Have you noticed how so many people nowadays have started bringing a pet to their homes? If not, take a look around. If you don’t even leave your locality, you may find several houses with a pet cat, dog, or some other animal.
But do you know why?
A pet, no doubt, is a cute and cuddly companion that you can play with any time you like. However, this surely isn’t the only reason why people own a pet. In the past few years, people have also started appreciating pets for their intelligence as well as their calming effects. And the research has shown that animal companionship can be very beneficial for people in terms of health. In fact, owing to this, we came up with the concept of “emotional support animal.”
Don’t know how a pet can help you stay healthy?
Here are a few things you should know.
Pets can Reduce Your Stress
As per the mental health experts, the current generation is probably the most stressed one until now. And given the lifestyle of people nowadays, it isn’t really surprising. Every single person out there, regardless of their class, gender, income, or any other thing, has at least one source of stress in their life, if not many. And stress, you probably know isn’t very good for our overall health.
However, as I said earlier, pets can provide you with some amazing calming effects.
Experts say that even a small activity with your pet, such as petting it or cuddling with it, can have some extremely positive effects on your mental health. It can increase the level of dopamine in your brain. And this helps your mind calm down and relax.
If you have a pet at your home, you probably already know how happy you can become by just seeing it.
Pets can Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Do you know heart diseases are the biggest cause of death in the US? And it is often due to the high blood pressure caused by the stress. But as we just learned pets can help you manage your stress and stay calm, they, in turn, automatically reduce your risk of heart diseases too. Furthermore, pets also make you move more. And this further helps you keep your heart in good condition.
There are also a lot of studies that point to the fact that people with pets recover more quickly from surgeries or other medical events as compared to others.
Pets Lower the Chances of Developing Depression
As per the World Health Organization, the US is one of the most depressed countries in the world. And do you know what is the major reason behind depression? Loneliness.
But you already know how pets can provide you with unconditional love and companionship. And this can be great for people who are suffering from depression.
Experts believe that cats specifically can be very effective for people with depression. In a study conducted by the mental health foundation, in which they interviewed over 600 people, it was found that more than 85 percent of people who owned a cat had a very positive impact on their condition.
But if you don’t have a cat, don’t worry. Even other animals can be quite effective in helping you combat depression by being your companion.
Pets Help You Combat Social Anxiety
Mental health experts say that those who have a strong bond with their pets find it very easy to build relationships with people too. This means pets can help people fight their social anxiety. You probably have seen people with pets talking to each other on roads and parks.
When you take your pet for a walk, a lot of times it acts as a conversation starter. As per the studies, people who walk with a pet are approached by other people far more than the people walking alone. And this can certainly help you build relationships with others more easily. Especially if you have trouble talking to people, in general. Pets can act as an icebreaker, and they help you find friends who have a similar taste as you (at least in pets, we can say).
Pets Can Help You Build Healthy Habits
Though animals help you in many ways, regardless of being a normal pet or an emotional support animal, they themselves need to be taken care of. However, even this part of their personality helps you in a way. It helps you build healthy routines and habits.
For instance, a dog owner needs to take their pet for a walk or run almost regularly. And this helps them get a much-needed daily dose of physical work. When you take your dog outside, you also get to enjoy beautiful nature and scenic views. And as a result, you keep your mental health intact. Furthermore, taking care of a pet also reminds us to take care of ourselves regularly.