After a long week of the daily grind, there is no greater feeling than packing up your dog’s favorite toys and accessories and heading for the great outdoors. Whether a dog park or a hike through the woods, there is no question that your favorite furry pal encourages you to stay active. Recent studies, however, also show that owning a dog can drastically reduce your levels of stress.
Our Furry Stress Reducers
For decades, canines have contributed to society by assisting farmers, hunters, police officers and even the visually impaired. These days, a large quantity of dogs hold the prestigious title of “therapy animal.” Therapy animals are used to provide emotional support to those who need it most, from veterans of war to autistic children. While therapy animals are not limited to those of the canine variety, many find their often social and playful personalities to be ideal for some patients.
By interacting with a dog, these patients have several their needs met. They gain a sense of companionship and are often motivated to be more active. As a result, numerous studies have shown that the body releases more of the hormone known as oxytocin and in turn decreases the amount of the stress hormone known as cortisol. This shift in hormone production, along with the added companionship, aids in decreasing anxiety and loneliness while improving the patients overall mental health. Fortunately, dog owners reap the same rewards as patients of animal therapy.
4 Top Ways Dogs Relieve Stress
1. Dogs Decrease Reactions to Stressful Situations
Life is full of stressful situations. From daily stresses to more unexpected ones, your dog can help you react to these situations in a healthy manner. They may make you laugh when you are feeling overwhelmed, or the need to care for them may keep you motivated through your toughest days.
2. Owning a Dog Means You Get More Exercise
You may skip your morning jog or a trip to the gym, but the sense of responsibility you feel as a pet owner ensures that you give your dog the opportunity to exercise. Whether a simple walk around the neighborhood or a high-impact race through a dog park, these activities benefit both you and your dog. As exercise in general prompts your body to release endorphins, this alone can significantly reduce stress levels.
3. Touching Your Dog Fulfills the Need for Touch
You may give your dog a thorough scratching because it makes them happy, but research shows that touching your dog benefits you as well. Humans and canines alike find touch to be comforting and relaxing. Each time you touch your dog, your heart rate slows down, and your body produces stress relieving hormones.
4. Being Around Your Dog Decreases Your Blood Pressure
One of the biggest physical signs of excessive stress is high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to a number of health-related problems, including headaches, strokes and even blood clots. By simply looking at or touching your dog, you can instantly reduce your blood pressure reading. This phenomenon is also linked to the ramped-up production of oxytocin and the decreased amounts of cortisol that your body produces.
Pet owners love their stress-reducing dogs. Consider targeting these pet owners by adding an Evolution Dog Wash to your business. The use of this commercial dog bath eliminates bath time stress for owners as well as their pets. Contact us today to learn more!