Any dog lover can testify to the restorative powers of petting their pupper. Even the sight of a happy tail, a wiggly butt, or a cocked head can turn a frown upside down. But more than just dog bias, studies show that dogs can reduce our stress—instantly. Petting a dog has been proven to make us relax, mentally and even physically—slowing down our heart rate, decreasing our blood pressure, and making our breathing more regular, with positive effects lasting up to 10 hours.
In the last few decades, with the creation of therapy dog programs, we see dogs doing good for humans in all sorts of stressful environments, like hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, hospices, and disaster recovery areas. Most recently, therapy dogs have been showing up on college campuses across the country.
One of their earliest appearances was in 2010, when “Therapy Flufflies” visited campuses in the University of California system. Today, Reggie the Campus Corgi is a local celebrity on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. While Reggie is actually a service dog who’s trained to help his owner should he have a cardiac problem, the corgi spends lots of time on campus soothing students during the tenseness of midterms or other stressful aspects of college life.
While it’s true that our dogs depend on us for pretty-much everything, we believe that animals help us as much—or sometimes more—than we help them. That belief impacts not just how we feel about them, but how we feed them with unconditional love, using a dog food that pursues a different notion of animal husbandry, one where all animals are respected for the role they play in improving our well-being.