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Pets Of The Week: Korean Stars and Their Beloved Critters

Studies suggest that keeping pets has a profound positive impact on human health and behavior. Looking at photos of cute pets alone improves the mood and concentration. See who’s keeping your favorite Korean Super Star company.

With the threat of a virus looming over most of the world, we’re undoubtedly facing tough times.  Research suggests that interacting with pets produces positive emotional responses in people.  Levels of oxytocin, the warm, fuzzy chemical responsible for feelings of trust, altruism and cooperation, inherent in the human system, increase, as humans cuddle with a beloved pet.  A study by the American Heart Association concluded that “pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, is probably associated with decreased cardiovascular disease risk.”   In an article in Psychology Today, Dr. Stanley Coren PhD., DSc, FRSC calls dogs “smile making machines,” owing to the fact that seeing dogs makes people happier.   

Further, in a study by Japanese animal behaviorist, Takefumi Kikusui from Azabu University in Sagamihara, Japan, he found that mutual gazing between a pet parent and a pet produced 130% increase in oxytocin levels in both the male and female dogs.  On the other hand, a 300% increase in male and female human pet owners was detected, profoundly proving the mutual benefit of having a close relationship with a pet.

Similarly, we look at those Instagram dog accounts to invoke the same feelings of care and attention.  No matter what, looking at anything cute elicits affection and concern in human beings.  A study from Hiroshima University in Japan suggests that looking at cute babies or animals also improves concentration. 

Before you get on your next task for the day, take a moment to scroll through this gallery of fluffy furbabies.  To up the ante on the cute factor, we’ve decided to focus on your favorite Korean superstars and their pets.  See who’s keeping them company.