Is Meditation With Dogs Good For People?

The benefits of meditation with dogs are plentiful. They not only benefit the dog parent, but also the dog. You might be thinking this sounds a bit nutty. But just hold on a minute. Have you heard or experienced the benefits of meditation by itself? Do you know meditation benefits are so positive that many doctors recommend their patients meditate? Interesting, huh? But where do dogs fit into all this meditation stuff? Fair enough. Today let’s dig in and learn about meditation with dogs.  

a dog mom and cute dog have discovered the benefits of meditation with dogs
disclaimer note
Budget Tip: 

You don't need to spend any money to meditate with your dog. Yet the return can be tremendous for your dog and you. Mark this down one down as a win-win-win for you, your budget, and your dog. There's truly no downside. You can't go wrong!
*Updated: August 19, 2023

Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of traditional meditation can be very individualized. Here are the most common benefits of meditation.

1. Great for reducing stress and controlling anxiety

2. Improves emotional health

3. Better self-awareness (more positive thought patterns)

4. Improved focus and memory

5. Better sleep

6. Decreases blood pressure

7. Could reduce pain

If you don’t meditate already, I bet your interest is at least piqued a bit. Let me take this to the next level. Let’s add in a dog, your dog, to your meditation session. 

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Petitation

What does it mean to meditate with your dog? Petitation is a word that was coined a few years ago, by Elizabeth Paige. Traditional meditation means you’re focusing on yourself, your breathing, or a higher plane of energy. Petitation means you focus on petting your dog for extended periods of time during your meditation time. This is certainly one method of mediation with dogs. This method seems to help those that have a difficult time with traditional mediation.

In fact, a woman diagnosed as bipolar had tried several times to meditate at her therapist’s recommendation. Each time she failed to be able to calm herself enough to meditate. However, when she brought her dog into the picture in a “petitation”, she finally received the benefits of being calm. This woman was Elizabeth Paige. She later went on to write the book, The Petitation Companion

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Forms of Meditation with Dogs

Is petitation the only method of meditation with dogs?

No. The methods of meditation with dogs are as varied as the styles of traditional meditation. 

1. Room – You can simply be in the same room with your dog

2. Lap – Have your dog on your lap

3. Touching – Be touching your dog

4. Combo – Any combination of any of these works

The point is to involve your dog in the meditation process. By doing so, you and your dog benefit from meditation. So, what are the benefits of meditating with dogs?

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There have been scientific studies on the benefits of meditating with dogs. This is the most recent study. The result is remarkably positive. 

Henry "meditating" with me.
Henry nap during my meditation.

Why should I meditate with my dog?

1. Deeper bond and build trust

Both you and your dog will feel connected energy as you meditate in the same space. You will both trust each other more as you continue to meditate with your dog over a period of time.

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2. Helps with anxiety

If your dog suffers from anxiety (or you do), you will probably want to pet your dog or have a physical connection of some sort to your dog during your meditation. The point is to increase your bond/trust quotient while decreasing your anxiety/stress quotient, which ultimately results in relaxation. 

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3. Improves overall health 

In the same way, traditional meditation is good for your physical health, meditation with your dog is as well. It helps to reduce stress, improve emotional health, and increase heart health.

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4. Easier to meditate

As Elizabeth Paige demonstrated with her petitation, petting in a rhythmic motion with your dog can allow you to relax in a safe space place, which is easier to meditate for many. However, just having your dog nearby during meditation can be enough to make it easy to move into a space of meditation and allow your dog to receive the meditation benefits. 

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Summary of benefits of meditation with dogs 

Meditation with dogs can be very easy with a petitation. This method allows people who have a difficult time with traditional meditation, to more easily reach a space of meditation and reap the benefits. However, meditation with your dog can take any form as long as you have a connection with your dog.

I start every day with meditation. Henry is always included. It helps to calm me and set my intentions for the day. I’m glad it’s good for both my health as well as Henry’s health. But the knowledge that it’s free is the icing on the cake, or maybe that’s the doggie cookie.

a dog mom know that meditation with dogs is much more powerful as her dog lays next to her

Have you ever meditated with your dog or pet? Are you going to try now?

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About Terri Rodefer

Terri Rodefer is the founder of Tail Wag Wisdom, a blog focused on affordable pet care. She likes to say helping pet parents afford and love their animals even more, makes her tail wag. As a lifelong lover of all animals with a background in economics, biology, and marketing, allows Terri to bring a unique spin to pet care. 

30 thoughts on “Is Meditation With Dogs Good For People?”

  1. I’m not a dog owner however in the past I have tried online yoga and meditation videos and LOVE it when the instructor’s pet walks through the camera shot and relaxes/stretches alongside the instructor in the video. Your points are spot on. I do feel more relaxed and at ease especially when I see “Fluffy” during yoga/meditation. It’s a happy accident but proves your point. Both humans and pets can benefit positivity from bonding and raising our vibration through meditation.

    Reply
    • You are absolutely right! Spot on! It raises your vibration, your frequency to a higher level of where you can better function and heal. Perfectly said! Thanks for your insights!

      Reply
  2. Very interesting! I have to admit I’ve tried meditation before but have never been great at doing it on a regular bases. Funny enough, I never thought of it as meditation before, but most nights I do relax by sitting quietly and petting one, or both, of my dogs.

