It's National Hug Your Dog Day!!!

April 10th is National Hug Your Dog Day which is dedicated to celebrating the love and companionship of our wonderful canine friends and family members. As dedicated dog owners and rescue advocates, we ask you join us in showing how much your best friend means to you by giving them extra cuddles, treats, and attention.

This all started in the UK when canine behaviorist Ami Moore proposed the day to focus on dogs, which we all know are absolutely and irresistibly huggable. Ms. Moore dedicated this day to raising awareness of rescue dogs in need, something we are very much aligned with. Today encourages pet owners to show their canine friends a little of the loyalty and devotion they lavish on us.

But there are real biological and psychological benefits to being this close to your canine companion. Studies have shown that hugging your dog releases oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is typically linked to warm, fuzzy feelings and shown in research to lower stress and anxiety. Oxytocin has the power to regulate our emotional responses and pro-social behaviors, including trust, empathy, gazing, positive memories, processing of bonding cues, and positive communication.

This is of course the reason why many doctors recommend Emotional Support Dogs (also known as ESA’s) to patients who suffer from high anxiety, stress and PTSD. For many people with mental or emotional conditions, the presence of a dog is critical to their ability to function normally on a daily basis. The pet provides emotional support and comfort that helps them deal with challenges that might otherwise compromise their quality of life.

But these benefits aren’t just available to someone with an ESA dog. Just petting your dog has been shown to lower blood pressure which ultimately lowers stress. And of course, releases oxytocin.

If you don’t have a dog in your life, we urge to adopt one. While many people adopted a pet during the height of the Covid Pandemic and euthanasia of canines decreased dramatically, things are changing in shelters across the country. Many dogs have been surrendered as rising costs due to inflation have overburdened many families. It’s a crisis in the making but you can definitely help. Adopt a dog today as a gift to yourself and your family this National Hug Your Dog Day!

And remember to Hug Your Dog. You can be sure that all of us at Imbue will be hugging ours!