What You Need to Know About Dog Health Care

how dog health care

Dogs need clean water to survive. Provide them with open access at all times to prevent dehydration, stress, and heat stroke.

Watch for signs of illness, such as a poor appetite, lethargy, and urinating more or less often than usual. Also, have your dogs spayed or neutered to prevent backyard breeding and unwanted pets ending up in shelters.


Dog health care includes the proper feeding of dogs and avoiding unhealthy foods. The diet should include a balance of calories and nutrients, especially protein. Dogs may need to be fed two or three times a day depending on their age.

Dogs should be given high-quality, grain-free commercial or homemade dog food that is formulated with key ingredients to sustain health. They should also be dewormed on a schedule recommended by the veterinarian.

Some medications are easily administered to dogs by placing them in pill form inside a small treat or hiding them in food. Others are administered through the mouth or skin using a syringe. Preventive oral health care is a must to avoid tartar and plaque accumulation, which can lead to periodontitis.


Regular exercise keeps dogs physically healthy and stimulates their minds. It also reduces anxiety, which can lead to self-destructive behaviours such as chewing furniture and crying. Exercise can be as simple as a daily walk or play in the backyard, or more intense like swimming and obedience training.

Different dogs require varying levels of exercise depending on their breed, age and health. High energy breeds, for example, may need 30 minutes to two hours of physical activity every day – even as adults! Older pets need less vigorous exercise, but movement and mild activity is still important. This keeps their joints lubricated and limber, which in turn reduces behavioural issues such as excessive licking and barking.


Grooming is not a pleasant job for pets, but it is a vital part of keeping dogs healthy. Bathing, brushing, detangling, trimming nails, and cleaning earwax buildup are just a few of the grooming services that keep your dog looking great and feeling healthy.

As a bonus, grooming also helps socialize dogs, making them more comfortable in new situations and with strangers. Brushing their teeth can help prevent cavities, and nail trims can avoid joint pain from walking on untrimmed nails. Ear cleaning is an important service, though many pet owners prefer to leave this in the hands of professional groomers who can gently remove earwax without irritating your pet. The most important thing to remember is to make grooming sessions as short and positive as possible, so your dog will associate them with attention, treats, and praise rather than stress and anxiety.


Being a pet parent isn’t all tummy rubs and long walks in the park. Sometimes it’s scooping poop and taking care of other business, like keeping your pup healthy and protected from disease.

Vaccinations stimulate the immune system to protect against certain illnesses before your dog is actually exposed to them. This helps to prevent serious infections and outbreaks, which can be life-threatening for some pets.

Core dog vaccinations include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and canine influenza. Non-core vaccines may be recommended for your pet based on regional factors and their unique lifestyle and history (for example, kennel cough or Lyme disease). Vaccine reactions are rare, but can occur. They are generally mild and short-lived. They can include swelling or redness at the injection site, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and/or hives.

Medical Care

A holistic approach to dog health includes physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Holistic veterinarians often favor non-invasive methods such as acupuncture, ethnomedicine, and chiropractic care, but will also prescribe medications when needed.

A physical examination is essential to diagnose health problems early, which makes treatment less costly and more successful. The veterinarian will examine your dog’s general appearance, listen to the heart with a stethoscope, and feel specific areas of the body.

If your dog has a life-threatening illness, many animal hospitals have charitable funds available to help pay for necessary treatments. In order to qualify for such assistance, you may need to demonstrate financial need (such as a denial of CareCredit) or provide a good prognosis for your pet. The fund at CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center, for example, takes both factors into consideration.


Why Dog Head Shaking Is a Symptom of a Health Condition

why dog head shaking

Dogs often shake their heads to scratch an itch or remove something stuck in their ears. But when they do this regularly, it can be a sign of a medical problem.

Check your dog’s ear flap for redness, swelling or discharge. If he shakes his head and exhibits other symptoms like itching, rubbing his face or chewing his feet, it’s time to consult with your veterinarian.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are the most commonly diagnosed health issue that causes a dog’s head shaking. They tend to be itchy and produce a lot of inflammation and discharge, both of which can trigger a dog’s natural head shaking behavior. If you lift up your dog’s ear flap and see redness, swelling or excessive wax, you should schedule an appointment.

