Do you have furry friends who greet you at the door every day when you get back from work? If so, then you know that pets can help restore some sanity in today’s busy lifestyle.
Pets Help You Stay Happier and Healthier
Regardless of the type of furry friend you have, studies have shown that having pets can help you stay healthier and happier by boosting the production of oxytocin, commonly known as the bonding hormone.
Oxytocin is said to reduce heart rate and blood pressure, improve immunity, better your social skills and reduce stress and related conditions. This is why you feel happy and relaxed when your pet snuggles up to you or simply wags its tail to greet you.
Here are some ways in which animals support and promote your physical and mental well-being:
Benefit heart health:
A study conducted in Sweden in 2017 shows that having a dog could help reduce the risk of death associated with cardiovascular conditions. The study found that the risk of death from cardiovascular conditions reduced by 36 percent in people living alone with a dog. Cats also help heart health, says a study, which found that cat owners had a 40 percent lower chance of suffering a heart attack and a 30 percent less chance of dying from cardiovascular diseases.
Get you moving:
Even if you are not an outdoorsy person, your favorite pet will make sure that you step out at least a few times a day. Data from a study shows that older individuals, aged between 70 and 80 tend to have a brisker pace when compared to their pet-less counterparts. Another study also showed that adults with dogs were slimmer and stood fewer chances of being obese than those who did not own dogs.
While a regular walk with your dog can help reduce stress, other pets can have a similar impact too. Research shows that being in contact with your pet can reduce stress hormones and heart rate. It may also help reduce other symptoms like anxiety and fear and instill a feeling of calmness.
Apart from supporting heart health, pets can also help improve your immune system. Studies show that being around pets, especially during infancy can improve the child’s immunity and reduce his or her chances of developing pet allergies and asthma in later years.
Regulate the circadian rhythm:
Having pets, especially dogs, makes it essential for pet owners to be up earlier than they would otherwise, especially on weekends. The need to wake up at the same time every morning can help regulate the owner’s circadian rhythm or sleep-wake cycle and a regulated cycle is, of course, beneficial for overall health.
Aid autistic children:
Research shows that at least one in 70 children suffer from varying degrees of autism, and pets can help them develop social skills. A study showed that when guinea pigs were involved, children with autism “talked and laughed more, whined and cried less, and were more social with peers.”
Loneliness and the feeling of being isolated are very common, especially among seniors who may not have an active social life. Having a pet may increase an individual’s connection to the outside world and help reduce the feeling of loneliness, in turn reducing the chances of more serious mood disorders like depression.
If you have been considering getting yourself a pet, don’t wait any longer. Pick a pet that will suit your lifestyle the best and experience the beauty of sharing life with a loyal companion.
Mindbodygreen. (2018, March 09). 9 Reasons Getting A Dog Seriously Ups Your Wellness Practice. Retrieved from https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/fun-ways-dogs-can-make-you-healthier
Fields, L. (n.d.). 6 Ways Pets Can Improve Your Health. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/6-ways-pets-improve-your-health#1
Stevens, S. (2018, April 08). Pets are good for your health, and we have the studies to prove it. Retrieved from https://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/11-studies-that-prove-pets-are-good-your-health