Whenever my Mommy or Daddy (or both!) have a bad day, they love to curl up with me and the rest of the gang, and love all over us. Now don’t get me wrong, they give us love and attention every day – but on bad days we get extra special attention! They spend even more time petting us! I love it because I like spending time with my Mommy & Daddy! The other pups love the extra special attention too! And it always helps Mommy & Daddy relax and forget about their bad day. They always end up smiling after only a few minutes of being with us!
There are several reasons why pets help lower a person’s stress level. Number 1 is unconditional love. Your dog and/or cat does not care if you made a mistake at work, forgot to pick up the dry cleaning, or spilled your breakfast all over yourself and the floor. (If it was a tasty breakfast, we actually appreciate the last one!) We love you and are happy you are around no matter what! Dogs are especially good at showing their affection with their happy greeting when you come home, wagging tails and lots of kisses (licks)! And cats, well just the sound of their purr and a rub against your leg shows you how much they care!
Another reason we are great for stress is that pets are a distraction. And while it doesn’t sound like a great trait, in cases where you’ve had a bad day, it is a good thing! We will get your mind off of anything that bothers you. Taking care of us, whether it’s taking us for a walk, feeding us, cleaning up after us, while sometimes may feel like a chore, is beneficial to your stress level. And no, I don’t mean that we won’t act up because we want something you are not providing! What I mean is that you are focused on taking care of us, and not whatever is stressing you out! Plus, when you are feeling sad and just want to sit on the couch, taking care of us will get you up and moving around. And moving around and participating in activities is always good for lowering your stress and improving your mood!
Playing with your dog lowers levels of your “stress hormones” adrenaline and cortisol.
— Little Friends (@LittleFriends3) February 24, 2012
So the next time you are having a bad day, think about coming home to your sweet dog or cat. Remember how much we love you and depend on you – and how we think you are just perfect! That will put a smile on your face and make you shrug off whatever it is at work, school, and in life that is bothering you!