It’s no secret that petting a dog can be a calming and soothing experience. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why it has such an effect on us? Why does your blood pressure go down when petting a dog?
Petting dogs has been scientifically proven to lower our blood pressure, making us feel more relaxed and content.
Let’s find out more about this feel-good factor of petting dogs
Does Petting Dogs Lower Blood Pressure?
When it comes to petting dogs, we all know that warm and fuzzy feeling we get when our beloved pup is getting some love. But did you know that your blood pressure could be lowering as well?
That’s right, recent research suggests that petting a dog can actually have beneficial effects on one’s blood pressure levels!
So why does your blood pressure go down when petting a dog? Science points to two primary reasons for this phenomenon: oxytocin release and autoregulation.
When stroking or cuddling with a canine companion, the body releases oxytocin – also known as the “love hormone” – which helps reduce stress levels and contribute to feelings of relaxation. This in turn leads to lower blood pressure levels.
In addition, petting a dog has been found to contribute to the process of autoregulation – that is, an unconscious regulation of one’s physiological systems in order to restore balance and equilibrium.
As part of this process, your body will adjust its blood pressure as needed when you are engaging with your pup.
The effects have even been studied by various medical professionals, who have found that regular interaction with a dog can help regulate one’s blood pressure over time.
For instance, one study conducted at the University of Arizona concluded that participants who were given daily doses of positive human-animal interaction had significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressures than those without such interactions.
So the next time you’re feeling a bit stressed, why not take some time to pet your pup and watch your blood pressure drop?
That brings us to our next question…
Is owning a dog good for your health?
Owning a dog is great for your health—in more ways than one! Here are five reasons why a pup makes a great pet from both physical and mental health perspectives.
1. Interacting with pets helps to lower stress hormones, leading to lower heart rate and blood pressure levels. Plus, petting dogs has also been linked to increased oxytocin production—aka the ‘cuddle hormone’ that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
2. Get active with your pup! Having a four-legged companion can really motivate you to stay active. Whether it’s taking them for a walk in the park, playing fetch or even signing up for agility classes—your pup will make sure you stay on top of your fitness goals!
3. Owning a dog can help people feel less isolated and more connected to the world around them. Studies have found that pet owners are less likely to experience depression than non-pet owners.
4. Being responsible for a four-legged companion can inspire better lifestyle choices such as eating healthy, sleeping well, and exercising regularly. Why? You want your pup to be healthy and happy too!
5. Dogs can also help detect illness before humans show any symptoms. After all, they’re known as ‘man’s best friend’ and ‘medical detectives’ for a reason! Dogs can even detect cancer in humans so they are quite a helpful buddy.
You might be asking yourself, what’s better than a long relaxing day spent with a man’s best friend? Well, if you’re looking for ways to lower your blood pressure, just spending some time with your furry buddy is enough to do the trick!
Interacting with a pup can help calm your mind and body and even reduce your stress levels. So next time you’re feeling tense or overwhelmed, grab a leash and head out for an afternoon walk. It could be just the medicine you need!
Of course, we all know that dogs aren’t miracle workers. There are still plenty of other things you should do to keep your blood pressure under control.
From eating well to exercising regularly, there are lots of ways to give your health a boost. But if you’re looking for a fun and easy way to reduce your BP, spending time with a dog is definitely the way to go!
So next time you need some help unwinding, don’t forget that man’s best friend might be just what the doctor ordered. Go ahead – take your pup out for some fresh air and let their unconditional love lower those blood pressure numbers in no time!