Pets are one of the greatest gifts in life. Whether you are a dog or cat person, there is much to be gained from having a pet. This is especially poignant when you consider that something as simple as cuddling your pet comes with a host of physical and mental benefits.
Many owners will tell you that cuddle time is the best part of pet ownership. Whether your pet hops up onto your bed, slides in next to you on the couch or paws you to join them on the floor, cuddle time can take many forms.
The reason why cuddle time is a firm favourite is because it leaves both humans and pets simply feeling better. While it may be tempting to wrap your pet in a cuddle multiple times a day, be sure that your pet is showing the proper body language.
Cuddling with pets
Enjoying a cuddle with your cat or dog can improve everything from mental and physical health. Additionally, your pet’s mood will also improve. However, while cuddles are beneficial, there are ways to go about this little endeavour.
Most importantly, it’s key to check that your pet is in the mood for a cuddle. With dogs, they may put their paw on your leg or nudge your arm. For cats, they may make playful meow noises.
Your pet often showcases key behaviours when they are not in the mood. Typically, when you see your pet sleeping either on the floor or in their designated bed, it’s best to leave them be. Also, if your pet seems grumpy or over excited, it’s not wise to pull them in for a cuddle.
It’s also worth noting that not all animals like to be touched in the same way. If you put your cat or dog on your chest and wrap your arms around them, signs of squirming may indicate that the position isn’t comfortable for them. It’s important to take cues from your pet.
The benefits of cuddling with your pets
After a bit of trial and error, you will eventually find the right place and position for cuddling your pet. Once both human and pet are comfortable, an easy routine can be established. This routine will help both pets and humans enjoy the benefits of cuddling on a regular basis.
Benefit #1: reduced feelings of stress and anxiety
There is something inherently calming about cuddling with a pet. The soft and consistent stroking of fur can help to really centre thoughts and feelings. This doubles as an effective technique for those looking to manage feelings of stress and anxiety.
Importantly, cuddling also helps release the hormone oxycontin. Dubbed the happiness hormone, oxycontin helps to block cortisol production. This is key as cortisol is the hormone in charge of stress.
Benefit #2: an opportunity for regular health checks
Cuddling also does wonders for pets. This is because the opportunity to sit or lay with your animal gives you access to their entire body. This means that you can take your time feeling their body for any lumps or bumps.
By partaking in regular cuddling, you can keep on top of your pet’s physical condition. This is particularly important when you consider that early diagnosis is often key in treating more harmful conditions such as cancer.
Benefit #3: increased feelings of companionship
Dogs and even cats seek companionship and safety. This is because a little bit of interaction can contribute to developing feelings of happiness and security. Two things that are key to pet’s living their best life.
By taking time out of your day to connect with your pet, whether they be a cat or a dog, you are effectively showing them how important they are. This works wonders when it comes to developing a lasting bond.
Benefit #4: improved physical health
Cuddling with pets not only reduces feelings of stress and anxiety, but this simple act also improves physical health. As cuddling promotes the release of oxycontin, hormones related to stress are blocked.
This is important when you consider that stress can lead to physical health issues ranging from weight gain and high blood pressure to impaired immune function and gastrointestinal issues.
Benefit #5: improved mental health
Cuddling can also help improve mental health. One way this form of human touch can do this is by decreasing stress levels. Another way is by providing individuals with a reason to get out of bed everyday.
If you have a pet that loves you, wants to cuddle with you and play with you, it increases feelings of self esteem. Additionally, if you have a pet that depends on you, it makes you realise how important you are.
Spending time with your pet
Cuddling with a pet is an activity that promotes pure joy. While a cuddle with a dog is enough to have a kid giggling, a cuddle with a cat can leave a retiree feeling a sense of true companionship.
With benefits such as improved physical and mental health, cuddling is a great activity. However, not all pets will like to be picked up and snuggled. So, to enjoy quality time with them, indulge your pet in their favourite activities, like a game of fetch or a run on the beach.