Please Stop Stressing Out Because It’s Messing With Your Dog’s Zen
Dogs are the very best kind of friends. They listen, they love, they don’t judge…
But new research hows that when you’re stressed, your furry bestie takes that on and ends up with higher stress levels too.
(We can all agree to go home right now because your dog deserves a hug)
A new study of 58 dogs and their owners, researchers measured long-term levels of cortisol -- aka the ‘stress hormone’ -- in darling doggos and their humans, and discovered that the pooches’ stress levels rose and fell in sync with their owners’.
But while stressed-out owners made their dogs anxious, it didn’t work in the opposite direction: stressed dogs didn’t create neurotic owners.
It’s not that massive a surprise, really -- plenty of studies in the past have indicated that dogs can sense our emotions (and anyone who has spent any time around dogs will know this from personal experience).
Their heart rates have been shown to go up when they see someone who’s had a bad day (nawww!).
Their receptivity to human communication is surprisingly similar to that of very young children, according to a 2012 study. And animal behaviourist Takefumi Kikusui’s research suggests that “owner-dog bonding is comparable to human parent-infant bonding”.
THEY ARE LITERALLY FUR BABIES!
What's even more stressful (don't read this around while your dog's in the room, it'll send you and them over the edge...) is that science also backs up the idea that living with anxiety can have negative effects on the health and lifespan of our favourite four-legged friends.
Yep, chronic stress is bad for ALL OF US.
So, now that we know our stress stresses them out (Ugh! Dogs are so pure!), what the heck are we going to do about it?
(Hint: the answer is to stop stressing, mmmkay?)