Results of numerous studies have shown how pets help ease our stress. But what if our stress starts affecting our pets?
That’s exactly what a recent study examined. Researchers in Sweden worked with 58 people and their Shetland sheepdogs or border collies. To identify degrees of stress, the researchers measured levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in strands of hair from people and fur from their dogs.
They found that cortisol levels in people closely matched those in their pets. What’s more, stress was synchronized most closely if the dogs were competitors, while pooches that spent most of their time playing were less stressed.
Research is continuing on the stress link in other canine breeds. In the meantime, it looks like the best advice is to just spend time with your dog having fun.