The Health and Happiness Benefits of Pets is Extraordinary!
by Nicole McCray
Pets have always been incredible companions for their owners, and although they require a lot of care, pets bring us a lot of joy, too. Many of us feel that pets generate feelings of happiness for us and within our families. The bond and connection between humans and their pets are beneficial and rewarding on both sides.
While you may already know that bringing a pet home will give you joy, but there is so much more to it. Owning a pet can have genuinely positive effects on our physical and mental health, and it goes beyond just helping us be happier.
Did you know that pets who form strong bonds with their owners can become in synch with their tone of voice, gestures, and body language? It aids them in understanding what they are feeling at any given time.
Pet owners aren’t always aware of the multiple effects that pets have on their health. Here are some of the top mental, physical, and emotional health benefits that having a pet can do for you.
Pets Reduce Stress and Blood Pressure
Having a pet can cause stress by having accidents indoors, becoming sick, or destroying your furniture. However, owning a pet also aid in helping to relieve feelings of stress, hypertension, and anxiety. For example, there was a study with children who owned pets that discovered they had much lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol when interacting with their furry companions and creating a decrease in blood pressure.
So, you can effectively reduce your stress and anxiety just by playing with your pet. Even just something like simply stroking your pet’s head will be engaging enough to work on lessening those stress levels. So, the next time you have a rough day or are gone from home for a while, think about providing your pet with some quality time – it’s not only great for them, but it will help you too.
Pets Alleviate Depression
Along with lower stress levels, pets can also help those suffering from clinical depression. You may notice whenever you are feeling blue or down, your pet can help make you smile again, immediately boosting your mood.
The National Institute of Mental Health utilizes animal therapy to help treat depression and other mood disorders because pets have such a positive effect on emotions. In addition, pets remain loyal as companions, so when someone is feeling isolated or withdrawn, their pet will still be there and work to help provide feelings of calm and comfort.
Pets Give Us Healthier Hearts
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. People with pets, however, are less likely to suffer from a heart attack or risk of stroke. The American Heart Association has performed studies that concluded that owning a pet can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Owning a pet also increases the likelihood of increasing your physical activity, which leads to being more fit. Most pets require some form of exercise, and if you are actively engaging with your pet, that means you are also getting some exercise. Exercise will help keep your heart healthy, give you more energy and help you maintain a healthy weight.
Pets Help Prevent Allergies
Another unexpected heart benefit from owning a pet is that exposure creates a barrier against having allergies. Millions of people suffer from allergies, and pet dander can be a common trigger for them, but exposure to them earlier in life, such as when you are a child, helps lower your risk for developing them.
A study in Medical News Today associated that children exposed to animals at an early age had a much lower risk of having asthma by the time they started school. The theory behind this is that being around allergens or pathogens will strengthen your immune system and effectively increase your tolerance to allergies.
Pets Promote Better Social Skills and Relationships
It is no surprise that most pet owners have a special connection and bond with their furry friends. Many, if not all of us, usually consider our pets to be more than just a pet, but a member of the family unit. However, that special bond that is created also benefits us with other relationships.
The clinicians at Bond Vet – NYC Animal Hospital said that many adults who had developed previous attachments to animals when they were young tend to have more understanding, empathy, and compassion. In addition, their emotional intuitiveness creates more substantial relationships with people.
Social skills are improved because taking care of animals gives owners a leadership role as caregivers. In addition, taking care of pets leads people to be more involved within their community, helping others and taking on other roles as leaders because it makes them feel good. Even studies have performed that children with autism showed more assertiveness if they lived with a pet.
Pets Help Us Sleep Better
While you may not want to allow your pet to sleep in the bed with you, having it in the bedroom at least can help with the overall quality of your sleep. Pets love to feel secure and comforted, and they like being close to their owners, even when they are sleeping.
Researchers found that pet owners who had their pets in the bed with them or within their bedroom found that they slept better and did not find the pet to be disruptive to their sleep. The feelings of companionship, security, and relaxation offered a better night’s rest for both pet owners and their furry friends.
With all of these tremendous advantages that pets give us, it is easy to see that bringing a pet into the home is more than just helpful to the pet. There is much joy and love to be had, and taking care of your pet creates many wonderful ways that improve your overall health and wellbeing.