Ear tremors caused by ear infections can be especially troublesome for dogs that swim. This is because water that builds up in the ear canal can cause bacteria to grow, leading to infection. Dogs with hairy ears or dangly earrings are also more prone to ear infections due to the fact that they can’t easily air their ears out.

Vigorous head shaking can also rupture blood vessels within a dog’s ear flap, resulting in aural haematomas that require surgery to treat. This is why prompt veterinary diagnosis and treatment are so important for your pet’s long-term well-being.

Ear Mites

When a dog shakes their head, they are often trying to remove an object from the ear canal. This is a natural behavior for our furry friends because they lack opposable thumbs. Infections in the ear cause itching and discomfort. If you lift up your dog’s ear flap, you may see redness, swelling and a foul smell.

Ear mites are another common problem that causes head shaking in dogs. These parasitic creatures live in the ear canal and produce itching and irritation. They can also spread to other areas of the body if they are not treated promptly. Symptoms of ear mite infestation include scratching around the ears and head, a crusty rash on the skin, a dark waxy discharge resembling coffee grounds and an unpleasant odor from the ears.

If you suspect your dog has ear mites, please schedule an appointment with your vet. They will clean your dog’s ears and prescribe a topical medication to kill the mites.


Dogs don’t have opposable thumbs so when they itchy, bump or get something stuck in their ears, they shake their heads to scratch it or to remove the foreign object. However, if they continue to shake their heads excessively, the blood vessels in the ear flap may rupture which can be quite painful for your fur baby.

Head shaking can also be caused by allergies to food ingredients or environmental triggers like mold spores, pollen, dust or storage mites. If your dog is itchy, has recurrent ear or skin infections or shows other signs such as rubbing their ears, chewing on their feet or whining, they may be suffering from an allergy and will need to undergo a food trial on a diet with no allergens to determine what they’re allergic to.

Antihistamines such as Benadryl are often prescribed for head shaking associated with allergies along with ear cleaning drops and limited exposure to the allergen. Your vet can also carry out tests to identify what your pet is allergic to.

Ear Growths

Occasionally, a dog will shake its head to get rid of itching and discomfort from an ear infection or another health condition. However, persistent shaking and other symptoms such as itchy ears, ear discharge and a foul smell may indicate a serious problem.

Dogs can also develop a tumor in their ear canal, which is another cause of head shaking. If a tumor is diagnosed, our vets can help your dog find the right treatment plan to manage or remove it.

Distraction can often stop dogs from shaking their heads, but when this isn’t helping, a veterinarian should be seen as soon as possible to determine what is causing the tremors. Our experienced veterinary team will be able to use a scope to see inside your dog’s ear canal and check for foreign objects, ear mites or trapped water and can take a swab sample to find the right solution to make sure your dog feels better soon.


Where to Get My Dog Health Tested

Understanding your dog’s DNA can help you plan their health for the rest of their life. The best dog DNA tests reveal a wealth of information from their ancestry to their risk for common genetic health issues like hip dysplasia and eye conditions.

Just remember that you should always consult your vet before making major medical decisions based on DNA test results. For example, a certain mutation could indicate your dog’s susceptibility to osteoarthritis but they may still avoid the condition altogether.


Veterinarians typically run several tests on your dog during a physical examination. These include blood work, a biochemistry profile and urinalysis, which detects things like bladder infections, diabetes and kidney disease. If your dog is drinking a lot of water, having difficulty going to the bathroom, acting hungry all the time or displaying other signs of Cushing’s disease (overproduction of cortisol), a veterinarian might recommend ACTH stimulation and low dose dexamethasone suppression testing.

Wellness testing is important because dogs are excellent at hiding illness, especially when it’s in its early stages. Regular screening allows veterinarians to find and treat diseases in their early phases when they’re less invasive and less expensive to treat.


A good breeder will be knowledgeable about the health tests available for their particular breed. This includes hip and elbow scoring, eye testing, heart examination and DNA testing.

Responsible breeders test their puppies and only breed dogs that are healthy. The good news is that many of the inheritable diseases can be prevented with simple, routine screening.

