We all know dogs are considered humans’ best friend, and rightfully so. Greeting card marketplace, thortful.com, has conducted new research and teamed up with Dr Marsha Chinichian, Chief Science Officer of Mindshine to reveal the psychological and physiological effects dogs have on us, and how you can show your dog you love them.
By using heart-rate trackers, sleep quality scores, and body temperature data, thortful uncovered the true impact pooches have on humans. The quality of sleep improved, your temperature lowered, which results in a calmer state of mind, and heart rate increased during playtime, releasing dopamine, all after just ten minutes of playing with a dog!
Regarding how a dog can lower your temperature by 1°C, Dr Chinichian, explains that your dog can calm your nervous system and release feel good hormones. This reduces stress on the body and improves overall sense of calm.
Playing with a dog also boosts the levels of dopamine in the brain. The study revealed a person’s heart rate soared by a whopping 22% during playtime with a dog, which is set to boost your serotonin levels! Surely this proves it is not just our pooches that love a good playtime.
A little cuddle before bed with your pooch can improve your sleep by 32%. Of course, the longer, the better, but if you struggle with sleep, like so many do, then perhaps petting a dog might be worth a try!
How to let your dog know that you do really love them
Even though dogs have a psychological and physiological effect on our bodies, how can you show your pooch you love them just as much as they love you?
- Use a high-pitched voice. Dogs are easy creatures, so when you keep your sentences shorts, like ‘play’, ‘hungry?’ and ‘walkies,’ they will usually respond in a good way. Don’t be scared of using a high-pitched voice, as dogs react better to this than a low voice.
- Scratch them behind the ears. Did you know petting your dog softly behind their ears can make their brains release endorphins? This can help against any pains they might have, and is an intimate way for you to show them some affection.
- Do something fun together. Go on a hike, or a run together! Anything where you can both build trust. Teach them tricks and train them while making sure to reward them well.
- Make sure to spend some quality time together. Having a quiet, calm moment with your pooch is another way for you to show them affection. Let them cuddle up to you on the sofa, or the floor, and pet them softly so that they know you are there.
Commenting on the research, spokesperson at thortful says: ‘This research proves that we really are a nation of dog lovers. It’s amazing to see that the interaction between people and dogs increases our levels of feel-good hormones and improves our sleep. We hope that you use our top tips to let your dog know that we really do love them too.’