Pets are good for your health – Official
WHY PETS CAN IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH & WELLBEING
First of all, let me introduce ‘Blaze’ and penguin. Blaze is the lucky winner of Kind Mind Community’s Christmas Pet Photo Competition – how cute! I’m sure puppy Blaze gives much pleasure, fun and laughter.
The benefits of having a pet in your life are well-documented but don’t worry if you don’t have your own pet, you can ‘borrow’ a friend or neighbours’ pet or even donate some food to the local rescue next time you’re in the supermarket (and you’ll probably strike up a conversation with someone in the pet food aisle!).
Here’s some facts:
- It’s reported that 74% of pet owners say owning a pet has improved their mental health.
- They help reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- Playing with an animal elevates positive hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax you.
- Walking a dog (or buying pet food) can increase our connections. For example, as a ‘doggy person’, I always say hello to fellow dog walkers … actually, the truth is that I usually say hello to their dogs first! We know that connectedness is one of the cornerstones of wellbeing.
- Looking after a pet makes you feel validated and needed
- If you have a pet, or look after one for someone else, the chances are you’ll need a routine, which is good for our mental health too.
- There are physical benefits to pets too – they can lower our blood pressure and even reduce cholesterol levels.
- Dog-ownership (or borrowing someone’s dog) brings with it the need for daily walks. This activity is good for both our physical and our mental health.
- Lastly, pet ownership is linked with helping children with Autism and ADHD.
I personally have two dogs and feel the benefits of having them in my life every day. Why? For most of the reasons above, but also because they are just plain and simply funny! Laughter is, as they say, the best medicine!