Domesticated animals really do love their owners, researchers have claimed.
Experiments found that animals release the same 'love hormone' used in humans to create bonds with friends.
Experts say they were 'shocked' by the levels of oxytocin released in animals.
Researchers found that animals release the same 'love hormone' found in humans and believed to help create bonds with friends and even between mothers and their children.
Paul Zak, a Professor at Claremont Graduate University in California, conducted several experiments to measure the levels of oxytocin, the body's 'happy hormone' released when pets interacted with other animals and humans.
'The results were kind of shocking,' he told MailOnline.
At an animal refuge in Arkansas, researchers obtained blood samples from a domestic mixed-breed terrier and a goat that regularly played with each other.
Their play involved chasing each other, jumping towards each other, and engaging in simulated fighting (baring teeth and snarling), Professor Zak said.
'We took their blood, had them interact in a closed pen, then took their blood again to check for changes in levels.
One experiment involved putting a pet dog and a goat together.
'The result was very surprising.
'The dog dog had a 48% increase, which was big for a human.
But the goat's response was incredible - for humans this it was basically true love. ...