If you are a pet owner, you know just how vital their companionship is in your life. But many people miss out on the benefits of a pet’s presence, especially on mental health and anxiety. People with pets are actually happier, according to many studies. When it comes to cats or dogs, those with dogs are much happier. You may be wondering: How do pets help in reduce anxiety and improve health exactly? Well, continue reading to learn more.
1. Help in Lower Stress
Ever wondered why doctors recommend pet assisted therapy? Well, pets can lower your stress hormones within the first five minutes of interaction. Cortisol, which is a stress hormone, is reduced during human-dog interaction, which explains why college students have therapy dogs.
Oxytocin, responsible for lowering stress naturally, is also released during animal-human interaction.
Pets also keep you calm. When playing with animals, your body raises the hormones responsible for the pleasure and calming of your nervous systems. They make you feel better according to research conducted on therapy dogs and prisoners.
This should be a reason enough for you go adopt a dog! Yes, they’re a lot of work, especially puppies. But there’s no denying all the research that a canine or feline friend enhances quality of life!
2. Reduce Your Chances of Dying Early
Isn’t it nice to know you don’t have to worry about deaths related to heart diseases when you have a pet? The Minnesota Stroke Institute researched over 4000 cat owners in 10 years. The research showed those with cats are 30% less likely to succumb to a heart attack. Owning a dog is also linked to a longer lifespan, according to the American Heart Association publication.
3. Reduce Loneliness
Loneliness has an impact on your mental health; you get anxiety every time you feel lonely according to research. However, with a pet’s presence, you can’t experience such feelings because you will be busy playing with them.
Dogs also attract people to you. According to June McNicholas, an Academic and psychologist, these animals help break social barriers between people. When walking your pet, people are more likely to come and start a conversation with you.
Animals also make you feel needed. When you spend time with your pet, the attention they give you makes you feel good. House pets like to be held and cuddled. So when you show care and concern to them, it has a mental benefit to your well-being.
Taking care of any animal that needs grooming and medical care also makes you feel good. Whether it’s a dog or a horse, grooming, exercising, training and cuddling all add to your self-worth. There are also several products, like CBD for pets, that help too.
4. Protect Children from Anxiety
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a study on children’s pets and anxiety and found those who have them feel less anxious. The research involved 643 students, and about half of them had pets at home. The exercise involved measuring the children’s activities and how anxiety affects them. Researchers found out that families with animals had lower anxiety levels compared to those without.
5. They Boost Your Self-Esteem
Research also shows that animals can boost your self-esteem. When you spend time with your dog, you are likely to experience a sense of belonging and well-being. A research conducted by psychologists at Miami University and Saint Louis University showed those who owned pets had improved self-esteem. They also performed much better at work and in their extracurricular activities.
Human and pet interaction has existed for ages because pets are good companions and protect us from loneliness. They also give us purpose every day. They need us, so we show up to care for them and receive unconditional love in return. The fact that they improve happiness and extend our lifespans is icing on the cake!
Comment below…how do you feel about your furry friends?