Having a pet is a wonderfully enriching experience.
To have something soft and cuddly be completely, lovingly devoted to you no matter what is such a special bond to have in your life. Your furry loved one is more than just a pet, they are your family. Though they may not participate in chores around the house, cats and dogs are doing more work than you think. Your furry family member actively contributes to your well-being every day. Here are some ways they improve your life:
Pets Help to Improve Your Physical Health
All pets require exercise, just like us, to maintain their health. Our pets rely on us to provide them with time, attention, and outlets for exercise which requires us to move more as well. While dogs are much more excited to exercise than some cat breeds, it remains that all fluffers need you to move with them. You are much more likely to take daily walks if you have a dog or run around the house with a feather string for your cat. Your increased activity helps to keep your heart healthy and studies have shown that owning a pet has positive effects on weight and blood pressure.
Pets Help to Reduce Stress
In our fast-paced, ever-changing world, one thing that can link us all is the common feeling of stress. Cortisol is the hormone that can increase in your body during times of stress. Studies have shown that interactions with pets actually help to reduce cortisol levels in your body. Have you ever felt the calm that washes over you when you sit and pet a soft, fluffy dog or cat? Just the act of petting them has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Couple the reduction of cortisol and blood pressure with the pure unconditional love and companionship of a pet and you have quite the recipe for stress reduction. It is important to remember that sometimes our pets may feel stress as well, and there are resources to help.
Pets Help to Increase Social Support
Any pet lover can relate to the strong desire to pet the cutest dog or cat they see at the park. Walking in the park with your dog, who is obviously the cutest, provides opportunities for you to run into these pet lovers and become friends. At the very least, you will have many opportunities to engage in conversation about dog breeds or silly habits of theirs. Your pet helps to decrease the loneliness you may feel not just by keeping you company all the time but also by increasing your potential social interactions with people.
Pets Help to Improve Your Mood
Whether our pet has the official designation or not, they are likely an emotional support pet. They can help us remain calm in chaotic times and cheer us up on difficult days. The unconditional love that they give to us can increase the happy hormone, dopamine, in our brains. An increase in dopamine helps to make you feel more calm, peaceful, and happy.
Pets Help to Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Studies have shown that people who have pets are less likely to become depressed. In one study, 94% of people reported a reduction in anxiety due to the action of petting a dog. If you recall, pets help to reduce stress and improve mood which also works to decrease anxiety overall. Pets indirectly alter our stress hormone, cortisol, and neurotransmitter, dopamine, which work together as a natural remedy for anxiety and depression.
Pets do all of these amazing things for our physical and mental health and provide us with loving care. Please return the favor and ensure your pet is on track for a long, healthy life. Contact us to schedule a visit to discuss more about your pet’s wellness plan.