Are You Stressing Your Dog Out?

August 3, 2016 at 12:03 PM by Nikki Wardle

Holding-dog and pet care

It's becoming known more widely that stress hurts the human body, leading to health problems and even early aging. Stress reduction is a great first step to take if you're trying to improve your health.

Stress and Your Dog

Not surprisingly, stress can also affect your pet's health. Have you ever considered how your stress impacts your pet? Research has shown that dogs especially can read and understand human facial expressions, interpreting and mirroring emotions. This is part of what makes dogs such excellent therapy animals; they're empathetic and intuitive, often available to offer comfort when you need it most. But if your stress is rubbing off on your dog, you could be negatively affecting your canine companion's health. If you're stressed out every evening when you come home from work, you could be stressing Fido as well. Here are a few tips to reduce your (and thus your pet's) stress.

  1. Spend some time with your dog: Not surprisingly, your dog can help you calm down and reduce your overall stress. Whether it's by taking your dog for a walk as soon as you get home from work or spending some time petting and cutting with him or her, it'll be time well spent.

  2. Take a five-minute break: When you find yourself getting stressed, take a break and refocus. Stress tends to build and taking the time to release and refocus could be all you need to get through the rest of the day.

  3. Breathe slowly and/or meditate: Slow breathing stimulates your parasympathetic system, making your heart beat slower, and your blood pressure go down.

These and other simple stress-management techniques can improve your health and your dog's at the same time. As always, contact us if you have any concerns or questions about your pet's wellbeing.

Topics: Pet Care

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.