Health tests might seem costly, but they could save you money in the long run by preventing future medical bills or heartache for your new dog. Embark DNA offers doggie genetics testing that is specific to purebred dogs, and provides information such as breed identification, 35+ physical traits, ancestry, geographic origin and hereditary disease risk. It also determines biological age by measuring telomeres, which shorten with age, and provides insight into a dog’s predisposition to cancer. It also includes a health questionnaire. It’s available online and at most veterinarian offices. Paw Print Genetics is another service that tests for a variety of inherited conditions in both dogs and cats.

Genetic Testing Companies

Genetic testing companies offer DNA tests for hereditary diseases that can affect your dog. These tests can help veterinarians develop better preventative health plans for your dog.

For example, Embark offers a DNA test for the genetic disorder EIC (exercise-induced collapse). This condition causes sudden weakness and life-threatening collapse after intense exercise. The EIC test can alert breeders and vets to watch for signs and take precautions, such as limiting your dog’s vigorous activity.

These tests can also identify whether your dog is a carrier of hereditary diseases such as Centronuclear Myopathy and Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency. The results can help breeders create healthier gene pools by excluding affected dogs from breeding.

Online Genetic Testing

Every dog owner dreads the day that their beloved pet is diagnosed with a health condition they know little about. Dog DNA tests promise to ward off this heartbreak by screening dogs for genetic diseases before symptoms show up.

Some DNA testing companies include detailed breakdowns of breed ancestry and specific genetic health risks with their results. These tests are becoming more popular with dog owners as they become more readily available and affordable.

For example, Embark’s cheapest test scans for 350 breeds and over 200 genetic diseases and includes a drug and food sensitivities test. The company’s most expensive kit includes a veterinarian consultation if your dog shows up with notable health risks like a predisposition to hip dysplasia or proneness to seizures.

Wisdom Panel also offers a comprehensive report of your dog’s genetic health and ancestry with its Premium test, which analyzes 350+ breeds and 210+ medical conditions. It also calculates your dog’s biological age by measuring the length of his telomeres, which tend to shorten with age.


How Do Dogs Heal?

Dogs are instinctively part of a pack, so they want to help their fellow dogs heal when they get hurt. However, licking wounds may do more harm than good.

This is especially true if the wound is from surgery. It can irritate the incision, break down sutures, or cause infection.

Stage 1: Inflammation

When dogs sustain an injury, their body naturally responds with inflammation. This response happens right away and is the first stage of healing.

During the inflammatory phase, swelling, heat, pain and redness occur as the body prepares cells to heal. This is a normal part of the process and only problematic if it lasts too long.

This stage also engorges the damaged blood vessels so that they can swell and release transudate (a mixture of water, salt, protein, and enzymes). This helps to remove bacteria, pathogens, and other debris from the wound, as well as prep the wound area for healing.

At this stage, granulation tissue begins to form over the wound edge. It’s a moist pink tissue that will eventually fill in the wound and cover it, though it can look a little unattractive at this stage.

Stage 2: Debridement

When your dog sustains a wound, it is important to know that the healing process can take time. This is why it is best to protect the area and keep the wound clean and treated with an antimicrobial liquid.

The body sends its first signals of healing after a cut or scrape, including inflammation and granulation tissue formation. This inflammatory reaction prepares the body for healing by sending white blood cells to the wound.

Once the white blood cells reach the wound, they will push the dead tissues out of the way and flush the area with fluid to prepare the body for repair. This process is called debridement and can be done with either a selective or non-selective method.

Selective debridement removes dead or unhealthy tissue while sparing healthy tissue. Autolytic debridement occurs when the white blood cells soften and liquefy the hardened tissues, making them easier to remove. This is a safe, painless, and effective form of debridement for long-term healing.

Stage 3: Repair

When your dog sustains an injury, their body immediately begins to heal the wound. This involves the mobilization of white blood cells, inflammatory cells, and proteins to the site of the wound.

This process aims to prevent further bleeding, which will result in the formation of a thick scab over the wound. It may take several days or even weeks for the scab to fully form over the wound and the scar tissue to become stronger.

During this stage, your dog’s white blood cells will begin to remove dead and unhealthy tissues from the injured area. The white blood cells will also kill bacteria and pus that are present in the wound.

This stage is very important because the body needs to remove harmful dead tissue that might hinder the healing process. This is called debridement and it can be a natural process performed by your dog’s body or it can be surgically done by a veterinarian.

Stage 4: Closure

When a dog has suffered an injury, their body will start to repair damaged tissues a couple of days after the trauma. They will also produce new cells, and the skin will begin to form scabs.

