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How Your Chihuahua Can Help With Stress

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How Your Chihuahua Can Help With Stress

Stress can take its toll on both your mind and body over time. A hectic home or work life can leave you feeling tired, drained, and demotivated.

A pet can help you to not only cope with stress but can actually lower your stress levels altogether. This is good news considering almost half of American households are home to a dog. As a chihuahua owner, there are several ways that your four-legged friend can help to ease your anxiety and improve your mental state.

Lower Cortisol Levels

When we’re stressed out, our body releases a hormone called cortisol to help cope with the after-effects. In small doses, cortisol can be beneficial. It helps to control blood sugar levels and blood pressure, regulate metabolism, and reduce inflammation in times of extreme stress. Over time, though, heightened cortisol levels can end up doing more damage than good. Excess cortisol can cause fatigue, depression, anxiety, and even weakened bones.

The best way to regulate cortisol levels is to avoid stress whenever possible, and your four-legged friend can help you to do just that. Spending time with dogs has been shown to lead to drops in blood pressure and reactivity to stress. You can lower your cortisol levels and improve your blood pressure by playing with, walking, or even simply snuggling your chihuahua.

More of the “Love Hormone” Oxytocin

Snuggling your pooch is also a good way to boost your levels of oxytocin, more commonly known as the “love” or “cuddle hormone.” This is the chemical that helps mothers bond to their infant or allows two adults to develop a deep romantic attachment.

Oxytocin is an essential part of our arsenal of feel-good hormones, and by petting or playing with your pup, you can increase levels in your bloodstream. The release of oxytocin will help to boost your mood and reduce stress levels for hours after a good snuggle session.

Company and Companionship

Humans are social creatures, and isolation can eventually lead to both mental and physical symptoms, including problems with learning and memory, anxiety, depression, and even circulatory issues. It’s important that we all experience friendly contact, preferably on a daily basis. This can be hard for those of us who live alone or work from home, however.

A four-legged friend can be just as good as a human when it comes to curbing loneliness. Having a chihuahua around gives you the love and contact that you need. A dog also opens new opportunities to meet people through interest groups, at the dog park, or simply walking your pup down the street.

Feeling stressed can do much more than just affect your sleep cycle. It can have a negative impact on both the mind and body that only gets worse with time. Luckily, your chihuahua can help to regulate your stress levels by providing the love and companionship that you need.

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Esther Caldwell

Monday 18th of May 2020

i had family of 4 chi's for 17 yrs and now they are all gone. I lost 3 of them 6 months apart, 2 i had to put down because of cancer and 1 died of natural causes. I had the mom, dad and their 2 daughters. The mom died in 2013 at 13 yrs old with complications from airway disease. Then one of the daughters developed cancer and had to be put down @ 14 yrs. The dad died at 16 of old age, he lasted the longest. Then the other daughter died 6 months later @ 14 yrs old because she developed a large aggressive cancerous tumor. Having them die 6 months apart - March 2019, September 2019 and March 2020 - has left me with a big broken heart. My mind tells me i want more dogs but my heart can't take any more pain. I guess it's too soon for me. I love seeing everyone elses dogs though. Enjoy them while you have them. ?? I have attached a pic of the 2 daughters and the dad which is the smaller one.

Cathy

Monday 18th of May 2020

They were cuties! I'm so sorry you lost all your fur babies. That's the hardest part of having them.

Eve Safran

Saturday 16th of May 2020

I have 2 long hair chi They are my children I love so much That make my life I love your newsletter I look forward to it every week It makes my day You are great

Thanks,

Eve Safran

Your dogs are precious

Cathy

Saturday 16th of May 2020

Thank you Eve, you made my day!

Cindy & Buffy

Saturday 16th of May 2020

We are so blessed to have our little angels enhance our lives. I don't know what I'd do without Buffy I treasure our time together. Adorable Lucy loves you! I always look forward to your Chi love emails THANKS CATHY

Cathy

Saturday 16th of May 2020

Thank you Cindy! You always make my day.

Shannon Ebarb

Saturday 15th of June 2019

Love reading these stories. Our fur babies also help when you lose another Burnaby. When my Buttons died, she was pikingese/rat terrier died, Gizzmo my Chi was right there to comfort me. She missed Buttons too. So we helped each other through. That chubby Chihuahua is such a blessing.

Karen Pavlus

Friday 15th of May 2020

I was very sick at Christmas time and little one did not leave my side until I got better. He is the medicine I could ask for. So sweet and beautiful

Cindy & Buffy

Saturday 15th of June 2019

So true our fir babies make us happier & healthier the facts "bark" for themselves. I have no kids & lost my Mom 20 yes ago in her 50's my sisters married brothers & moved away. My lab Candi helped me thru & I realized what a gift I had. We walked & played & she'd lick my tears. She was 14 when I lost her & I've had 2 chis since. Buffy's 4 & she's incredible. She walks & fetches & snuggles like a baby what a gift ! I'll be forever grateful. I wouldn't have made it through without my little angels.