Adopting a pet is more than caring for a companion; they can also impact our health and well-being. Research shows that pets heal their humans in various ways, including reducing stress. Learn some of the benefits of taking in a pet and how they help make positive changes in your life.
Lower Stress & Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a pervasive issue for many people looking to improve their health. Skyrocketing blood pressure could lead to hardening and thickening of the arteries, heart attacks, and other complications. Research shows that caring for a pet can help reduce the stress hormone cortisol and ultimately lower blood pressure.
Stress can also be a debilitating issue, especially if you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research shows 84% of PTSD patients who have a service dog reported a significant reduction in symptoms, and 40% reduced their medications.
Improve Your Mood
Taking care of your mental health is essential to your overall well-being. However, improving your mood isn't always easy, especially when you are predisposed to depression and anxiety. Research shows that interacting with animals can increase levels of the oxytocin hormone. This feel-good hormone sparks feelings of happiness and positivity that can instantly lift your mood and help you through a challenging situation.
Although adopting a pet won't automatically help you get fit, dog owners are shown to be more active than their counterparts. Dogs also hold you accountable for daily walks and playtime and can serve as a companion when you go for a run. Make a promise to give your pet a healthy, active lifestyle and watch how your own health transforms.
Heal Your Emotions
When people feel disconnected from themselves and others, loneliness and distress often settle in and negatively impact our lives. Establishing a strong relationship with pets helps provide the support you need and heal emotional problems. Enjoying your pet also helps connect to others with similar interests. Whether you're a cat lover or like to take your pup to the dog park, you're more likely to find standard connections to others and ease social anxiety.
Allergies and asthma impact millions of people each year. If you have an infant, living with dogs or cats lowers their chance of developing asthma, hay fever, or eczema. Evidence also shows that having a pet early in life seems to protect from allergies later in childhood.
Learn to Cope
When caring for a pet, you can't stay in bed for long or stay indoors when your dog needs to be walked. Adopting a pet could force you to adopt healthier coping mechanisms and hold you accountable for your day. Pets also help people, especially children, with disabilities regulate their emotions and stress. More playtime and exercise with a pet also helps improve alertness and attentiveness, reducing symptoms of specific learning disabilities.
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