Your weekend forecast calls for 100% chance of puppy hugs. Sunday, September 13th has been designated "Hug Your Hound" Day. Animal lovers across the world are encouraged to take time to appreciate the valuable gifts our dogs unselfishly provide without reciprocity. Our pets require proper time and attention and most dogs absolutely relish being cuddled. We know giving and receiving affection makes us feel good both emotionally and physically but have you ever wondered why we love to hug each other so much?
Oxytocin is the hormone that plays a significant role in our ability to bond with our mothers or care givers early in life. We are born with the need for physical contact. Its been scientifically researched and well documented that both animals and human babies who go without affection have developmental delays such as being withdrawn, despondent or depressed. Touching and caressing creates bonding, intimacy and most importantly a sense of trust. When we're secure with our emotions we naturally desire to hug what we love. We show our gratitude for others with affectionate gestures from playful swats on the behind, bro-chest thumps or deeply passionate bear hugs that leave us breathless. Some people try to avoid PDA (public displays of affection) or describe themselves as "non-huggers" but essentially these individuals are consciously keeping distance. Hugging and snuggling is normal, natural human behavior and essential for truly strong healthy relationships. Hugging relieves stress and provides reassurance. So hug, hug, hug, hug and hug some more. Hug your hounds and hug the humans you cherish on each and every opportunity.