It’s no secret that pets give their parents unconditional love and support. After a long stressful day, nothing can compare to coming home and being greeted by a wagging tail or a friendly meow! In the past several decades, the study of human-animal relationships has been growing rapidly. Evidence of pets benefiting our physical and mental health is mounting. 😽🐶💕
According to various research studies, spending time with pets can significantly benefit one’s mental health. From reducing anxiety and depression to keeping us on a routine, there’s no question why they’ve been nicknamed a hoomans’ best friend! Let’s find out what are the effects of pets on our health from our loooong history of being friends! 🐾
It has been shown that interacting with our pets boosts our happy hormones such as serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin! Strengthening our feelings of trust, companionship, happiness, and bond. Another side benefit of this would be reduced anxiety and a lower rate of depression in pet parents because of the lowering of cortisol, which is a stress hormone.
Another physical health benefit pet parents might experience would be lowered blood pressure. Studies dating back to the 80s found that petting dogs help lower our heart rates and blood pressure. Even the American Heart Association has stated that having pets can lower one’s risk of cardiovascular diseases! Not only that, but they also mentioned that having a pet can increase your physical activity levels, and reach your fitness goals!
Our furry friends don’t only give us the motivation and discipline to achieve our fitness goals, but they also help those with mental health conditions. It’s been shown that spending quality time with animals reduces anxiety levels more than any recreational activity!
Usually, therapy and mental support animals are dogs, though other species can also become therapy animals – with the right training and support. Certified animals can travel with their humans on public transportation and other public facilities where their humans need to go on a regular basis.
Animals can sense our energy – and that includes negative shifts! Therapy animals often work with those who are suffering from mental health conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety & Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and those who suffer from Panic Attacks. Not only that but there are also animals that help with health conditions, examples of these friends include Seizure Alert Dogs and Diabetic Service Dogs.
For those who are neurodivergent, animals can help with various things. Some of these would be social skills, and confidence, all while providing a sense of calmness and peace. Pets can greatly benefit children with autism, by helping them with their social and emotional development. Also furthering their sensory integration, daily responsibilities, establishing a clear routine, and further improving motor skills.
Love is a two-way street! Ever wonder if our pets feel happier with us around as well? Well, you’re in luck! Research has found that dogs feel a surge of happy hormones when they’re interacting with their human companion. So when you’re spending quality time together, rest assured that they are also having a blast!
It’s hard to study our feline friends, and it’s not like they can’t understand us. They know exactly what’s going on! But they simply refuse to comply. However, one study has gotten a glimpse into how much these little guys love their humans! Cats have a reputation for being stoic but anyone who’s been loved by a cat will know that they’re actually little sweethearts! It’s believed that they don’t always wear their hearts on their sleeves, but according to a study that uses the attachment style model, it is confirmed that cats love us, they just don’t show it in ways we’re always expecting. Just like babies are attached to their caregivers, our feline friends are no different.
It’s not just cats and dogs that give us these benefits. Any pet can have a positive impact on our mental and physical well-being. So those with allergies, don’t shy away just yet! Studies have even mentioned that aquatic pets in aquariums can even help reduce muscle tension and lower our heart rate!
The benefits are endless, and we’re still finding out more pros to having a furry friend! Here are some more interesting advantages pets have on our health:
Love is a two-way street and that also applies to our furry companions! Our pets are an important part of our lives, and it’s been shown that they help their human counterparts both physically and physiologically! Now you have a whole list of scientifically backed-up excuses to cuddle your pets if you ever feel a little stressed out or under the weather! 💖
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