Do you own a pet? Have you experienced their unconditional love?
Do they have you wrapped around their tiny paws?
Other than bringing your family so much joy, owning a pet has so many other health benefits both physically and emotionally.
A 2015 survey of 1,000 dog owners found that 38% loved their dog more than their partner. Hilarious!
Here are some possible reasons why:
- Pets have been found to improve mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. This is due to their calming presence, ability to decrease loneliness, alter our behaviour in a positive way, distract us from our worries and decreases our stress response.
- By spending time hugging, our body is flooded with oxytocin, a hormone that reduces stress. This in turn lowers blood pressure and our heart rate. Playing with a pet decreases the production of cortisol and raises levels of the “good mood” neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine).
- Pets are a great way to meet new people. By taking your dog for a walk or to the local café, opportunities are created to make new friendships based on your shared love of animals.
- Pregnancy and early infant exposure to animals has been shown to improve a child’s immune system and reduce their risk of developing allergies.
- It teaches children positive interaction skills and prosocial behaviours. In public a pet can act like a social buffer allowing greater opportunities for peer engagement.
- It teaches responsibility and gives some people a greater purpose.
What is the greatest benefit you experience from owning a pet yourself?