Maddie's Insights: Social Pain in Dogs
Recorded On: 10/06/2022
The experience of unpleasant emotions is often referred to as “emotional pain”, such as when someone loses a loved one. The emotions that arise when one’s social bonds with another are impaired or lost – such as feelings of isolation, loneliness, and rejection – comprise one type of emotional pain, called “social pain”. Recent research has found that the term “pain” is not just a metaphor but is based on the finding that social pain is processed in the same brain regions where physical pain is processed. In addition, similar drugs can alleviate both physical and social pain. For social species, like elephants, horses, sheep, rats, guinea pigs, dogs, and humans, social pain plays a powerful role in one’s well-being and quality of life. For today’s domestic dog, the issue may be of greater importance than for any other species on Earth. Evidence indicates that through domestication the emotional bonding propensity of dogs toward humans has been greatly amplified, which appears to have resulted in both greater joy for dogs when in the company of humans, but also greater suffering when denied human companionship. Only by educating all those who care for dogs will “man’s best friend” receive the care they so strongly deserve.
Presenter: Franklin D. McMillan, DVM
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This webinar has been pre-approved for 1.0 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and by the National Animal Care & Control Association.
keywords shelter dogs, canine behavior, stress in dogs, social pain in dogs, emotional pain in dogs, emotional bonding with animals, human animal bond