After a long and exhausting workday, if you have ever been greeted at your front door by a pet that wags his or her tail at you, and maybe even jumps up in excitement, you have personally experienced how significantly pets can lower stress levels.
I can attest to this as I am an animal lover and also have a Scorkie Terrier mix as a pet. Having lived alone, with college roommates, co-founders, and with people I’ve been in relationships before, I’ve found that Cloud (my terrier) always makes my day better, or at the very least provides me company. He dutifully sits with me while I finish off my work, cuddles with me at bedtime, and follows me around the house and office. It’s a proven fact that pets or animals often make people happy. They are like children with pure emotions and bubbly dispositions in any household.
Studies have shown that pets are important sources of social and emotional support for a person and not just people who suffer from health conditions. Scientific studies that have confirmed the medical background behind the stress alleviation in the presence of pets. For example, cuddling with a pet releases the “cuddle chemical” oxytocin in both the human and pet, which has a calming effect. A special bond between owner and pet is also formed, because not matter what you say, you can always talk to your pet without being judged.
But, let’s discuss the answers to the question of whether or not pets contribute to a healthier or not. Often time, they do offer countless health benefits like improved cardiovascular health, reduced risk of asthma and infections due to exposure to pet allergens, and dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
· The have a positive effect on the overall physiological, mental and physical health.
People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
· Cardiovascular health improves due to the daily handling of the pet like walking a dog in the park, people tend to make excuses to exercise for themselves but their pets convince them to exert a bit more often. When you venture outside you are more likely to communicate with neighbors/community that can reduce stress levels and make your mood better. If you live alone like me, you know that pets provide wonderful company and stave off loneliness.
· Interaction with pets also lower the release of the cortisol hormone thus relieving stress and lowering blood pressure.
· It has also been noted that pet owners suffer from fewer ailments like colds and fevers. Dogs have been recently using to detect an approaching epileptic seizure and are now being trained to detect life-threatening diseases.
In terms of feelings, pet owners are generally more likely to have greater self-esteem, feel less lonely and are likely to be more extroverted. Pet owners have prolonged interactions with animals but this does not mean that they become less close to their loved ones. Additionally tending to pets can teach responsibility while being a rewarding experience for a person after teaching them a skill. Pets are a great medicine for elderly people; they provide companionship and act as mood lifters. Dogs can help handicapped people in performing daily activities with ease as well.
If you are thinking about owning a pet, there are both clear-cut health advantages and they can often provide emotional support. But, you should make sure your lifestyle is sustainable enough for one. You can visit animal shelters or websites to adopt a pet of your choice. Often times, dogs tend to be more around the clock affectionate than cats, but do your research and make sure you get the right pet for you.
Originally published at medium.com