Mirroring patterns: the interconnected well-being of dogs, cats and their humans

Dogs mirror their human's health patterns. Prioritize your health for the sake of theirs!

We all have that one friend who looks uncannily like their dog. (Ahem: you might just be that friend yourself.) It’s not all about looks though. Beyond appearances, did you know that our furry family members – cats, dogs, horses, and even other pets – often mirror our actions, moods, and even health conditions?

Of course, we already know the positive effect of animal companions on our own health and happiness. The science proving the beneficial effect of interactions with pets on reducing our own psychological distress is well-documented. Suffice to say, “have furry friend; feel better.”

But what about the converse? Does our health and happiness affect that of our pets? Yes – and in more ways than you might think! In fact, health mirroring patterns displayed between dogs and cats (in particular) and their parents are vast and varied, affecting both emotional and physical states.

The Mirroring Phenomenon Explained

Your home is more than four walls and fur-covered furniture. It’s an energetic organism, with you and your animal companions sharing that space and its associated energy. If you have imbalances – physical or emotional – then your dog or cat can absorb some of that energy to help correct the imbalance. Sometimes, however, this energetic exchange can go too far, leading to their own health issues.

Research has proven this phenomenon of pets serving as mirrors ‒ reflecting not only our emotional states, but even our physical health conditions. When we are stressed or anxious, for example, our pets can exhibit similar behaviors. Conversely, when we prioritize our mental and emotional health, our furry loves can likewise benefit from it, experiencing their own reduced stress levels and improved overall demeanor.

Dogs mirror their human's health patterns. Prioritize your health for the sake of theirs!It goes beyond anxiety though, which is undoubtedly the most common of the mirroring experiences your pet might display. The list of disease processes mirrored between fur kids and their owners includes, but is not limited to:

  • Stress/anxiety and other emotions, such as embarrassment
  • Immune response
  • Sleep
  • Hunger and weight
  • Injury mimicry
  • Bladder and kidney stones
  • IBS
  • Allergies

All of which to say: if we really want to support our pet’s immune health, then we need to prioritize our own immune health first.

Prioritize Your Health for Their Health!

Think of it in terms of the well-known oxygen mask conundrum if an airplane is going down: put your oxygen mask on first before you help your child with theirs! After all, you can’t help anyone else – human or hair-covered – if you aren’t functioning.

Incorporating supplements for human immune support into our wellness routines, like the Thorne Immune Support Bundle, is a good place to start. Formulated with high-quality ingredients that bolster the body’s natural defenses and promote healthy immune function, Thorne’s immune support supplements help us prioritize our own health, and ultimately create a harmonious environment conducive to overall well-being.

Similarly, our pets can also benefit from immune-supportive supplements. ThorneVet can help here. ThorneVet’s Immune Support Formula is vet-formulated to provide comprehensive immune support for our four-legged companions, with a blend of vitamins, minerals, and botanical extracts that bolster a pet’s natural defenses – promoting resilience and vitality.

Ultimately, knowing the impact that your health and wellness has on your dog or cat should be the impetus you need to look after your own health and wellness. By recognizing the interconnected nature of the well-being of our furry friends and ourselves, and prioritizing immune support for both, we can strengthen the bond between humans and our loyal companions and engineer better health for all.

ThorneVet Immune Support Formula - powerful support for overall better health for dogs and cats


Dr. Keith Weingardt is a 1999 graduate of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. He completed acupuncture certification from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2004 and certification in herbal medicine at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in 2006. He has started successful integrative veterinary practices in San Diego, CA and Portland, OR. He is a dedicated herbalist and enjoys working with the plants of the Pacific Northwest. Currently, he works as a consultant for ThorneVet, specializing in product development and continuing education.

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