We already know that, like humans, dogs and cats release the ‘love hormone’ oxytocin. When I pat my dog, or look her in the eyes, I produce Oxytocin hormones, those same hormones women experience when breastfeeding that relaxes the mother and increase her nurturing response. This hormone release can also help to enable sleep. Click here if you plan to travel with your pet.
“Studies have shown that when owners interact with their dogs, the human and their dog appear to release oxytocin. It’s one of the chemical measures of love in mammals. Humans produce the hormone in our brains when we care about someone. For example, when we see our spouse or child the levels in our bloodstream typically rise by 40-60 per cent.” according to a study in England, published in The Telegraph, Science Section.
Wish we could bottle it for those restless nights at a hotel? Here’s good news.
Hotels are now rescuing animals to interact with guests
From puppies and donkeys to cat cafes, below are examples showcasing the power of pet therapy, with dogs, birds, deer, roosters and turtles at hotels in Florida, New York, Mexico and the British Virgin Islands.
Hotel Service Dog
The pet-friendly Hotel Becket, in South Lake Tahoe, is designed to welcome four-legged guests, as well as overnight visitors. Guests will be greeted by Remington, the property’s Bernese Mountain Dog.
At the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach in South Florida, the new resident mascot is Sandy, a five-month old black Labrador retriever that is a service dog in training. Sandy is often spotted walking around the property’s lobby, meeting spaces, and beach, greeting guests.
Animal Keepers Program: Sandos Caracol Eco Resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico offers guests the chance to come face-to-face with local animals through their Animal Keepers program. With three vets onsite to lead the program, visitors have the opportunity to feed, bathe and care for endangered and rescued animals including rescued donkeys, endangered white-tailed deer, and macaws.
Miss your cat?
The Mexican Resort is also home to “Cat Cafés,” where guests can feed and interact with native cats found on the property.
Try a farm Bed and Breakfast
Nestled in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York, Farm Sanctuary’s 175-acre animal haven houses more than 500 rescued animals from industrial farming sites all across the country. Farm Sanctuary provides newly upgraded spacious onsite cabins at Farm Sanctuary Bed & Breakfast. The cabins have been renamed and redecorated after some of the most beloved animal residents. The bed & breakfast serves as an ideal way for visitors and volunteers to learn about animal issues and forge a closer bond with the rescued animals at the shelter.
Turtle Caretakers: Oil Nut Bay, an eco-friendly resort in Virgin Gorda, rescued 6 abandoned red-footed tortoises (four males, two females) from nearby Tortola and gave them a protected home on property. Guests can feed the turtles and interact with them alongside the turtle caretaker on property. The turtles join an unofficially adopted flamingo that also calls Oil Nut Bay home.
Descendants of roosters that were bred in Cuba and the Keys, Key West’s roosters are main characters on the island. At the storied Casa Marina resort, where vibrant roosters roam freely, Feathers the rooster has taken occupancy on the grounds for many years. Both employees and returning guests know him by his bright colors and distinctive cock-a-doodle-doo.
And last resort when you travel without Fido, carry lots of photos.