A Second Look at Oxytocin as the “Social Bonding” Chemical

Oxytocin received a lot of press a few years back regarding its relationship to social bonding between dogs and people.  Dr. Patricia McConnell points to one such study in her blog article “Oxytocin Increases When Your Dog Looks at You”.

It’s even been proposed as a treatment for separation anxiety in dogs.

But an article shared by our good friend and colleague Dr. Alice Moon-Fanelli, reminds us of the importance of quality research, good controls and the publication bias for “positive” results.

This revealing article on “How Scientists Fell Out of Love with Oxytocin” should make us think twice about recent claims about how oxytocin purportedly influences our relationships with our dogs.

And certainly has implications for considering it as an intervention for separation anxiety.


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