No longer just man’s best friend: Hearts Aligned campaign celebrates the incredible bond between owner and dog
April 27, 2016
We’ve all heard dogs referred to as man’s best friend, but the age old moniker continues to ring true. There is nothing quite like the bond between a dog and their owner. Whether it’s their devotion, loyalty or calm nature, dog owners everywhere will tell you any situation can be made better simply by having your dog nearby.
This unique bond has been displayed on both the small and big screens from blockbuster hits like Lassie or Marley & Me to favourite afternoon programming like Snoopy and Scooby Doo. Dogs are no longer just ‘man’s best friend’ but often the star of the show. It is clear that our furry friends not only hold a special place in our own hearts, but have become an integral part of our lives and community.
In celebration of this incredible bond, leading global brand Pedigree has launched a new campaign called Hearts Aligned. The project aims to demonstrate some of the health benefits of dog ownership and highlight just how powerful the connection really is between an owner and their trusted canine companion.
In an Australian-first, the Hearts Aligned project follows three real-life Australian pet owners as they participate in a demonstration showing howdogs help reduce stress levels and improve our lives.The owner’s and dog’s heartbeats actually slow down and synchronise when together.
Participants Glenn and his Australian Shepherd Lyric know first-hand the positive impact pet ownership can have. After experiencing a work injury, Glen went through three years of intense stress, anxiety and depression. Glen credits Lyric’s companionship as helping him breakthrough this time and Lyric continues to help him overcome mental health challenges every day.
Research shows pet owners have greater self-esteem, undertake more exercise, fare better on measures of wellbeing and are better able to cope with social rejection than non-pet owners. Pet ownership has also been shown to act as a buffer from stressful situations and events, particularly in old age.
This is important in light of recent research which shows that 90% of Australians need to stress less, with 74% of people feeling stressed because of work.If stress lasts a long time or overwhelms a person it can negatively impact their health, wellbeing, relationships, work and general enjoyment of life.
Mia Cobb, Canine Scientist and demonstration co-conductor, commented on the impact the special relationship can have on the health and wellbeing of a dog owner.
“There is decades of research showing how dogs can help their owners stay both physically and emotionally healthy. Hearts Aligned aims to showcase the special bond we have with our dogs and to celebrate that,” said Ms Cobb.
Dr Craig Duncan, leading Sports Scientist, commented on the implication of the demonstration results saying, “I look at stress and anxiety and how it affects human performance on a daily basis. I also know personally the incredible toll it can take on your health. My own heart attack was brought on by stress and it nearly killed me. The Hearts Aligned project aims to show how pet ownership can help us positively deal with the stressors of daily life.”
The video and demonstration clearly show what many have suspected – the bond we share with our furry friends flows much deeper then we even realise.
The full Hearts Aligned video can be viewed at www.pedigree.com.au.
Australians are encouraged to share their own dog photos using the official hashtag #HeartsAligned.
Each post on Facebook will trigger a $1 donation from Pedigree to national rescue organisation Pet Rescue up to $20,000. The campaign will run until the end of May 2016.