We already know that when someone is stressed, it affects the people around them. As a former mental health counselor, I can speak to this issue with clarity. I have counseled many clients whose stress spilled into their relationships with their kids, other family members, friends, and coworkers.

Now, we're learning that stress also affects our pets. Swedish researchers studied the levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, in the hair of dog owners and their pet's fur, according to AP News. They found that the "stress levels were in sync." This makes sense, since our dogs can be emotionally dependent on us.

So, how do we reduce the mutual stress? Researchers say the solution is as simple as playing with your dog. It will do you both a world of good.

Speaking of dogs, our annual "Hops and Hounds" event is this Saturday, June 15th at the Raitt Homestead Farm in Eliot, Maine. We hope to see you there!