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
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
- 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?
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.
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?
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
Here are 24 ways to destress with your dog.
- Quick Simple Dog Massage Therapy at Home
- Tips To Bring Your Dog To Work Daily
- Is Meditation With Dogs Good For People?
- Why You Need To Self-Talk With Your Dog
- Great Exercises With Dogs
- Happy Dog Hiking Trails Without Back Pain
- 25 Affordable Date Ideas For Your Partner And Dog
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?