8 Best Benefits Of Petting Your Dog

From providing emotional and physical comfort to helping you bond with your furry friend, petting is important to have a healthy relationship with your pooch!

But did you also know that it can make you both healthier too?

Petting your dog isn’t just about satisfying the cuddle monster in both of you.

Multiple studies have proven this simple action does wonders for your and your pup’s health.

In this article, we share 11 best benefits of petting your dog.

Reduces Stress And Anxiety In Humans

little white brown dog laying on bed getting petted by a woman

Petting a dog does not only provide wonderful companionship to the owner, but it also can help reduce stress and anxiety in humans.

Petting a dog can produce oxytocin, a hormone responsible for feelings of love, happiness, and contentment.

Additionally, the production of increased dopamine and serotonin in the body, combined with lowered blood pressure, helps reduce stress and anxiety levels.

Further studies have shown that simply looking at dogs or watching them play triggers positive emotions and helps one focus on something calming while setting aside anxieties or worries.

Petting a dog allows one to enjoy those same rewards while receiving physical comfort.

It Calms The Dog

Petting a dog is a great way to show your love and affection for your pup.

You can pet them all over, from their head to the tips of their tail.

Not only does this create a strong bond between you and your pup, but it has physical and mental calming effects as well.

Studies have shown that when dogs are petted, their blood pressure lowers, heart rate decreases, and even cortisol levels decrease!

Through gentle petting, dogs can become relaxed and comfortable in situations they would otherwise be anxious in.

Petting a dog is one of the easiest ways to show you care and help keep them feel secure – and that’s an advantage you don’t want to miss out on!

Prevents Heart Problems In Humans

light brown dog getting petted by a woman with grey hair

Petting a dog provides numerous health benefits related to reducing heart problems.

In particular, it can decrease measurable deposits of artery-damaging cholesterol, lower blood pressure readings and reduce stress levels.

People who engage in regular petting of a dog are thought to have lower triglycerides, fatty molecules found in the bloodstream related to increased risk for developing heart diseases.

Dog owners also are less likely to suffer from depression or be socially isolated, as the presence of a companion decreases both physical and mental troubles.

Finally, petting results in the calming release of hormones such as oxytocin, which plays an important role in regulating heart rate and an easing effect on the cardiovascular system.

It Makes Your Dog Feel Comfortable

Petting a dog is one of the best ways to show them that we care and make them feel loved.

It can also help us build stronger connections with our canine companions. 

When we pet a dog, it sends signals to the parts of their brain responsible for releasing oxytocin, or so called ‘the love hormone’.

Oxytocin helps dogs relax, and they become more trusting and less fearful. If done correctly, petting a dog can put them in an almost trance-like state of relaxation.

Thus, petting a dog may be one of the most vital aspects in providing peace of mind for our four-legged friend.

It Strengthen The Bond Between You Both

little boy petting a little dog

Petting a dog can be an incredibly effective way to show your pup love and kindness.

This simple gesture of affection can have numerous positive impacts on the bond between a pet and its owner.

Through physical contact and emotional connection, petting a dog can create an atmosphere of trust, security, and love between both individuals- research even suggests that this strengthens the bond in more tangible ways as well. 

For example, signs of unconditional love towards their pet can lead to reduced stress levels for the animal, meaning they are more likely to comply with commands and have better social skills- all things that help to increase interaction quality between pet and owner.

Therefore, one major advantage of petting a dog is that it serves to further strengthen the relationship between them.

Improves Immune System Of Humans

Petting a dog not only lowers stress but also can benefit the immune system.

Studies have shown that petting a dog increases your level of oxytocin, an important hormone in the human body that helps increase social interaction and decrease inflammation associated with stress and disease.

Additionally, playing with and petting a dog promotes healthy bacteria in the gut and even provides physical protection from allergens when interacting with environmental particles.

As such, petting a dog boosts our physical and mental health due to its diverse benefits on the immune system.

Improves Emotional State Of Humans

woman sitting on the floor petting a dog laying on the bed

Not only is the physical act of petting a dog comforting by providing direct amounts of stress relief through touch, but it also creates an environment that can benefit the mental and emotional components of anyone feeling down.

Studies have shown that pets can improve moods, reduce anxiety levels, and even help combat depression because they create a relationship between owners and animals that releases endorphins- hormones meant to make us feel good.

Specifically for dogs, petting them gives many people a sense of purpose, fills their hearts with love from seeing how closely connected we all are as living beings on earth, and serves as a distraction from our daily routines.

It’s no wonder why petting dogs improves our emotional state!

Helps In Different Therapies

woman hands petting a white brown dog head

Petting a dog has been found to have an undeniably positive effect on people’s mental, emotional, and physical health.

Studies show that petting a dog can help lower stress levels and even treat depression.

It also helps reduce anxiety, improve mood, and combat loneliness by providing companionship for those who feel lonely or isolated.

Petting a dog can help reduce physical pain, such as headaches, cramps, arthritis, and even cancer-related pain.

Dog owners who let their pets tend to experience better sleep patterns than those without pets.

Additionally, petting dogs can increase focus while studying or working, improve social skills by interacting with new people when out in public with a dog and build overall immunity by reducing cortisol levels in the body, which improves one’s overall health.

These benefits of petting a dog are all proof that animal-assisted therapies truly do work.

Not only petting a dog provides benefits, also having a dog does.

Before You Go…

You now know the benefits of petting your dog.

If you want to learn more, read the following article too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.