Pets for companions - Deepstash
The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets - HelpGuide.org

The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets - HelpGuide.org

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Pets for companions

Pets for companions

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for an animal can help children grow up more secure and active. Pets also provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a pet can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.

Health benefit for all-

Health benefit for all-

Adopting healthy lifestyle changes plays an important role in easing symptoms of depression , anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, and PTSD.

Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. Having a consistent routine keeps an animal balanced and calm—and it can work for you, too. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—one plaintive look from your pet and you’ll have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for them.

A number of studies have linked owning a dog to losing weight as well.

Some evidence based studies -

Some evidence based studies -

  1. Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  2. People with pets 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.
  3. Playing with a pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  4. Pet owners have lower cholesterol level (risk for heart disease) than those without pets
  5. Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

Fulfilling basic human need

Fulfilling basic human need

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that pets fulfill the basic human need for touch. Even hardened criminals in prison show long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe you when you’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness, and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression.

Any pet you'd prefer

Any pet you'd prefer

While it’s true that people with pets often experience greater health benefits than those without, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. A rabbit could be ideal if you’re allergic to other animals or have limited space but still want a furry friend to snuggle with. Birds can encourage social interaction and help keep your mind sharp if you’re an older adult. Snakes, lizards, and other reptiles can make for exotic companions. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower your pulse rate.

How pets help adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

  • Research at the University of California at Davis concluded that Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog or cat in the home.
  • The playful interaction and gentle touch from a well-trained, docile animal can help soothe an Alzheimer’s patient and decrease aggressive behavior
  • In many cases a patient’s problem behavior is a reaction to the stressed response of the primary caretaker. Pets can help ease the stress of caregivers. Cats or small pets may be more suitable than big ones.

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