senior woman with dog

The Pow­er of Pets

Begin­ning about 12,00014,000 years ago in pre­his­toric times, the first ani­mal to be domes­ti­cat­ed was the wolf. This occurred once humans real­ized young wolf pups could be trained to serve them. Since then, the bond between humans and their pets has vast­ly grown to a diverse and mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial part­ner­ship. Here are some ways pet own­er­ship can have a pos­i­tive affect on you.

1. Pet­ting reduces stress

While your dog enjoys bel­ly rubs and your cat purrs from the rhyth­mic pat­ting, your blood pres­sure is actu­al­ly drop­ping as well. Your body releas­es a hor­mone, oxy­tocin, when you pet or groom your ani­mals, which results in reduced stress and anxiety.

2. You’re nev­er lone­ly with a pet

For those liv­ing on their own, it can get lone­ly if you find your­self stuck at home; so much so that it could lead to depres­sion. How­ev­er, when you have a fur­ry friend around, it reduces the sad­ness caused by lone­li­ness and gives you some­one to do things with.

3. Uncon­di­tion­al, uncom­pli­cat­ed love

As humans we inter­act with so many peo­ple, rel­a­tives, friends, sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers that some­times it can be over­whelm­ing, even stress induc­ing. With your pets, they don’t care if you made a mis­take at work or if you can­celed din­ner plans. They’re just glad that you’re with them and love them back.

4. Get­ting outdoors

With all dogs and maybe even some cats, you’re required to go out­side. On your walks you’re get­ting exer­cise which in turn can boost your mood and release endor­phins. Plus, you’ll be get­ting some fresh air and much need­ed vit­a­min D.

5. Rou­tine

Your ani­mals like rou­tine. They know when it’s time for a walk, when it’s time to eat and when it’s time to sleep. By them get­ting into a rou­tine it helps you get into a rou­tine which allows you to man­age your time accordingly.

Your pets depend on you for safe­ty, food and com­fort but you prob­a­bly depend on them for a lot too in dif­fer­ent ways. If you’re not able to have pets for what­ev­er rea­son, vol­un­teer at your local ani­mal shel­ter or vis­it a friend’s pets; the results will still be the same!

See a ther­a­py dog in action:

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