Petting your dog can reduce your stress levels

We all know that our dogs are a great stress reliever and bring joy to our lives. But a new study has found that petting our pups actually reduces stress.

It’s official, petting our dogs really is good for our health. In fact, it is actually a proven stress reliever according to one new study.

As People Magazine reports, a recent study out of Washington State University has found that even 10 minutes of petting your dog a day can have a significant impact on your stress levels. Of course, this stress relief is not just limited to our dogs, as cat lovers also see a decrease in their cortisol levels when they cuddle and pet their fur baby as well.

Essentially, what researchers found was that, “there is evidence to suggest a significant stress-buffering effect during individually focused canine interaction in college students.” Basically, it is all about that one-on-one love and attention from a dog that helps to bring down our stress.

We always knew that petting our dog made us and them feel good, but the fact that we now have science backing us up makes this information even more real than before.

The study was actually inspired by “Pet the Stress Away” a college campus program that was designed to help reduce cortisol levels in students. And based on the findings it seems that science now knows what the rest of us do – our pets are perfect for calming us down and making us feel better.

Petting our dogs and cats comes naturally as pet parents, and while I can’t think of a day where I haven’t spent time cuddling and loving on my pup, it certainly helps to know that if we are having a particularly stressful day, our pups can help with that.

And while this initial study is only the beginning, researchers are hoping to uncover long-term benefits to petting and cuddling our pets as well. Considering the current findings of their recent study, it feels like dogs may be the answer to all of our stress.

Related Story: Chronic stress in people can translate to our dogs

Are you at all surprised to learn that petting your dog (or cat) can reduce your stress? Do you think there are long-term benefits to showing our pets love and affection in a hands on way? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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