Does petting a dog make you happy? Expert Advice

Where to Pet Your PoochIn general, canines prefer being rubbed on the the chest, shoulder and base of the tail. Your dog may have additional special places where he likes to be stroked, such as on the base of his neck or between his ears. There are also sensitive areas where your hands are less welcome: Touching his ears, paws, end of tail, top of head, muzzle or belly could upset your dog. Specific situations in which your dog must tolerate being handled in these places, like

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For a veteran struggling with mental or physical health issues, a companion animal can serve as a beacon of hope to give purpose and meaning in the darkest of times. Many veterans in our program tell us that their pets give them a reason to live.

Our canine buddies are always there for us, in good times and in bad. They are our friends when we are lonely and a reason to laugh when we are down. They are faithful, judgment-free sounding boards who we can play with, snuggle with, and – most importantly – be ourselves with.

A newly released Veterans Administration study found that 20 veterans commit suicide each day. This is far above the national average for civilians and it reflects a significant rise in suicide among female veterans.

Dogs have served as man’s best friend and worked alongside us for thousands and thousands of years. The loyal companionship and unconditional love of dogs has been written about throughout human history.

Our veterans are no strangers to adversity. From coping with the transition back into civilian life to battling depression and Post Traumatic Stress, life can be incredibly difficult for those who serve.

Why does petting a dog relieve stress?

If youre a dog owner, you’ll already know how soothing it is to stroke your pet.

Now university scientists have backed you up with research into the physiological effects of petting a dog.

Their study involved 249 students, who were all given 10 minutes petting and playing with dogs.

The study measured the amount of cortisol – the so-called stress hormone – in study participants saliva.

It found that cortisol levels dropped dramatically after the students had interacted with the animals – even among those who had very high or low levels to begin with.

Professor Patricia Pendry, who led the research, said: “We already knew that students enjoy interacting with animals, and that it helps them experience more positive emotions.

“What we wanted to learn was whether this exposure would help students reduce their stress in a less subjective way, which it did.

“This is exciting because the reduction of stress hormones may, over time, have significant benefits for physical and mental health.”

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Stroking your dog or cat can make you feel calmer. It can help lower your blood pressure. Even observing fish in an aquarium can help you be in the moment and release muscle tension. Psychologists, behavioral scientists, cardiologists, pet groomers, and animal scientists have all attempted to answer the question – can pets make you happy?

Animal lovers have always known in their hearts that pets make them happy. Ask anyone who has a dog or cat how incredibly comforting it is to come home and find their pet greet them with love and warmth.

Now, there’s enough scientific evidence to establish that pets do indeed make us happy. There’s a physiological basis to it; later in this post, we will shed light on the scientific reasons why pets make you happy.

For many people, spending time with a pet animal, whether it’s a dog, cat, rabbit, horse, or guinea pig, is the perfect way to unwind after a stressful day.

How big a contribution pets can make in your happiness quotient will depend on how strong the pet-owner bond really is.

There are occasions in life when you are down and beaten. On such occasions, it’s comforting to find a pet waiting to shower unconditional love on you.

Lack of discipline in daily life can easily lead to stress. With a pet, you will always have a reason to wake up, sleep, or eat at a certain time. It’s amazing how pets can get you moving at a fixed time every day for a particular activity like a natural alarm clock.

Pets also keep you active, thereby promoting physical and mental health. A 15-minute early morning walk in the park with your pet will not only help you burn some calories but also lead to the release of ‘happy hormones’ such as serotonin and endorphins.