In some cases, a wound will not heal properly because the dead tissue it contains is too difficult for the cells to remove. The best way to prevent this is by having a veterinarian remove the dead tissue surgically.

Once a wound has healed, your vet will remove the stitches that were used to close it. This is usually done in a few weeks, depending on the type of surgery your dog had.


How Much Are Healthy Dog Treats?

When it comes to buying treats, there are a few factors you should consider. These include cost, size and ingredients.

Treats should contain a balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber. They should also be low in calories and free of artificial flavors and preservatives.


When deciding what price to charge for your healthy dog treats, you should consider the ingredients, overhead costs, packaging and sales fees. These costs can add up, so it’s important to be sure you aren’t underselling your products.

Aside from that, you should also consider your pet’s caloric needs. As a general rule, Aona says that no more than 10% of your dog’s total daily caloric intake should come from treats.

Low calorie options for your pet include fruits and vegetables, plain cooked pasta, small pieces of baked potato or sweet potatoes, bananas, unsalted almonds, and plain cooked rice. While they don’t all have the same nutritional benefits, these treats can help keep your dog trim.


Treats are an important part of a dog’s diet, but you don’t want to overfeed your pet. The calorie amount should be less than 10% of their daily intake, and the treats should be made of healthy ingredients.

You should also choose treats that aren’t too hard, as these can pose a choking hazard and can fracture your dog’s teeth. They can also be too large for small dogs or puppies to eat, so make sure the treats are smaller than your pet’s size.

For example, Zuke’s Mini Treats are a perfect training treat for small dogs because they’re low in calories and only about 2.3 kcal per piece. This means you don’t overfeed your dog and they’ll get the energy boost they need for healthy training sessions.


Healthy dog treats use wholesome ingredients that are not chemically processed, contain minimal fillers, and offer adequate amounts of proteins and fiber for a nutrient-rich diet. They also avoid added sugar, which can cause weight gain, arthritis and allergies.

Ingredients are important because they let you know what’s inside a treat. A shorter list of ingredients usually means less processing, while a lengthy one may point to questionable ingredients like meat and grain meals or by-products.

Similarly, experts recommend avoiding treats that are high in fat or chemicals to preserve them. Likewise, sourcing is important, says Mankowski, since different countries have different quality standards.

Wholesome jerky dog treats, such as those made by Full Moon, are an excellent option for dogs with sensitive stomachs and allergies because they contain little to no glycerin, grains or corn. They also contain wholesome meat, such as beef and chicken, that’s gently cooked and dehydrated at low temperatures for maximum flavor.


Most healthy dog treats are made with whole foods, natural ingredients and fewer chemicals than their unhealthy counterparts. The best treats are free from preservatives, artificial flavoring, synthetic coloring and unwanted fillers.

Keep in mind that some commercial dog treats contain artificial sweeteners, such as sorbitol and sucralose, which can be harmful to your dog’s health. These sugars can cause obesity, tooth decay and nervousness in dogs.

If your dog loves chewing, you’ll want to look for long-lasting hard treats that won’t break down quickly. These include rawhides, paddy whacks, and leather and nylon chews.

Rawhide is a cheap by-product of the leather industry, so it’s not uncommon to find it in the grocery store and online. However, it’s important to note that these rawhides and other jerky treats may be linked to Fanconi Syndrome, which causes kidney failure in dogs.


Who Makes 4health Dog Food?

who makes 4health dog food

4health is a private-label dog food brand owned by Tractor Supply Company, a rural lifestyle store. This company operates about 1,600 stores in the United States.

They sell pet foods that are marketed as premium and affordable. These foods are priced 20 percent less than similar national brands.

Tractor Supply Company

Tractor Supply Company sells a variety of pet food, and you can also find some of their own brands, like 4health. They make dog food that contains no poultry by-product meal and no wheat, corn or soy.

The 4health line of dog foods was launched in 2010. Each brand has fresh meat as the first ingredient and no artificial colors or flavors, according to the company.

They are available in many formulas, including Puppy, Small Bites, Performance, Large Breed and Chicken & Rice Formula. They are high in protein and fat and are a good source of DHA to support brain health.

