The benefits of hugging your pets

Hugging releases a hormone called oxytocin, the feel-good hormone

Manasi Y MastakarUpdated:Saturday, April 30, 2022, 11:28 PM IST
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Hugs can light up any gloomy day. Hugging releases a hormone called oxytocin. The fuzzy, warm feeling that you experience after hugging someone is caused by oxytocin.

Recently, actress and author Twinkle Khanna posted a picture of her husband, actor Akshay Kumar hugging their daughter, Nitara, and their pet dog giving the two of them a hug. This suggested that pets too feel warm and fuzzy when we hug them.

Shedding light on the effects of oxytocin in animals, Dr Dilip Sonune, Director, Veterinary Services at Wiggles says, “Humans and pets both release this hormone when we hug, touch, or look lovingly into someone’s eyes. This increases our attachment and bonding to that person or animal. While humans hug each other to comfort, celebrate and feel safe, pets usually cuddle to get body warmth or bond with their family members. The act of hugging releases various hormones that make them feel secure. When humans and pets interact with each other, both release oxytocin, which is linked to a positive emotional state.”

However, one also needs to be careful while hugging pets. Not all are comfortable. “In case they don’t like to be hugged, pet parents should be respectful of this. It may make the pet irritated and aggressive,” Dr Sonune cautions.

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