Dogs can mirror their owners’ stress levels, suggests new research. In the study, researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in a group of dogs and their owners over the course of several months and found that levels tended to be synchronized. The researchers determined that the animals’ stress levels rose in response to their owners’ stress levels, rather than vice-versa. The study involved border collies and Shetland sheepdogs. More research is needed to determine whether the results hold true for other breeds or mixed-breed dogs. But if your dog seems stressed without any obvious cause, think about whether you’ve been carrying a lot of stress. If the answer is yes, taking steps to manage it may help you and your pet—think yoga, meditation, exercise, laughing with a friend, and, you guessed it, walking or snuggling with your dog!
Source: Long-term stress levels are synchronized in dogs and their owners
“Dogs are our link to paradise.” Milan Kundera