In addition to their own brand foods, Tractor Supply also sells Purina Pro Plan. This is a premium option that’s made for dogs with sensitive skin and stomachs. It’s a good source of protein and fat to support growing puppies, and it has shredded pieces for added palatability.

The Hill’s Science Diet Large Breed Adult is a veterinarian-recommended dog food that’s made to meet the needs of large breed dogs. It’s high in glucosamine and chondroitin to help with joint health, and it has omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health. It’s also a good source of taurine, which helps with heart health.

Diamond Pet Foods

Diamond Pet Foods has been in business since 1970. They specialize in nutrient-rich formulas that provide healthy levels of protein, fiber, fat and probiotics to support growth, energy and digestive health.

They make a variety of products for all stages of life, from puppy to senior dogs. They also have specialty diets for breeds that require special nutrients such as diabetic pets.

One of their most popular products is the 4health Salmon & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs, which has received excellent reviews online. It is a high quality and very affordable pet food.

Another product that they sell is the 4health Puppy Formula, which is a good choice for puppies and young dogs who are just starting to eat solid foods. It contains meat proteins like lamb meal and lamb as well as egg products to give your pup the proper nutrition it needs.

This puppy formula also contains a lot of grains such as rice and millet, which are great sources of carbohydrates and fiber. It also includes a lot of vitamins and minerals. Lastly, it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat and skin. It also has glucosamine and chondroitin to keep your pup’s joints healthy.

Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild dog food is made with real roasted meat, vegetables and fruit to meet your dog’s instinctual needs. Premium proteins like wild boar; buffalo; smoked salmon and turkey; roasted bison, lamb, quail and venison are combined with complex carbs from sweet potatoes and legumes for lasting energy.

All formulas include prebiotics and species-specific probiotics to support digestive health. Some flavors also contain antioxidants and omega fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and coats.

4Health is a good option for dogs with dietary restrictions, including grain sensitivities. Most flavors contain no corn, wheat, soy or by-products and rely on peas, lentils and sweet potatoes as the primary carbohydrates in their diets.

Protein is a key nutrient in the diets of dogs and provides essential building blocks for muscles, bones and organs. It’s important for growth and development, as well as maintaining a healthy immune system and hormonal balance.

Ocean fish meal is a concentrated form of protein that contains a healthy supply of omega-3 fatty acids. It’s considered ethoxyquin-free and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids for your dog’s skin and coat.


Where Do I Get a Health Certificate For My Dog?

where do i get a health certificate for my dog

Whether you are going on vacation or moving to another country with your pet, getting the proper pet travel health certificate can make all the difference.

You will need a veterinary health certificate from your veterinarian that shows your pet is healthy and meets all the requirements of the destination country or state. This will ensure they are not denied entry or quarantined upon arrival.

How do I get a health certificate for my dog?

If you have a pet, there’s a good chance that you’ll need a health certificate at some point. A health certificate is a good way to verify your pets status as well as give you peace of mind if you’re planning a trip abroad.

The best place to start is with your veterinarian. They can provide the certificate, and will likely have a list of recommended vaccines as well as other pertinent information about your pet.

Alternatively, you can check the USDA-APHIS website to see what you need for your specific destination and travel style. The site will also have links to a host of other helpful resources, including the aforementioned health certificates. Regardless of your source, it’s important to start planning six months in advance of departure to ensure that all the necessary items are in order. It’s not uncommon for pet imports to go awry at the last minute, so the more time you have to plan, the better!

What is a health certificate?

A health certificate is an official document that a veterinarian issues, indicating that your pet is free of disease and up to date on important vaccines and pest preventions. The certificate will also include information about your pet, such as the name and address of the owner, microchip number, and contact information.

Almost every commercial airline requires a health certificate for pets before they are allowed on a flight. This is because health certificates are important for ensuring that pets do not spread disease.

The requirements for domestic travel vary from state to state, but a current rabies vaccination and examination by an accredited veterinarian deeming your pet healthy (no evidence of infectious or contagious diseases) are usually all that is required to obtain a health certificate.

If you plan on traveling outside of the United States, a health certificate (APHIS 7001) is required by some states and will help prevent your pet from spreading new disease that could threaten local agriculture. You may also need to obtain a health certificate if you are planning on bringing your pet back home after traveling abroad.

How do I get a health certificate for my dog for travel?

