Ways to Destress Quickly With Your Dog

Ways to destress with your dog can be easy and quick. Wonder how? Got stress? Silly question, isn’t it? Who doesn’t have stress these days? So, the question becomes how do you destress? The way in which you manage stress depends on how you care for yourself and your mental health. The options are wide and varied. You can try to swallow the stress and ignore it altogether. I don’t recommend this option. Or you can find ways to destress in a healthy manner. I highly recommend this method. Today, let’s dig in and learn how to destress quickly with your dog. One of my personal favorites!

*Updated: June 27, 2023
a cute dog help his dog mom with ways to destress
disclaimer note
Budget Tip:

Our dogs may come with many expenses. However, the ability to magically destress their dog parents is worth their weight in gold. This is a priceless added value of being a dog parent. It's definitely a win-win!

Effects of stress on health

While stress may seem like a fact of life, like breathing, if it’s not managed, it can do damage to our bodies. Stress nearly reaches every part of the body. The longer it goes unmanaged or not properly managed, the more damage it does to our bodies.  According to the American Psychological Association, stress affects nearly every system of our bodies, which includes: 

  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Respiratory system
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Endocrine system
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Nervous
  • Reproductive (male and female)

What can you do to reduce stress?

As an animal person, I’ve always turned to animals when I needed to destress. Animals have been my constant sense of calm. 

Now, I turn to my dog, Henry. There is a reason why dogs are most often used for therapy

Science has even shown that just merely petting a dog releases oxytocin (the feel-good hormone) and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. How easy is that for your health? 

Want to learn how to give your dog a massage? In this article, I walk you through how to do it at home and for free.

Do you know your dog has magical powers to reduce stress quickly?

When I was still working in an office and taking Henry to work with me, I was always astonished when someone would come into my building and simply ask for Henry. They’d sit down and say “I need some Henry therapy.”

Consequently, I’d watch Henry bounce over and leap on the person’s lap happily and the frown the person had seconds ago was suddenly replaced with a smile. This was a common occurrence. At first, it bewildered me. Then it became commonplace. Henry had his job. I had my job. I’ll be honest, Henry enjoyed his job a lot more than I ever did mine. 

Even today people will call, text, or email, ask about Henry, and want to know when they can see him. They still need some “Henry therapy.” 

Do you know the bonus your dog adds to your health? 

Maybe you adopted or got your dog as a companion. But did you know what a significant partner your dog can play in your mental health? 

Not only did you add a furry family member, but you got a sort of therapist in a fur coat. In fact, a study has shown how dogs help reduce stress at work. Many corporations have implemented policies to decrease stress at work, including dog-friendly workplaces. Dogs and their destressing skills are now welcomed at companies like Amazon, Petsmart, and Airbnb. This is just like I did with Henry. 

Want to learn how to take your dog to work, like I did with Henry? In this article, I walk you through the process.

What does it mean to destress with my dog? 

A lot of us were brought up with the notion that we need to be brave and do what’s tough, no matter what. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have support or a way to destress with your dog during stressful moments.

You may hit the ground running in the morning and never stop until your head hits your pillow at night. But what does that do if you are so tightly wound internally that you can’t think or breathe?

Have you ever purposely sought out your dog when you were overwhelmed instead of internalizing your stress? 

Do you know the benefits of meditating with your dog? In this article, I share them with you.

How would I destress with my dog? Is there a good way to start the day?

I like to start my day by greeting my dog (he likes a morning hug), grabbing a cup of coffee (that’s me), going outside, sitting for a bit, meditating for 10-60 minutes (depending on my day) while petting Henry, and then starting the day. Of course, if I have a very bumpy day, I will most likely find Henry several times for a few extra breaks.

While my lifestyle allows for this type of distressing with Henry, yours may not. Remember everything is in the quality and not the quantity. You can even close your eyes for a few seconds and remember a stress-reducing moment with your dog. Take a deep breath and relive the moment. 

How do I know if my dog reduces my stress?

This is a great question. And yes, you can tell. Here are a few ways to easily know if your dog is reducing your level of stress. Basically, it’s an increase in your happy hormone level, which your dog helps you to achieve.

  • Have you ever noticed that when you pet your dog, you feel calmer?
  • Do you find yourself chilling out a little when you walk with your dog? 
  • Are you calmed by your dog sitting with you? 
  • Notice your heartbeat when you’re with your dog, especially touching him. Pay attention to how you feel as you stroke his fur.

This is why dogs, in particular, are magical. All pets can do this sort of thing. But dogs seem to be very good at it. 

What are ways to destress with my dog? 

There are many ways to relieve your stress with your dog. They include:

  • Self-talk is a great way, which can also help destress.
  • Exercise with your dog is another perfect way to destress. 
  • You can even go for a hike with your dog
  • Go on a date with your partner and dog

Are you confused about what self-talk is or how your dog is connected? In this article, I share the details and guide you on how to do it. Hint: It also improves your brainpower.

Not sure what kind of exercises you could do with your dog? In this article, I walk you through six great exercises you and your dog will love.

Don’t think you can go for a hike because it makes your back hurt? In this article, I share great tips to reduce the pain or eliminate it together while increasing your hiking skills.

