Nourishing the Heart of Your Pet

“I am the rug beneath your feet that buffers you from all the harshness of life.” – Dog

I have had the gift of four dogs, a cat and two horses in my life. I fed them, groomed them and loved them. I cared for them in a multitude of ways, going to great lengths to make sure they were healthy, and I worried when they were not. Perhaps I cared so much for my pets because they cared so much for me. My pets have been my close companions, providing me with love, warmth, happiness, laughter and friendship. They have taught me unconditional love, to be more patient with life and to enjoy the simple moments.

A lot has been written about the benefits of having a pet, but there’s more to that relationship than many of us realize. A lot of pet lovers surely will appreciate the results of an experiment that Institute of HeartMath Director of Research Dr. Rollin McCraty conducted with his 14-year-old son and 15-year-old dog.

Institute of HeartMath had already found that heart-rhythm entrainment, or synchronization, occurs between people when they are feeling love and care for each other. Rollin wanted to see if the same thing happened between people and their pets. So he put electrodes on his son Josh and his dog Mabel.

“We used two Holter (electrocardiogram) recorders, one fitted on Mabel and the other on Josh,” Rollin wrote in his paper, The Energetic Heart: Bioelectromagnetic Interactions Within and Between People. “We synchronized the recorders and placed Mabel in one of our labs. Josh then entered the room where Mabel was waiting, sat down and proceeded to consciously feel feelings of love towards Mabel.”

You can see what happened in the graph.

As Josh sent feelings of love and care towards his pet, Josh’s heart rhythms became more ordered and coherent, and this change appears to have influenced Mabel’s heart rhythms, which then also became more coherent and in sync with Josh’s heart rhythms.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in your dog’s mind, or heart, when you leave home, this may help: When Josh left the room, Mabel’s heart rhythms became much more chaotic and incoherent, suggesting initial separation anxiety, as you can see in the graph.

Excited by these results, Rollin decided to try the same experiment with Ellen and her horse Tonopah.

The results were similar. In the graph below you can see a beautiful shift into more order and coherence in the horse’s heart rhythms and synchronization with Ellen’s heart rhythms.

Rollin’s conclusion: “Although more research needs to be done, it appears that there is a type of communication occurring between people [and pets] above and beyond body language or verbal communication. I believe we’ll see in future research studies that we are affecting each other’s moods and attitudes, both positively and negatively by the electromagnetic fields we radiate from our hearts….In our work with pets and their owners, we’re seeing that a pet owner can create what we call a heart-filled environment when practicing heart-focused techniques. The pets respond by becoming more affectionate, more animated and more connected with the pet owner.”

With my last dog Cort, I often used the basic steps of a very simple and fun technique we at the Institute of  HeartMath teach young children called the Shift

My Dog Cort

and Shine® Technique to create a heart-filled environment. I chose this simple technique because my relationship with Cort often was so simple.

  • Heart Attention: Begin by putting your attention on the area around your heart or the center of your chest.
  • Heart Breathing: Now pretend to breathe in and out of your heart.
  • Heart Feeling: Think of someone or something that makes you feel happy and then shine that feeling.

Feel the warm feeling in your heart when you feel love or care for someone. It’s kind of like the warmth from the sun. When we feel love, appreciation or care for someone or something special, it’s like the warmth from the sun shining in our hearts. Shine that warm feeling into the environment with love and care for your pet.

(Adapted from the Shift and Shine Technique)

Using this technique at any time would deepen our connection. Using it when either Cort or I was agitated, worried or stressed would de-stress both Cort and me. Try it with your pet and comment on your experience.

Download an e-booklet of the complete Scientific Monograph online

Read more about making a connection with your pet

The Hidden Power of the Heart by FREE! E-Book, One of HeartMath’s classics, speaks to you in a warm and friendly style, like a good friend. It combines wisdom with practical tools and techniques to develop your heart intelligence. How-to for unlocking your love, compassion and peace. Includes expanding topics: holographic awareness, the dimensional shift and DNA blueprints. Click to receive this Free e-book, The Hidden Power of the Heart.


Related Links:
Heart to Heart Communication with Pets
The Spirituality of Dogs


Angela K.
Angela K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Janis K.
Janis K4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Kamia T.
Kamia T4 years ago

Makes total sense. When I had to be away from home for several months recovering from an accident, my family said my dogs simply were acting crazy and "not right." They immediately began to calm down as soon as I got home, but even to this day - years later - become rather frantic when they see I'm walking out the door again.

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Our heart is nourishing as well

Stardust Noel
Past Member 4 years ago

P.S. My fur kids hearts are nourished, I adore them, they are healthy & happy,& they get the best of care just like I would give a human child.

Stardust Noel
Past Member 4 years ago

Good article, I know I had a heart problem after losing a fur kid I was especially close to, because my Dr. said that's what was wrong, & I did get over it, I have always been very close to all my furry friends, & still am, they are my family,not pets.

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

Great article! We are surly energetic beings & this science proves what many of us attuned to animals have known, that a true love connection between human & animal can shift our energetic vibrations & makes us both feel better. Even if one doesn't "know" the science, we "feel it",,on a deep intrinsic level &,is one of the many reasons people love &,are so.bonded to their fur-babies. Thanks for a great article!

C H.
C H4 years ago

This is undeniable proof that demented, psychotic, heartless freaks that are allowed to breathe should not and can not be allowed near any animals. They have feelings and emotions (this I have always believed but for the nay-sayers this is CONCRETE PROOF) and most importantly need our protection from these MONSTERS that exist (I WISH THEY DIDN'T EXIST AND THEY WERE ERRADICATED)

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H4 years ago

The quote is tacky. But I believe the article tells us something we already realize to be true. People have real connections with their pets and share deep emotions which would affect heart rates.

eser gulabi
eser gĂĽlabi4 years ago

May God always protect our voiceless guardians...