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Humans and Dogs Are Born to Run!

Scientists have come up with real proof that both humans and their dogs are wired to run.  The brains of people and dogs produce natural chemicals called endocannabinoids that activate a part of the brain and trigger the sensation of feeling good.

Professor Raichlen and colleagues at the University of Arizona studied the theory that the desire to run may have been shaped by evolution. Their results confirmed their hypothesis that cursorial mammals, or those that had to run long distances to hunt for food, shared some chemistry. Blood tests show that humans and dogs appear to share the ability to produce a chemical that reduces pain and anxiety and creates a sense of well being.

The ability to run once played a key role in our evolution.  Running was a necessity, for humans and for dogs, be it for hunting and chasing prey or fleeing a danger such as a predator. So evolution made the fact of running a real pleasure for our two species with a little molecule secreted by our brain;  the endocannabinoid.  It acts as a reward for the individuals who manage to train and maintain their running capacities. A little extra bonus, in addition to survival!

Though most people do not need to hunt and chase their dinner today, running still has benefits.  “If our physiology evolved for us to be effective exercisers, that may be why our cardiovascular health, our metabolic health, and our mental health depends on it,” states Gerdeman, a biologist at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. So get back to your roots and take your dog for a jog.

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Veterinary Technical Services Department

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