Researchers recently discovered that human stress transfers to their dogs. This new finding provides more reason than ever to pay attention to both your mental health and that of your furry friend.
About the Swedish Study
The 2019 study published in Scientific Reports featured 58 people who were owners of dogs, specifically Border Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs. The research team analyzed hair from both the owners and their pets to look at cortisol levels in both.
Cortisol, a stress hormone, releases into the bloodstream in response to stress. As for what can cause the stress that affects the cortisol levels in your hair, it can range from depression to losing your job.
The researchers found that cortisol patterns in the humans’ hairs were very similar to that of their dogs, both during the summer and in the winter. Finding these close matches during the two different times of the years appeared to illustrate that their stress levels were aligned.
Interpreting What Was Discovered
The results seem to show that owners influence their canines. While you might wonder if it is the other way around, other research does show various human personality traits that also affect their dogs. Thus, it’s likely that the dogs mirror the stress of their owners.
As for why the relationship happens this way, one reason might be that the owner is a huge part of the pooch’s life. For humans, though, they likely have several other relationships.
The results also show that people and their dogs have close bonds. Often people see their animals as their children, which illustrates the intimate connection.
Alleviating Stress in Both Owner and Dog
While cortisol is not necessarily “bad,” long-term stress in humans can worsen existing physical health conditions, as well as mental health issues. It can also be exhausting and, over time, develop into depression and anxiety.
Speaking to a loved one you trust or to a professional, such as a therapist, about how you feel can be helpful. Also, taking time to meditate, do yoga, go for walks, and other activities can all be part of a well-rounded approach to improving your mental health and alleviate stress.
For your canine, calming treats infused with CBD from ceebeedoo.com can also be part of the solution. As well, regular exercise can be great for not only getting you some fresh air but also as a way for your dog to release tension.
Simply walking with them or playing a game of fetch could help you both reduce stress at the same time. Lastly, create a home environment that feels safe for everyone in the household, including the pooch, to reduce anxiety.
Final Words on Stress, Dogs and You
If you feel stressed, your dog might be too. Given the close bond you two share, this conclusion shouldn’t be too surprising.
While you might be focusing only on your stressors, also consider the furry member of your family. Taking moments of downtime for both of you can help you enjoy a better quality of life.