If you have ever owned a pet and sadly experienced the loss of that pet, you can relate to how close a pet can become to you. When someone says that a pet is part of his or her family, this is true.
A pet brings so much to our lives and the lives of our family, yet we can sometimes overlook just how much.
While a pet brings unconditional love to us, there are many other real and tangible benefits along the way as well.
There are many ways a pet can improve your health. There are mental benefits, physical benefits, social benefits, and emotional benefits.
Top Five Ways a Pet Can Improve Your Health
1. Improve Mental Health
Studies are proving more and more that pets improve our mental health status. Many years ago, pets were brought into the psychiatric wards to help calm patients, as well as encourage patients to cooperate. Today, we know that pets can improve our moods drastically.
Have you ever felt down and out and had your pet bring you his ball to play? This is a perfect example of how a pet can cause an automatic shift in your mood and get you out of a slump. Unconditional love offered by a pet can also cause positive chemicals to release to the brain, thereby averting negative stressor chemicals (such as cortisol) found in the flight or fight syndrome. When positive occurrences are experienced, mental health improves greatly.
2. Improve Emotional Status
Pets greatly improve the emotional status of their owners. Have you ever owned a pet, let’s say a dog for example, and the dog automatically came over to you when you were crying and licked away your tears? Studies show that dogs are innately responsive to the emotions of its owners and are therefore readily available to respond to them. Pet owners are shown to be happier in studies than individuals who do not own pets.
3. Assist with Physical Health
Research is showing that pet owners are healthier than non-pet owners are. Pet owners have a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Pets, especially dogs, are also able to assist and alert owners that have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or seizure disorder.
4. Help with Socialization and Fitness
A pet can aid in the defense of depression, anxiety, and panic. Having a pet to socialize with is an excellent way to get out and about for many individuals. Socialization for your pet is vital to its wellbeing and that means that you have to go along for the ride. Walking, jogging, running, hiking, are all excellent ways to keep in shape just as swimming and bicycling is. There are many pet owners who socialize with their pets in this way, enabling the pet owners to stay fit and trim along with their furry friends.
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5. Spiritual Benefits
There is no better way to become more spiritual than when you reach out to help another. Reaching out to help another does not necessarily mean just to your human counterparts. Reaching out to your pet and playing, bathing, walking, caring, and just cuddling with them is an excellent way to become more spiritual. When you take care of a pet that is helpless and unable to help themselves, what more spiritual act is there than that?