If you are planning to travel internationally with your pet, a health certificate is necessary. The requirements vary by country and can be quite complicated.

AVMA recommends that you start the process as early as possible. The sooner you know what requirements your destination country has, the better.

The health certificate is a document generated by a federally-accredited veterinarian that ensures your pet meets certain health criteria. It is also a means of showing that your pet is free of infectious diseases.

Your pet’s veterinary visit will include an exam and any needed vaccinations or tests, such as heartworm testing, that may be required for your destination country.

Generally, international health certificates take longer to complete than domestic ones because the list of requirements is larger. The process can be long and complex, so it is important to start as soon as you know your travel plans.

How do I get a health certificate for my dog for sale?

There are several ways to get a health certificate for your dog. First, you can go to a licensed veterinarian who is accredited by the USDA. The veterinarian will do a physical examination to determine the health status of your pet. Once the exam is complete, the doctor will then issue a health certificate confirming your pet’s health and the vaccinations they have received.

Getting a health certificate for your pet is not something you want to do without thinking about it. A health certificate is important for a variety of reasons, including travel, quarantine, and sales. Depending on your specific reason for needing a certificate, you may be required to adhere to different guidelines. The best way to ensure you don’t get caught up in the red tape is to research your particular requirements before you begin the process. The Department of Agriculture’s website has a handy tool that can assist you with your search.


The Benefits of Owning a Dog

Having an animal will provide you with many benefits, from emotional and physical support to companionship. It can help you live longer and keep your focus on positive things.

Dogs and cats are known for their unconditional love, loyalty and friendship. They can also help you work through your problems and take the stress out of your day.


Exercise is one of the most important things that a dog needs in order to be healthy. It relieves stress and anxiety, strengthens the bond between you and your dog, keeps their joints strong and healthy, allows them to act on their instincts, provides mental stimulation and socializes them.

As a general rule of thumb, most dogs need 30 minutes of exercise every day. This may include a walk, but they also benefit from more intense forms of aerobic exercise such as running, swimming and team sports.

A healthy diet is also essential to keep your dog’s weight in check. If your dog is overweight or obese, they’re more likely to develop health conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia.


When a dog is properly socialized, it will be more confident around people and other animals. It will also be less likely to develop behavioral issues.

The key to socialization is exposing dogs to new things on a regular basis and at a pace that works for them. This can be done through puppy play dates, visits to the local dog park, or taking them to doggie daycare.

Unfortunately, puppies who have missed out on socialization experiences tend to be more anxious as they grow up. This can lead to problems later on, like separation anxiety or aggression.


Training is a great way to bond with your dog. It also helps them learn and behave properly, which can be very important for your safety and wellbeing!

When it comes to training, start with the simplest commands. Then, once your dog has mastered the basics, move on to more complex behavior.

Taking your dog’s command to the next level should be done carefully, and should be fun for both of you. Keep in mind that dogs are intelligent animals, so you should always be positive and rewarding them for performing the desired behaviours!

A well-trained dog will also respond better to social situations, whether they are around other dogs or people. This can mean that your dog is more likely to be comfortable and relaxed in situations like veterinary visits, grooming appointments, boarding or even when you go on holiday!

Health Care

Dogs are at risk for a variety of illnesses and diseases, and regular health care is critical to keeping your pet healthy. Early detection of disease makes treatment easier and more successful, and can help your dog live a longer, healthier life.

Preventive medicine also includes vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dietary changes tailored to your dog’s needs. Core vaccines (for distemper, parvovirus, rabies, and kennel cough) are necessary for all dogs without medical conditions that prevent immunization.

Your vet can recommend additional health screens based on your dog’s lifestyle and risk factors, such as intestinal parasite prevention or bloodwork to monitor for liver, kidney, and thyroid disorders. Regardless of your dog’s age, regular exams and checkups are essential to maintaining good health.


The human-canine bond is a strong one, and it goes beyond a simple hug and kiss. It’s a deep affection that has roots in the chemical and cognitive processes that dogs share with humans.

A study published in the journal Animal Behaviour found that humans and dogs release oxytocin when they pet each other. This is similar to the way that babies and their mothers release the hormone when they touch.

The bond between people and pets can make all the difference for people who live alone or are experiencing loneliness and isolation. Interaction with animals can also help to reduce depression and anxiety, as well as boost overall wellbeing.