… Petting a dog can reduce our overactive sympathetic nervous system within minutes: a racing heart, high blood pressure, the sweats. Levels of endorphins (hormones that make us feel good) and oxytocin and prolactin (the hormones involved in social attachment) go up when we’re with dogs. Cortisol (stress hormone) levels go down.
Obviously, we’re talking about loving animals, those that CAN be petted and those we can be around without fearing for our limbs. Although I donate to animal organisations, I’ve always wanted to volunteer in a shelter, just because I know it would give me a lot of joy to care for them. I will soon try again to be involved.
Now I know the scientific and logical, arguments besides the emotional ones so I am fully prepared for any possible “It’s-me-or-the-dog” ultimatum. Ha!
If you love animals, what can you do this week to be around one and enjoy their company?