Have You Hugged Your Fuzz Butt Today?

In honor of what would have been Brendol’s approximate 13th Birthday this December, I wanted to remind everyone to give their fuzzy kids a hug.  And if your fuzzy boy or girl is now at the Rainbow Bridge, and if you do not have other furry friends, then a human hug will suffice.

Type in “health benefits of hugs” in a google search bar and you will find a number of articles about how hugs have been scientifically proven to aid in fighting depression, relieving stress, creating healthy bonds between people, increasing levels of oxytocin, reduces blood pressure, decreases the risk of heart disease, and decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol in women.  What this search does not specify is that hugs do not have to be just people.  Think about how you feel when you give your dog or cat a hug and you will most likely identify that there is a sense of contentment, relaxation, and love.  And that has to be reducing blood pressure, relieving stress, and increasing your serotonin levels.  So hugging your fuzzy friend is good for you and good for them.

Many members of the tripawds site are going through some very stressful events for themselves and their pets.  Surgery being the biggest.  But also the stress of recovery, health uncertainties like those diagnosed with cancers, and behavior changes.  It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed.  Additionally, we are coming up on the most stressful time of year.  According to a study by the APA (American Psychological Association) 38% of people feel more stress during the holiday season that at other times of the year.  Layer that on top of what may already be a stres sful time for a tripawd parent, and that is a lot of stress.  When the study narrowed it down to women, 44% of women said they felt more stress.  (http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2006/12/holiday-stress.pdf)

The following  is a list of 10 reasons we need at least 8 hugs a day according to an online article published on MindBodyGreen.com:

1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.
2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
3. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
4. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates theSolar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
5. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.
6. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
7. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.
8. Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.
9. Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.
10. The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding. And, it’s synergistic, which means the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1 1 = 3 or more! This synergy is more likely to result in win-win outcomes.
– from: mindbodygreen.com

SOOOO, when you are feeling scared or frustrated or just stressed out, then sit down with your furry friend, take a deep breath, and give them a hug.  It will do you both a world of good.


Author: Karma

My furry family and I live in Atlanta. I care for a 12 year old pittbull mix (Brendol) who underwent an amputation of her front right leg for bone cancer. I also care for a 10 1/2 year old chow/border collie mix (Aissa) and two sister cats that are 3 (Mathilde and Morrigan).

13 thoughts on “Have You Hugged Your Fuzz Butt Today?”

  1. What a fabulous blog post Karma! Hugs – a freely accessible stress reliever.

    I love to hug – Tucker, his feline sisters, my family and anyone else who holds still long enough 🙂

    Hugs to you and yours

    Linda and Tucker

  2. Karma,
    Wonderful idea, how about hugs instead of presents (that probably wouldn’t go over). I hug Blink about 10 times a day and gave my old horse several kisses on his eyelid today. I used to kiss Maggie a lot too, she was a little standoffish but I hugged and kissed her anyway and I think she liked it. And look how happy Brendol is after her hug. I’m sure she can feel it from heaven.
    Penny, Blink and Spirit Maggie

  3. I’m sending this post to my boss tomorrow maybe she’ll let me bring Jill to work to give everyone a hug everyday! we all know how much she loves a hug! Love those huggy pics of you and B hugs are no doubt a stress reliever

  4. Karma,
    This is so awesome. I love the pictures of you & Brendol. I hug Bosch, Snicker, Jasmine. I always gave Sassy major hugs. This is good advice. Hugging my fuzzbutt a lot tonight

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  5. Oh Karma and Brendol! Thanks for giving us such a gift on Brendol’s birthday.


    I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a hug!!

    WAIT,! Happy Hannah’s making a card for Brendol’s birthday! Let’s see what she’s up to now!!


    To be able to hug our dogs or cats…to be abe to be next to their warm fuzzy bodies…..its such a sacred touch.

    Thank you for making us so aware of the magical benefits of a hug. I know for so many of us, if it were not for our animal companions and the hugs we give to each other, or the snuggles we get as we keep each other warm in bed, we would be missing out from all the gifts of that all important hug.

    Never make fun of “tree huggers”…..they may not have an animal companion!

    What agreat way to honor Brendol today by sharng this enlightening post.post

    You are always so giving to us. We value you and Brendol so very much!!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY sweet Brendol!, Your time nere on earth surrounded us al, with an eternal hug i fused with so much joy and love and FUN! Yoj are one fun girl! Don’t get too tired chasing al those bubbles! Oh, that’s right’ Angels never tire!

    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((H U G S)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  6. okajpgy…I’m jpgtrying smething……..oh, ad before I forget, yourictures aren’t shwoingmup for met yet….I kowmit’s on my end…..it’s taking me two hours to get Things “loadng” tnight


  7. errrrrrrr….never mind…–I was hoping I’d figured out how to post the ic stead of the link………………..ot yet! darn!

    1. Keep at it Sally 😉 And tell Miss Hannah “Thank You” for the card. Love seeing pictures of her pretty mug.

  8. Hugs are my favorite! I have one horse that insists on a hug as I get off her after every ride and all the dogs love hugs (Frosty hates kisses!). Thanks for the reminder.

    Luanne and Spirit Shooter

  9. Oh good! I just checked back and was able to see the two pics you posted! The joyin Brendol’s eyes Karma…..look at the joy that just glistens in those eyes!!

    That hug stays with her ya’ know. It merged the two of you into one being of love and light. And that’s a forever connection that can never be broken!

    Momma loves me like a rock……oh yeah, she loves me…..

    Love and hugs!

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  10. You know, I think Brendol there is enjoying her HUG as much as you, Karma! Beautiful point. Well said. BRB – gotta go HUG the J-man for the zillion-th time today…
    ~ Katy & Jackson

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