You Know This Without Science Telling You It’s Real
This is one of those lovely things that you pet people just know. No study needed to prove it, no skeptics can take it away from you, and you can verify it, in your own body and consciousness any time you like.
Just get up close to your dog, or cat, or horse, get your hands in their fur, see them respond to your touch and loving presence, and see how you feel.
Good, right? Peaceful, probably, and more sure of yourself, and validated for being a caring human by the one you care for.
Is it all in your mind?
No, it’s clearly more than just your thoughts running away with your mind.
You know this intuitively, deeply, confidently.
Pet people just feel better when you contact and connect with those creatures who are truly yours. The ones who know they are yours, the ones who seek you out, and not just when it’s time to eat.
Let’s add the science in just because it’s interesting.
The Science, Anyway
Sometimes it’s further validating to hear what’s going on physiologically when you’re experiencing something so real.
Like being in love. Or being loved, by one who just loves you without judgment.
It turns out that there’s a whole lot going on when you hang with the animals you love. Among the measurable changes are these:
- blood pressure decreases
- cholesterol levels drop (take that, you statin hawkers!)
- triglycerides drop
- mood improves, especially depression and feelings of loneliness, the latter a more significant factor predicting early death than even obesity.
- pain decreases in fibromyalgia sufferers, with as little as 15 minutes of cuddle time
- less allergies and asthma in kids growing up with pets since infancy
A Two Way Street
Lest you think we humans are the only ones to benefit, there’s a group that’s measured the coherence of both human and dog heart rates dropping nearly simultaneously when they come together after being separated for a spell.
You’ll need to look past who sponsored the study, and just revel in the amazing findings presented in the video on this page.
Another study shows that oxytocin levels increase in both dog and human when they interact. When I learned of this hormone, all we knew 35+ years ago was that it was responsible for “milk let down.” Every dairy farmer knew this and worked it to get his cows to relax and let forth their bi-daily harvest.
Every nursing mom, especially is she is part of La Leche League, also knows this intimately. I remember “nursing pads” that my wife slipped into her bra because when baby Hannah cried just so, ready or not, the milk would flow!
It’s now known that oxytocin is also a major “feel good” hormone that stimulates social bonding, relaxation and trust, and wipes away stress. Dogs and their people experience oxytocin release simultaneously when they interact or even just gaze into each other’s eyes!
Cats: Good for Your Heart
Owning a cat, even in your past, lowered the relative risk of cardiovascular diseases, including death from heart attack and stroke. In this large study from 2009, researchers concluded,
Acquisition of cats as domestic pets may represent a novel strategy for reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in high-risk individuals.”
Service Dogs: Ever New Ways to Be of Service
You are probably not surprised to know that dogs have way more receptors for picking up smells than we do. But do you know how many more?
Quite an amazing difference, actually. Researchers at Auburn University tell us dogs have 220 million olfactory receptors in their noses, while we have a mere 5 million.
So, is it any wonder that dogs are now sniffing out cancer quite effectively? Chemistry changes when cancer is growing, and the dogs can pick up the chemical signals in breath, urine, and sweat. They can be trained to pick up these volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in both early stage and more advanced cancers.
Imagine the comfort a furry warm dog might bring to a funeral home. Not the happiest place to be, right? Especially for young children who are likely experiencing the death of someone near to them for the very first time. They are confused, sad, and likely more than a little lost.
Enter Lulu, the Goldendoodle, who “works” at the funeral home of her owner, Matthew Fiorillo, and knows just how to comfort mourners. Reading the need, she’ll bounce around with kids or curl up next to sad older folks and allow petting.
Lulu even knows how to “pray,” and does it on command.
Eye to Eye, Hand to Fur, Feet to Pavement
So, animals are good for us. Those who walk dogs get more exercise and social interaction. My dad outlived my mom and died more gracefully. He was the dog walker, once I went off to vet school in another state.
This goodness and benefit is especially true when you’re living with remarkably healthy Vital Animals. I outline how to get and keep your animals naturally healthy throughout this website.
Here are a few great ways to get started unlocking more Vital Animal goodness:
- Join us in our free Vital Animal Pack. You’ll receive my popular newsletter Vital Animal News, have access to my free Bach Flower Remedies for Animals Course, and get a free ebook, Insider Immune Protocols, that tells how I boost my patients’ immune systems (and my own).
- Here’s a great place to begin your journey down the Natural Path. Some of my top articles to help you make wise decisions that are critical in determining your animal’s health outcomes.
- To get first alerts for upcoming courses if you’d like to go deeper with my teaching, sign up here. We’re in the midst of a great one now, and more are on the horizon.
Have any stories of the wondrous human animal bond affecting your own health or those of a loved one? Please share it with us in the comments below.