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You know your dog loves you:  he is more excited to see you than anyone else.  She wants to go everywhere with you.  But did you know that they love you so much and are so in tune with you that their heart beats in time with yours?

We’ve known for years that there are many health benefits to having dogs:  they reduce heart rates, promote self-esteem, and reduce the likelihood of asthma, allergies, and respiratory infections in children.  But a new study is showing that not only do dogs help lower our heart rates, but they also mirror them.

A Pedigree-sponsored experiment had three owners be separated from their dogs and then reunite to see how their heart rhythms were affected.

“There was a really strong coherence in the heart rate pattern of both the owner and dog,” Mia Cobb, canine scientist and demonstration co-conductor told The Huffington Post Australia.  “Upon being reunited within the first minute, each heart rhythm became almost directly aligned and we saw a reduction straight away.”

While she expected to see the humans’ heart rates lowered, Cobb was surprised by the mimicry.

“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,” she said.

We could certainly see the same effect with a cat, lizard or bird. It comes back to the kind of personal connection we have with our animals.”

“This kind of effect of experiencing a lowered heart rate makes a significant difference to our overall well-being. If we can decrease our heart rate by hanging out with our animals, that’s something that can really benefit the community.”

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