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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make the world a better place: Watch a cute animal video

Make the world a better place: Watch a cute animal video

Does owning a pet or even watching those ubiquitous YouTube animal videos make us more empathetic? Apparently so. Loving those creatures may unlock ways to make you less lonely and make the world a better place. "Interacting with a pet can increase oxytocin, beta-endorphin and dopamine levels as well as reduce cortisol levels — powerful neurochemicals that can lower our blood pressure and make us feel happier, better and more relaxed," says Rebecca A. Johnson, a professor and director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Oxytocin, often called the "love" or "trust" hormone...

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