Want to go on a date with your dog and partner but you need some cheap ideas? In this article, I give you 25 ideas you all will love!

Here are 24 ways to destress with your dog.

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Summary of easy proven ways to destress quickly with your dog

We all experience many stresses on a daily basis. How we manage these stresses and the ways we choose to destress will benefit our life and health. I highly recommend turning to the power of your dog as a way to destress. Dogs are great at lowering stress hormones and increasing our happy hormones. Their humans get this benefit from as little as a pet. What could be better? 

a cute pug helps with ways to destress

What other ways to destress with your dog have you used? 


22 thoughts on “Ways to Destress Quickly With Your Dog”

  1. Walking Layla every morning helps me start the day stress free, and then I walk her at least 4 more times during the day to destress plus enjoy quality time together. I also do not take any electronics when walking her to cut off from everywhere. That keeps me balanced.

    • I agree leaving electronics off during your stress-free time is a really good idea. You have a perfect way to start a stress-free day! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Some people do not know the value of a dog (or cat) in helping them destress and unwind from a stressful day or period of time. I love how you signpost the best things for people do to because if you are overwhelmed then the first thing you need to do is take a step but you need a direction – so your list is perfect.

    My cats keep me sane, and without them, I would not be as mentally together as I am.

    • That’s very true. Our furry friends do reduce our stress often without us realizing it at all. That’s a very good observation. Thank goodness for their powers to help keep us sane. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I think how/if you destress with your dog can totally depend on the individual dog too. I have one dog who is very happy go lucky. He’s always happy and spending time with him is a guaranteed way to destress. My other dog, however, really picks up on people’s stress and it causes him anxiety. I joke that I am his ’emotional support human’. I try hard not to let him know when I’m stressed because it makes him anxious – and both of us being stressed is usually a recipe for disaster.

    • Awe, that is true. Some animals are very sensitive to their people and reflect what they are feeling. In a way that can be a good thing. It allows us to see how we feel “unfiltered” and gives us a chance to learn new ways to process our stress triggers. It’s really good that you are able to calm yourself when your one dog needs you to be calm. That’s a super observation! It sounds like between your two dogs you keep a good balance. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  4. Dogs (and cats) definitely help us keep our sanity and mental health in check. They are our therapists, guardians, best friends, and family! And they definitely calm our nerves and blood pressure just with their presence. I don’t have a dog but have had cats and hearing them purr or spending time petting them is soothing. I don’t know how I would have made it through some of my life’s most difficult experiences without them.

    • Oh my, the sound of a cat purring is near heaven! Especially when your upset or sick. My cats use to sit on my chest or wherever I was in pain and purr. I always felt better. A cat’s purr is definitely a healing power unlike any other. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of these great memories!

  5. Pets are wonderful for easing our minds. I have 2 cats and they make incredible therapists. There is nothing quite like having a purring kitty in your lap! Dogs are great too though. There is something about their “everything is great” attitudes that can take your mind away from your troubles.

    • I totally agree a cat’s purr is very healing. I definitely miss my cats and their purring. And you are absolutely right most dogs do have a great sense of attacking life with a happy attitude. Both are unique, but great for destressing, especially in a stress filled world. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  6. Probably the number one thing I do to de-stress with my pup is just trying to BE with them without thinking about other things. I always find my mind pulled in so many different directions between my kids and work that just sitting down and focusing on their care is so therapeutic – be that simply giving them love, or cooking them a meal.

    • That is the perfect thing to do is just “Be” with your pups. It’s a sort of meditation. Kind of a dog or animal meditation. Definitely a great way to destress and remind yourself of the importance of just “being”. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on destressing with your dogs and being in the moment. It sounds like your doing a great job with it!

  7. I am an anxious person, and I have plenty of stress in my life. There is one way I can find a certain level of zen–frog hunting with my dog. I am her hunting partner and assistant. We are there, doing it together. It’s lovely.

  8. Keeping our stress under control is vital for our well-being, and what better way to do it than by sharing our lives with a pet. My cats keep me centered, and I know dogs can do the same. Very informative.

    • Thank you! I’m glad your cats help keep you centered and stress free. Cats are great for destressing too! Thanks for sharing your insights!

  9. I am a firm believer in the power of our pets to help us destress. That’s one of the reasons why I love working from home. Anytime that something happens and I find my stress level going up, I know that I can take a moment and spend some quality time playing with or cuddling up with the pack here. It never fails me!

    • I completely agree. Pets amazing powers to destress us. I look for my dog too, when my stress levels go up. That’s great to recognize your stressed and be able to calm yourself easily. I like to work with my dog near me at home. That’s how I’m my most productive. Thanks for sharing your insights!

  10. Having three highly anxious dogs is not relaxing. That said, it is even more reason to make time to breathe, focus, and bring the energy levels down before daily activities: breakfast, walks in the park, and dinner. Also ensuring they (we) have enough exercise. Thank you for this important reminder. When my dogs are calm, I can relax and enjoy them.

    • That’s very true. Some dogs are anxious. Those dogs remind us even more to be calm and breath. That’s great you have realized how to calm yourself and reflect it back to your dogs…or they reflect it back to you??? Sometimes that can become a circle of goodness. Thanks for sharing.

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