Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 13:15 IST

Can Dogs Reduce Your Stress And Anxiety? Latest Studies Suggest So

Through their unconditional love, companionship, and ability to reduce stress and anxiety, dogs provide a source of comfort for pet parents.

Can Dogs Reduce Your Stress And Anxiety - Latest Studies Say Yes | Image:Unsplash

Your pet dogs are not just your best buddies, they are your constant companions who see you go through the lows and highs of your life. If you feel like hugging your dog a little tighter and cuddling with them is bringing you inexplicable joy, it is not just because you are too attached to your dog(although that is a good enough reason to give your good boy some belly rubs). Studies reveal that dogs can actually reduce your stress and anxiety.

Dogs provide comfort and stability | Image: Unsplash

What does the study say?

According to an IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science, “There was a significant difference between life satisfaction and stress levels of dog owners and non-dog owners. Dog owners were very much satisfied with their lives and with their lives and their relationships with their dogs as well. Dog owners also had a lower level of perceived stress. They felt that dogs are selfless creatures and show unconditional positive regard to their owner. Their dogs helped them a lot in reducing stress levels and remaining calm. Their dogs also helped in maintaining some level of physical activity which helped them remain fit and regulate mood. Overall dogs help a lot in their owners’ health and well-being.”

How can dogs help reduce your stress?

  • One of the most remarkable qualities of dogs is their unwavering love and affection towards their human companions. No matter the circumstances, a dog's presence can provide comfort and reassurance, helping to alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Dogs are very affectionate | Image: Unsplash
  • Interacting with dogs has been shown to lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body. Simply petting or cuddling with a dog can trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and relaxation, leading to a decrease in stress and anxiety levels.
  • Dogs require regular exercise and outdoor activity, which encourages their owners to engage in physical activity as well. Whether it's going for a walk, playing fetch in the park, or simply running around the backyard, the physical activity associated with dog ownership has numerous health benefits, including stress reduction and improved mood.
  • Dogs are natural icebreakers and conversation starters, facilitating social interaction and connection among their owners. Whether at the dog park, on a walk, or attending obedience classes, dog owners often find themselves engaging with others who share their love for dogs, creating a sense of community and belonging that can help alleviate feelings of anxiety and isolation.
  • Dogs thrive on routine and structure, providing their owners with a sense of purpose and responsibility. Establishing a daily routine for feeding, walking, and playtime can help create a sense of stability and predictability in one's life, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals struggling with anxiety disorders.

Published February 23rd, 2024 at 13:15 IST