Pets can have a significant impact on our health and well-being in many ways. They can positively affect our physical, mental, emotional, and psychological health with their unconditional love.
- Exercise: Dogs require regular physical activity, which encourages their pet parents to walk them around the neighbourhood. Frequent walks or playtime with pets can help improve cardiovascular health, maintain a healthy weight, and increase overall fitness levels.
- Lower blood pressure: Interacting with pets, especially stroking or petting them, helps secrete happy hormones in our body. Lower stress means reduced stress and lower blood pressure levels.
- Reduced risk of allergies: Studies suggest that an early exposure to pets, especially during childhood, may help reduce the risk of developing allergies and asthma.
Mental and Emotional Health
- Reduced stress: Pets offer constant companionship and emotional support. That promotes relaxation, reduces stress levels, and “leaves us happier”. Simply cuddling your pet triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone associated with happiness and stress reduction.
- Relief from anxiety and depression: Mostly people feel depressed or anxious because of loneliness. Interacting with pets offers them a sense of belongingness and purpose,lifting up their mood and promoting a greater sense of wellbeing.
- Social catalysts: Pets, especially cats and dogs, act as social catalysts. It has been observed many times that people become friends while walking their dogs around or while attending pet-related events. These social interactions make it possible for pet parents to find connections with other “like-minded people” and alleviates feelings of loneliness or isolation.
- Unconditional love and companionship: Pets love selflessly and unconditionally. Their companionship helps individuals “feel valued, loved, and less lonely.” Pets are not judgmental and their presence can be a great emotional support during tough times.
- Inculcate a sense of responsibility: In many ways, being a pet parent is similar to having a baby. It comes with many responsibilities such as feeding, grooming, and caring for them. These responsibilities automatically structure a person’s routine. They feel responsible towards their pet and are filled with a sense of fulfilment when they care for them.
Pets require time, effort, energy, and resources. But they positively impact our physical and emotional health in innumerable ways.