Anyone who’s ever had a pet knows the joy of unconditional love and loyalty. What you may not know is that pets offer you more benefits than just companionship.
Studies and evidence have suggested that the bond between people and their animals is good for human health. Pets can improve mental, physical, and social health and well-being. If you are willing and able to take care of a pet, you’re able to enjoy the benefits they give. Here are a few of the healing powers of pets:
Studies have shown that gently petting an animal can decrease cortisol levels, a stress-related hormone, and help release oxytocin, a hormone related to emotional bonding. Therapy dogs are a prime example of the comfort and support animals offer us in times of stress.
Increased Sense of Purpose
Caring for something other than yourself can give you a sense of purpose and feel needed. In a survey on healthy aging by the American Heart Association, adults over 50 listed a better sense of purpose among the top three benefits of owning a pet. This can also increase self-esteem.
Animals can also improve feelings of social support, by both being there for you at all times and by offering the opportunity to interact with other pet parents. Taking your pet to the park is a great way to meet other like-minded people and gives a good starting-off point for conversation.
Along with an increase in social connection typically comes a decrease in being alone, and pets have been shown to ease feelings of loneliness.
Pets encourage physical activity and help you get outside. Choosing to own a dog can greatly increase physical activity by making you go for daily walks. Even if you can’t take your cat or other indoor pet on a walk, you can still get some exercise out of playing with it.
Structure is important in maintaining a healthy life for your animal. Feeding, caring for, and exercising your pet can also help you in building a healthy daily routine off of your animal’s day. For example, you can get into the habit of eating alongside your animal for breakfast and dinner or go for a walk every afternoon.
Along with the mental and social benefits, pets can actually positively impact your physical health. Interacting with animals has been proven to lower blood pressure. Dog owners specifically are 31% less likely to die from a heart attack or stroke. According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and helps lower unhealthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Wellzesta Life encourages any instrument that will increase holistic wellness, and pets are the perfect way for animal lovers to achieve it.
Life’s daily wellness content offers resources to pet parents on their animal’s well-being or important information for them to know.
Life provides residents with the ability to form groups of pet lovers in their community to introduce their animals to other friends. Life also offers Independent Activities in the Event section so you can earn points for your daily dog walk or pet playtime.
Click here to learn more about how Wellzesta can help your community.