Can We Stress Out Our Pets?
According to a recent study, the connection between pets and the people who love them may be far more intense than originally thought. While stories of how pets emulate their owners have always circulated freely, researchers in Sweden have found pets often learn and internalize one of the most commonly seen conditions of our time - stress.
When a human or an animal experiences stress, the steroid hormone cortisol is released into the bloodstream and absorbed by hair follicles. Cortisol levels in studied dogs were found to have no correlation to the dogs' activity levels or number of hours spent in training, but rather to the cortisol levels of their owners. Similar results have also been found between cat owners and their cats. If you feel your pet is exhibiting signs of stress, he or she should be seen by your veterinarian as soon as possible. That said, it is also worth examining your own state of mind, and perhaps scheduling a little extra down time.