senior woman with dog

The Power of Pets

Beginning about 12,000-14,000 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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