    Reply
    • Meditation can take many different forms. It’s a relaxing state of mind that allows you to be calm and free of normal things such as pain, stress, anxiety. It’ll take you to a different state of mind. Dogs or pets are great for meditation. Although, to be honest, meditation can take many different and unusual forms such as gardening, painting, cooking, sewing, evening cleaning. I prefer animals. It sounds like you’ve found your style of meditation that works best for you with your dogs. You knew, even though you didn’t know. That is awesome! Thanks for sharing and continue enjoying your nightly meditations with your dogs! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Meditation with a dog sounds wonderful! I have meditated with my cats and they are very good at it. They just fall asleep in my lap and I pet them as I relax and meditate. I can understand how it can be easier to meditate with a pet. It gives you something to focus on physically (not to mention the calmness that come with knowing that your pet is there). It would be awesome if there was a guided meditation for meditating with your pet.

    Reply
    • That is a great idea to have a guided meditation with your pet. I agree pets do give you a physical focus point you know and trust, which can make meditation much easier. Plus, they gain benefits too. I really do love your guided meditation idea. I’ll have to think about that one. Thanks for your insights!

      Reply
  4. I use Headspace and Andy Puddicomb has said that having your pets with you while you meditate is a good thing. I certainly agree and I always havae at least two cats near (or on!) me while I meditate in the evening.

    I did not realise at first that regular meditation is even more beneficial than just meditating once in a while now I practice every day.

    Reply
    • That’s fabulous! It sounds like you have a great daily meditation practice with your cats. Here’s one more interesting tidbit with meditating you may like, since you seem to like alternative therapies. Meditating helps with balance. I’ve had many friends tell me that if they meditate prior to doing yoga they can hold poses for a significant longer time. I did a test on myself once with just different balancing positions (arms out, one leg, walking eyes closed, etc.) without and with meditation prior. There was a noted difference in my balance after meditation. I need to research this point. I suspect it has to do with calming the brain. Thanks for sharing your insights and continue to enjoy your daily meditations with your cats.

      Reply
  5. I love this idea and I try to meditate and relax in the dog park with Layla, doing it outdoors in nature relaxes me totally. Great post

    Reply
    • I love meditating outdoors as well. Being in nature adds another layer of relaxation. I’m certain Layla loves meditating with you. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  6. I would like to get a better hang of meditation techniques. That said, when we go frog hunting with my dog, I make sure I am fully focused on her and what we’re doing. I feel it’s a form of meditation in a way.

    Reply
    • Yes, that’s sounds like it’s a form of meditation for you. Everyone can develop there ways and places for meditation that works best for them. Some people do well with meditating while gardening. Others do great with meditating while playing the piano. It’s true you can add more formal techniques into what you’re doing, but you have certainly found a form that is a great beginning for you. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  7. I have been including meditation in my daily routine but I’ve never considered including the dogs in that. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before. That being said, I can’t wait to work through this with them. Especially with my sweet girl Daviana. There’s something about her that never fails to calm me.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you have a new meditation partner. 😉 Daviana will enjoy meditating as well. It’s funny, some days my dog, Henry, will snuggle as tight as possible when we meditate and I know he’s right with me as I’m journeying through my meditation. Other days he wants to sit in “his own space” but still near me. Either way, I can feel him enjoying it. My cats use to really snuggle in for “meditation time”. Pets definitely get benefits and add to the process. I hope you enjoy it with Daviana. Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
  8. I find meditation with my dogs much more relaxing than by myself – my mind is just so busy that it’s hard for me to “let go” of everything. But with my pup next to me it’s so much easier!

    Reply
    • That’s so wonderful! You’ve already discovered the benefits of meditating with your dogs. I know they love the benefits as well and are participating in the process. Dogs, and pets, certainly do make meditation easier. Thanks for sharing and continue to enjoy your meditations with your dogs!

      Reply
  9. Although I have rarely meditated in the classic sense, I usually spend time every day unwinding and relaxing with my dogs. They are good for my soul and mind.

    Reply
    • It sounds like you are probably doing a form of meditation, even though you don’t realize it. Often petting your dogs in a rhythmic motion, which can allow your brain to be calm and you to reduce stress, is a sort of meditation. As Elizabeth Paige would say, you’re doing a form of meditation called petitation. That is perfect! Keep it up! You and your dogs will receive many benefits from it. Thanks for sharing your meditation method!

      Reply
  10. I love the idea of meditating with my dog! I have never tried it, but it might help me be better able to get to a relaxation state. I’ve tried meditation a few times but I lose patience & focus. I’ll try bringing my dog into it and see what happens. Thanks for sharing!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Reply
    • I hope you are able to meditate with your dog. I believe you’ll find it much easier to calm your mind and get to meditative state with your dog. You can even try petitation, which is petting your dog to help you meditate. I know you’ll find what works best for you and your dog. Thanks for sharing and good luck! I know you can do it!

      Reply
    • I’m glad you found it a useful article. Meditation is great for both you and your pets. Especially, in our hectic world.

      Reply
  11. Have you ever considered creating an e-book or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I
    know my subscribers would value your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel
    free to send me an e-mail.

    Reply
    • Hi Janelle,
      Actually, I have thought about these ideas.
      If you would like, please contact me directly through contact page.
      Thanks!
      Terri

      Reply
  12. I was reading through some of your articles on this website and I think this web site is very informative ! Keep posting.

    Reply

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