A growing wellness trend out of the Netherlands has people cuddling cows for comfort.

Called ‚koe knuffelen‘ in Dutch — which translates to ‚hugging cow‘ — the practice typically involves visiting a farm and spending several hours in the company of cows.

According to proponents of the trend, cow cuddling can be quite soothing thanks to the animal’s warm temperature and size, and the oxytocin boost it leads to can even reduce stress.

Isn't this a-moo-sing? A growing wellness trend out of the Netherlands has people cuddling cows for comfort

Isn’t this a-moo-sing?

A growing wellness trend out of the Netherlands has people cuddling cows for comfort

Bovine besties! Called 'koe knuffelen' in Dutch — which translates to 'hugging cow' — the practice involves visiting a farm and spending several hours in the company of cows

Bovine besties!

Called ‚koe knuffelen‘ in Dutch — which translates to ‚hugging cow‘ — the practice involves visiting a farm and spending several hours in the company of cows

Hugging cows, rubbing them, or leaning up against them can be 'incredibly soothing'

Hugging cows, rubbing them, or leaning up against them can be ‚incredibly soothing‘

According to the

Hugging cows, rubbing them, or leaning up against them can be ‚incredibly soothing‘ because the cows are big and warm and have a slower heartbeat. 

‚Cow cuddling is believed to promote positivity and reduce stress by boosting oxytocin in humans, the hormone released in social bonding,‘ the BBC explains. ‚The calming effects of curling up with a pet or emotional support animal, it seems, What Are The Difference Between Yoga And Pilates? accentuated when cuddling with larger mammals.‘

There are several farms in the Netherlands that offer the activity to visitors, including in Voorst.  

‚With us you only have one task, namely just enjoy.

Our lovely animals are relaxed, sweet, and they have a curious nature. They have warm and sincere attention for you with a body temperature of no less than 39 degrees [Celsius],‘ reads their site in Dutch.

Hug a heifer! Cows are big and warm and have a slower heartbeat, which can all bring a calming effect

Hug a heifer!

Cows are big and warm and have a slower heartbeat, which can all bring a calming effect

The trend has started to spread, and is now also offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York, which hosts a Horse & Cow Experience for $75 an hour

The trend has started to spread, and is now also offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York, which hosts a Horse & Cow Experience for $75 an hour

‚Cuddling a cow is a unique experience.

It has been proven that the cow’s heartbeat has a relaxing effect on humans.‘ 

The trend has started to spread, and is now also offered at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York, which hosts a Horse & Cow Experience for $75 an hour.

‚It will be about finding a connection, getting close to the natural world, slowing down, taking time to take a breath, doing something new and exciting, finding peace & quietness and simply Be,‘ explains the farm’s website. 

Prairie Conlon, a professional counselor and clinical director of CertaPet, told that while it might seen ‚odd,‘ it can also be ‚a healthy way to increase activity and get those endorphins flowing, so why not?‘ 

‚I have seen lives changed using equine-assisted psychotherapy,‘ she said.

‚This does not involve riding the horse, which is a common misconception. This involves spending time with and reflecting on the animals‘ movements and behaviors.

‚As the cow is also a prey animal and has similar behaviors, I can absolutely see how it could be beneficial for therapy.

Not to mention, cuddling with animals in general releases those „feel good“ neurotransmitters.‘