The Verdict Is In: Dog Cries Are the Most Evocative and Here’s Why

A troubling aspect of owning any pet — dog, cat or otherwise — is when they’re feeling under the weather. For instance, dogs tend to whine and cry incessantly when their stomach is in knots. This can be excruciating for their owner especially when there’s not much to do but let it play out. Their cries are bothersome, not that it’s not warranted.

It’s not unlike what happens with crying babies. In public, most people feel uncomfortable when a baby is crying nearby.

Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things we all experience, and it’s not exactly fun. But it does present the idea that pet cries and whimpers are just as bad, if not worse, than a baby’s crying. Is that really true, though or is it all in our minds?

According to a new study, it turns out that cat and dog cries are just as evocative, but dogs cries are more so.

What Does the Study Reveal?

dog playing with owner

Christine Parsons, the associate professor overseeing the study, says, “Pet ownership is associated with greater sensitivity to pet distress sounds.”

The study was conducted by a team of researchers at the Interacting Minds Centre at the Department of Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University in Denmark. Phew, what a mouthful! Findings were recently published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

Parsons also goes on to say that this “may be part of the reason why we are willing to spend large amounts of time and resources on our domestic companions. It might also explain why we find interacting with pets so rewarding and are emotionally impacted by both positive communication signals, like purring and negative, like meows or whines.”



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