Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feeling blue? Pat your pet!

"The late Dr. Johannes Odendaal, research professor of the Life Sciences Research Institute in Pretoria, South Africa, conducted a study with dogs and humans in 2003 that indicated petting a dog released endorphins as well as other "feel good" chemicals in the brain, including dopamine, oxytocin, prolactin, and norepinehrine. Dr. Odendaal also said that the same physiological effects would result from petting a cat." http://pets.thenest.com/petting-cat-release-endorphins-10269.html

Further research has also shown that these chemicals are also released in the animal's brain, creating a calming cycle between the pet and the petter (that's you). I'm sure many animals WERE harmed in the research that brought us that little factoid, however, knowing that your dog or cat is also happy you're petting them makes petting them all the better. Better petting? Yes.

My dogs make me a happier healthier person in so many ways. When I get home they are thrilled to see me and always do their best to impress me with their good behaviour so that I acknowledge them (thanks for that tip Cesar Milan!)

Even though I'm tired and it's cold outside I need to get my dogs out for exercise so I rug up and go running around the park like a loon, after which I'm warmed up, happy and relaxed. What a great way to start every evening!

And now I know that a pet from me makes them as happy as it does me, it's just more reason to pet them. Cesar also taught me the importance of WHEN to pet your dog: exercise, discipline and affection - in that order, make for a well behaved, happy dog and owner.
My dogs, Winstan & Jess

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