START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Study: Animals Can Fall In Love

  • April 30, 2014
  • 6:17 am
Study: Animals Can Fall In Love

In quite possibly the most awww-inspiring experiment ever conducted, researchers found that animals can love, just like humans. Paul Zak writes about a series of studies in which he was involved in the Atlantic, all of them revolving around oxytocin, the “neurochemical of love” that’s released when humans engage in any number of activities from bonding with their children to having sex to, yes, interacting with animals. But Zak was interested in seeing whether animals, too, saw an increase in oxytocin production during certain interactions.

He went to an animal refuge in Arkansas, where a young male terrier and a young male goat regularly enjoyed playing with one another. Blood samples were taken from both animals, before and after 15 minutes of play. Zak found that after playing together, the dog’s oxytocin increased 48%—meaning that, as Zak puts it, “the dog was quite attached to the goat,” and thought of him as a “friend.” But the goat’s oxytocin increased an incredible 210%, showing that “the goat might have been in love with the dog,” Zak says, as that’s what an equivalent surge in a human would likely mean.

What do you think? Have you ever witnessed animals in love?

More From

4 Animals With Crazy Abilities
Your Earwax Says a Lot About You
10 Ways Pets Make You Healthier
7 People Who Had Surgery to Look Like a Celebrity

Photo credit: Flickr, laram777

Read more: Pets, Relationships, , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love


Newser upends the way news is delivered and consumed, making it simple to know more in less time—on your desktop, phone or tablet. Newser’s stories are presented in a one-of-a-kind 'visual news grid' that features only the day's most important and most arresting stories, hand-picked by its editors and written in a short, pithy format—generally two paragraphs that tell you all you need to know. Read less, know more.


+ add your own
3:27AM PDT on May 12, 2015

Interesting. I always thought they could love, but being "in love" is something different.

10:42AM PDT on Apr 18, 2015

thanks for sharing :)

1:07PM PDT on Aug 2, 2014

Love makes the world go round. Scientists don't know everything.

3:14AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

I do not need a scientific proof here.Animals do love unconditionally and show affection what we can not say from humans.They have feelings and emotions.Just remember the dog laying on its owner grave crying every day.The dog going to church where his mom went but died months before.This dog kept going to church at 09am ,in Italy.
Humans are deplorable when love and affection is mentionned.We need to learn from our pets and show kindness as they do.Humans do turn out in wild beast as you can see on TV what happenend in Oekraine shooting down a plane.Look at the sicko's in the Middle East.Did you ever hear something like that by animals.Praise God for these cute and faithful companions.I fall easely in love with my dog!

2:14AM PDT on Jul 21, 2014

I love this! I always knew animals can love us. So, what's to stop them from loving each other!!

11:36AM PDT on Jun 8, 2014

Thanks for posting.

11:36AM PDT on Jun 8, 2014


3:23PM PDT on Jun 7, 2014

Interesting study, this is really sweet!

1:53PM PDT on May 23, 2014

There is no doubt in my mind that one of my kitties, Spud, and Daisy, my new rescue kitten are completely smitten. They spend every moment together and Spud even shares his food with her. Spud's never let anyone even think about coming near his food.

11:19AM PDT on May 23, 2014


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

video spotlight

Daily Cute: Go Budi Pro!

Daily Cute: Go Budi Pro!

people are talking

The mobile version doesn't seem to record comments. Oh well.

Where there is a health "tag" there are profits to be made by unscrupulous manufacturers.

Most interesting. Will share on facebook and twitter. Thanks for sharing.

Once they get a bit older, they seem to really enjoy the sliding but the little babies could do with…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.