‘Help!’ Learn to de-stress from your pets

Pets are cute, cuddly and stress-reducing. Studies have shown that petting, much like touching or hugging, releases feel-good hormones known as oxytocins (read more about these love hormones in cuddle party facilitator Q&A). Pets provide companionship and the strong human-to-animal bond can help reduce blood pressure, bring comfort and even promote better relationships with other humans. See, if you can have animal friends, you can have human friends too!
Makes sense, I mean can you resist an adorable face like this?

Pets ease stress (credit: omgcutethings.com)

Point proven. But did you know your tension-easing, fun-loving, carefree pets can suffer from anxiety just like you? According to an online stress test for pets, symptoms include sudden change in behaviors such as

  1. Making more noises (meowing, barking) than usual
  2. Displaying aggressive behaviors like scratching, biting, growling
  3. Showing signs of restlessness (pacing, circling)
  4. Appearing more clingy

Doggie Spa, stress management (credit: sandraespinet.typepad.com)

Imagine, pets undergo anxiety and stress just like we do. The notion got me thinking, how do we keep our animal friend happy? Do what unto your pets what you would do unto yourself? Fancy dinner? Shopping? Spa? Vacation? Interestingly, being home or being at a pet spa does not make a difference to your pets. A new study by British researchers found that dogs are stressed by a change of scene whereas staying in the dog house is preferred. I guess the study only goes to show that an animal companion is not only available, loving, it is also relatively low-maintenance. Cheers to a man’s best friend.

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