In an Australian-first demonstration sponsored by leading global pet food brand Pedigree via Clemenger BBDO Melbourne, it has been shown that an owners’ heart rate can change when in the company of their dog – actually lowering and becoming in sync with one another helping to reduce stress.
The Hearts Aligned initiative follows the real life stories of three Australian pet owners, all who have taken part in a demonstration that shows how dogs help reduce stress levels and improve our lives.
Participants Glenn and his Australian Shepherd Lyric know firsthand 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.1 Pet ownership has also been shown to act as a buffer from stressful situations and events, particularly in old age.2
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.3 If stress lasts a long time or overwhelms a person it can negatively impact their health, wellbeing, relationships, work and general enjoyment of life.4
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.
Says Cobb: “There is decades of research showing how dogs can help their owners stay both physically and emotionally healthy. Hearts Aligned aims to showcase the science behind the special bond we have with our dogs and to celebrate that.”
Dr Craig Duncan, leading sports scientist, commented on the implication of the demonstration results: “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.”
Kate Waite, Pedigree spokesperson said the project reinforced the company’s commitment to building a better world for pets.
Says Waite: “At Pedigree we truly believe that dogs bring out the best in us. We are thrilled to be able to showcase this sentiment through the Hearts Aligned campaign and to celebrate the many benefits they bring to our lives.”
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.
The project, was inspired by a demonstration conducted by American researcher Dr Rollin McCraty.
Hearts Aligned credits:
Ben Culligan, Mars Petcare, Marketing Director
Kate Waite, Mars Petcare, Pedigree Marking Manager
Jess Hoare, Mars Petcare, Pedigree Brand Manager
Lachlan Martin, Mars, Digital Business Partner Manager
Maree Edwards, Mars, Digital Operations Manager
Nick Garrett Clemenger BBDO, CEO
James McGrath, Clemenger BBDO, Creative Chairman
Ant Keogh, Clemenger BBDO, Executive Creative Director
Sonie von Bibra, Clemenger BBDO, Executive Producer
Emma Johnson, Clemenger BBDO, Senior Producer
Charlotte Abroms, Clemenger BBDO, Digital Producer
Nick Short, Clemenger BBDO, Print Production
Michael Derepas, Clemenger BBDO, Planning Director
Sam Hodgson, Clemenger BBDO, Digital Strategist
Giles Watson and Joe Sibley, Clemenger BBDO, Creative
Hugh Gurney, Clemenger BBDO, Copywriter
Jake Turnbull, Clemenger BBDO, Designer
Jess Ramsey, Clemenger BBDO, Digital Designer
Bryce Coombe, Clemenger BBDO, Group Account Director
Khia Croy, Clemenger BBDO, Account Director
Lauren Peat and Charlotte Lang, Clemenger BBDO, Account Manager
Luke Bouchier, Finch Company, Director
Corey Esse, Finch Company, Manaing Director/Executive Producer
Jackie Adler Finch Company, Producer
Jordan Maddocks, c/o Top Technicians, DOP
Jon Holmes, Editing/Finishing
Paul LeCouteur, Flagstaff Studios, Sound Engineer
Adam Russell, Mediacom, Account Director
PR: Palin Communications
Ben Seal, Palin Communications, Account Director
Ishtar Schneider, Palin Communications, Senior Account Manager