Puppy brain. Yes, it’s a real thing.

Not that any of us at Valle Verde needed confirmation, but here it is: The scientific evidence that puppies are good for you!

In this very endearing, entertaining and enlightening video Shannon Odell, Neuroscience Ph.D candidate, writer, comedian and dog lover, explains in simple terms the effect of puppies on the brain.

The truth about ‘real’ puppy love

Theory of just how puppies melt our hearts is known as the ‘baby schema effect’. Their baby-like features, yes, I’m talking about the puppy dog eyes, are known to activate reward circuits in our brains.

Puppies and babies trigger overlapping areas of our brains that deal with reward and attachment. This means that at some level our brains may not be able to distinguish between a human baby or a puppy, so the science goes.

Our biological response to puppies is to protect and care for them, as we would our own kids.

It’s been discovered that just by gazing into a dog’s eyes your body releases the powerful hormone and neurotransmitter oxytocin, associated with touch, social connection, contractions in childbirth, and other good stuff. And this is how puppies may have the edge over other pets such as tarantulas, birds or snakes. Not so soft and dreamy-eyed, you see?

This gazing also causes the release of endorphins and dopamine into the system with euphoric results. Any dog owner will tell you that welcoming a dog into your life is a bit like falling in love.

The feeling is mutual

And do you want to know the really wonderful part of it? Dogs’ brains react to contact with us in a similar way. They love us right back with all their hearts, noses and waggy tails.

So, if you’re considering opening your heart and your home to a dog you’ll be rewarded with daily doses of pure euphoria.

What are you waiting for?

For a little nudge in the right direction, and because just looking at pictures of puppies is said to have a similar effect on the brain, have a gaze at some our canine residents who are looking for forever homes and are currently work tirelessly every day to bring us love and joy at the shelter.

And if you need any further persuasion check out this post on 10 Reasons to Adopt a Rescue Dog.

If you enjoyed the video, you can find more in the series Your Brain on [Blank] where Shannon Odell covers the neuroscience of alcohol, caffeine, break-ups, sleep deprivation, flu and more.

Find a pet

Here are some of the other cat and dogs currently waiting to find their forever homes. Could that be with you?

Click on your favourite below or find more here

Maximo, Breton Spaniel

Maximo – male Breton Spaniel seeks forever home

Maximo is a male Breton Spaniel looking for his forever home. Please share 🐾

Dori, Podenco in UK foster looking for forever home

Dori – female Podenco in UK foster seeks forever homve

Dori is a female Podenco – A friendly girl currently in foster in UK. Seeks forever home 🐾

Koko, female Mastín

Koko – female Mastín

Koko is an affectionate girl who likes being with people and other dogs. Healthy and playful and walks nicely on the lead. Let’s find this girl a loving home.

Nina, female dog rescued from the perrera is up for adoption

Nina – shy female dog rescued from the perrera seeks home

Nina has just arrived at the shelter after spending two years in the perrera. She is sweet-natured and a little shy at first. Let’s find this sweet girl a home!

Leo, male dog for adoption, Spain

Leo – friendly male dog seeks a home

Leo was abandoned outside Linda’s house and has settled in very well at the shelter with the other dogs. Let’s find this super boy a home!

Woody – male dog seeks loving home

Sadly, Woody is looking for a family to love him. He is an active boy who loves going on walks and playing. He loves people, no problem with children or other dogs. No cats.

Mora female dog

Mora – Friendly young female dog seeks home

Meet Mora. A big, friendly girl, she loves affection and socialises well with other dogs. Mora is negative to all 5 mediterranean diseases.

Buddy – male Podenco Cross for adoption

Buddy is a Podenco cross and a very lively boy. He loves playing with his siblings. Let’s find this boy a home!

Cassidy – young male dog needs a home

Cassidy is a male Retriever Mastín cross. He is fairly big but has a gentle and timid nature. Mixes well with other dogs, not dominant. Let’s find this gentle boy a home.

Toby – young male dog needs a home

Toby is new to the shelter, he came in with Daisy. He is a happy and friendly boy. Mixes and plays with the other dogs. Let’s find this great boy a home!

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Meet the Valle Verde Cats & Dogs looking for homes

Koko – female Mastín

Koko – female Mastín

Koko is an affectionate girl who likes being with people and other dogs. Healthy and playful and walks nicely on the lead. Let’s find this girl a loving home.

Find out about other ways that you can help

We understand that not everybody can offer a home to our rescue animals, but there are many other ways that you can support the work we do. Find out more…


All your donations, big or small, help us continue our work rescuing and re-homing animals in need.


If you would like to fundraise for Valle Verde Animal Rescue, we’d be delighted to hear from you.


There are lots of other ways that you can support the animals. Find out more about volunteering.

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