We are dog lovers, big-time in my household, and now research indicates that loving your dog is good for your health!  (We always knew that).

"When dog owners fall in love with their pooches it's chemistry. Researchers discovered that dog owners get a shot of oxytocin known as the "love drug" or "cuddle chemical" while playing with their pets. That's similar to the chemical reaction moms feel around their children. Scientists Miho Nagasawa and Takefumi Kikusui, both biologists, were inspired by their own "love" feelings to see if something "chemical" actually happens in pet owners. "Miho and I are big dog lovers and feel something changed in our bodies when gazed upon by our dogs," explains Kikusui. They discovered dog owners who had eye contact with their pets showed a 20% jump in their oxytocin level. Kikusui, from Japan's Azuba University, believes the spurt of the love hormone in pet owners could explain why playing with a pet can lift blue moods. " (National Examiner)