE)

"Dogs definitely attach to us, showing attachment behaviors. For example, dogs get so attached to their owners that if their owners die, they go through a grieving process, just like we do.

"Dogs definitely attach to us, showing attachment behaviors. For example, dogs get so attached to their owners that if their owners die, they go through a grieving process, just like we do."

Dr. Anna Machin

"And also, obviously the dog-human relationship is a friendship," she writes. "So as far as we know, they pass all the tests for love."