April 10 is National Hug Your Dog Day. Why do we need a national holiday for hugging dogs? Because it’s not only good for you and your pets, it’s good for society!

As the pandemic sweeps the nation and we focus on staying indoors and reducing spread by socially isolating, it’s more important than ever to keep our emotional and mental health in focus. Dogs can help do that with a simple hug.

It’s National Hug Your Dog Day!

You may hear some conflicting information on whether or not dogs can transfer coronavirus. Dogs cannot transfer this virus to humans and it’s highly unlikely that we can transfer it to them. But, here are the details: 

There have been two cases of dogs testing a very weak positive for COVID-19, scientists all agree that it was only positive because they were in quarantine with their humans. Once the dog was removed from the residence, they quickly tested negative again and neither dog ever displayed symptoms. These isolated cases show two things: 

  1. The virus is most likely airborne and you should take appropriate precautions to avoid transmitting to family.
  2. You only need to avoid your pets if you test positive. 
  3. You and every family member should wash your hands prior to hugging your dog. 

Here are three reasons why you should hug your dog today and every day! 

It releases oxytocin. Hugging your dog releases hormones in both you and your dog that make you feel good. Oxytocin is a natural hormone associated with love. When you can’t hug your human, hugging your dog is just as good! 

It helps calm you and your pets. When you feel loved, you send that same love into the universe. You’re kinder to people, neighbors and animals. Right now, the world needs more kindness. Hugging your dog can help relieve stress and keep you calm during moments of anxiety. This is just one reason why therapy dogs are so important! 

It relieves stress. When the news just seems more grim every day, hugging your dog can be a wonderful way to relieve stress and overcome anxiety. 

If you have a dog who enjoys hugs, consider yourself blessed! Not all dogs love to hug. But, most animals love to feel close to you. If you have a dog who doesn’t like to hug, just sitting quietly with him under a tree or on the couch is about as close to relaxed and comfortable as you’ll ever be. 

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