While dogs are unlikely to catch COVID-19 from their human owners, they can catch our stress. Research shows that dog mirror the stress levels of their owners. However, owners don’t mirror the stress levels of their dogs.
As well as synchronised cortisol concentrations, dogs also experience what’s known as ‘emotional contagion’. Dogs respond to an infant crying with an increase in cortisol level and heightened alertness, (emotional contagion)...just like people.
Chronic stress effects dogs’ health. It can lead to stress-induced inflammation, which in turn leads to other health conditions, and immune system dysfunction.
Recognising that many dogs would be affected by the stress of their owners during the current COVID-19 pandemic, Australian pet supplement manufacturer developed a special supplement to help. Using a superfood blend of papaya and adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms, that have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, the supplement is designed to support the immune system.
“It’s obviously a very stressful time for us all at the moment, and dogs are sensitive to the stress we’re feeling. While it’s super-important the humans stay as healthy as possible, we also wanted to help dogs' health too,” explains Amanda Falconer, founder of Bestie Kitchen.
Developed in conjunction with nationally-recognised holistic vet, Dr Kathy Cornack, The Tropical Wonder with superfungi, includes papaya as a key ingredient. Papaya is rich in lutein, and dietary lutein has been shown to improve immune responses in dogs. The Tropical Wonder also includes reishi, shiitake and maitake mushroom extracts.
- Research published in 2019 assessed cortisol concentration in hair of both dogs and their owners and found that long-term stress hormone levels were synchronized between dogs and humans. There was also a seasonal effect, and dog HCC was higher during the winter months. Additionally, owner’s personality rather than dog’s personality affects HCC, and therefore suggest that dogs mirror the stress of their owners.
- The RSPCA says there is little to no evidence that pets or other domestic animals that are naturally exposed to SARS-CoV-2 become sick with COVID-19 or spread the virus to other domestic animals, and no evidence that they can transmit SARS-CoV-2 to people.
- Bestie Kitchen is an Australian dog and cat supplement manufacturer based in Newcastle.
Bestie Kitchen is a dietary supplement company for healthier dogs and cats, based in Newcastle. We believe that a good diet and exercise are the bedrock of good mental and physical health – for pets and people. So we’re on a mission to change the way people feed and care for their pets: from ultra-processed food from a bag, to natural and minimally processed – with lots of physical and mental enrichment. After all, they deserve it, just as we do!