Four-legged pets are so sensitive that they catch stress and experience it with us.
The Scientific Reports journal presented a new study by Swedish researchers on the ability of dogs to feel and deal with the stress of their owners. The experiment involved 58 women and their pets – Border collie and Sheltie dogs – which are known to be excellent companions. Hair samples were taken from the dogs and their owners and the level of cortisol, a stress hormone, was measured. A few months later, they made a second, control analysis.
It turned out that in the long-term perspective, the level of cortisol in the ladies and their dogs levelled out. Pets of women with high levels of the hormone also showed high levels of the same hormone, and the dogs owned by the women with a low concentration of cortisol showed similar levels. At the same time, the character traits of both the owners and the dogs did not in any way affect the level of cortisol and did not affect the result of the study. According to the study, the authors suggested that owners’ stress is transmitted over time to their dogs.
According to earlier studies, it was found that people with prolonged stress “infect” their families with this condition. For example, a mother’s stress is transmitted to her child, which is often noticed by others. Now it turns out that dogs can also adopt our stressful state. So, fight your stress for the sake of those who love you!