It’s time for some life lessons – but these are things you can learn from your pets like how to communicate better, how to start the day on a stress-free note.

For example, dogs are expert readers of body language. It’s how they communicate with each other – and how they learned to survive among humans. Veterinarian Kristen Nelson says dogs can read our body language and understand facial cues. And you can teach yourself this skill, and better interpret what other people are really saying through postures like folded arms, fidgety hands or avoiding eye contact. If you’re in tune with body language, you’ll be better able to read people and assess situations.  

Then, ever notice that pets love to stretch, especially in the morning? There’s a good reason for it. Studies show that stretching first thing when you wake up flushes away the stress hormones that naturally surge in the morning. Not only that, but regular stretching helps prevent age-related ailments like osteoporosis, arthritis and depression.

So what can your pet teach you about your relationships? 

Marriage therapist Dr. Tina Tessina says we should do the same thing to our mates that our dogs do when we come home after a long day at work. Greet them with a kiss and welcome them home. An added bonus? The National Institutes of Health says this type of affection lowers stress and boosts our immunity!