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Stroke a Dog

 

Techniques Happiness > Stroke a Dog

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Stroke a dog. Or a cat or other pet. You can hug them too, or otherwise play with them, as long as it's kind and they don't mind, of course.

A simpler version of this is to hug a teddy-bear or stroke a toy animal. It is not as effective as stroking a real animal but may be more practical if you do not have a pet. You can even stroke soft clothing or other hairy material.

Discussion

Stroking and otherwise 'petting' an animal has been shown to reduce stress and create relaxation. There seems to be something significant about how stroking hair or fur makes a person feel good. Perhaps it goes back to primitive grooming rituals, for example where apes remove fleas from one another.

The simple act of kindness also makes one feel (literally) good. Animals often like being stroked and show simple pleasure and apparent gratitude. Such simple relationships cost little effort and can be very gratifying.

Caressing and playing with young animals is often even more delightful, though of course if you keep a pet they will grow up. Hugging puppies is a classic theme that appears all over the place, from adverts to greeting cards.

In 'Pet Therapy' or 'Animal-Assisted Therapy', dogs and other 'comfort animals' are taken into hospital for patients to stroke. Mind and body are intimately connected and a little comforting can go a long way.

See also

Hug Somebody

 

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