For centuries, animals have played an essential role in our lives. If you’re already a parent to a loving companion, you’ll understand the happiness you get when a cat jumps on your lap or if your dog welcomes you at the door with its tail wagging. There’s no question why people view a pet as an addition to their family. The shared bond between humans and animals is like no other; it’s unconditional and something we can all feel immensely. Simple moments that are treasured are their companionship and the love they offer. Having a pet in your home goes beyond taking them for walks, providing a home for them, feeding them, or accompanying them to their regular vet visits. While welcoming an animal into your home may seem like you’re taking them under your wing, animals give us so much more. Did you know that the connection between our pets can improve our physical, mental, and emotional health and the quality of our lives?
Social and Emotional Benefits
Think of a moment in your life where you felt alone, were you longing for somebody to talk to or accompany you during your hardships. It’s proven that isolation and a lack of human interaction can negatively contribute to our mental states. The past few years facing unprecedented events have been manageable for pet owners with our animals to thank. In this day and age, animals provide emotional and mental support to improve the quality of life for those seeking strength. Because of the powerful connection and emotional support that animals can provide humans in need, service animals to aid those who need healing have become normalized in today’s society. Studies have shown that sharing your life with a pet increases the “happy hormone” serotonin production while decreasing “stress hormones” cortisol for up to 1-3 hours post-interaction; incredible, right? Starting your day and ending your day with the spontaneity of a pet’s playful interactions can provide an individual with a feeling of purpose, excitement, and unconditional happiness.
Socially, the most evident bond lies between children and animals. Children who grow up with pets develop admirable qualities such as empathy, love, responsibility, and self-esteem in earlier stages of their lives compared to those without pets. These animals’ emotional and social intelligence can help them socialize and build loving connections inside and outside the classroom.
Among older adults, companionship from animals and caretaking enhance their well-being while being an essential source of support physically and mentally. As you age, some adults may lose their sense of purpose or lose a sense of excitement. There are instances when the elderly retire from their career or their children move far away; the companionship of an animal can provide their lives with optimism, laughter, and a sense of self-worth. Regardless of age, the relationship with an animal can also bring you closer to your community and spark exciting conversations wherever you are. No matter where you go, you’ll be sure to find an animal lover who thinks your companion is worth admiring!
When we share our lives with animals, we automatically think about aspects of love and companionship, but did you know that these bonds can benefit not only your mind or soul but your body as well? Holistically speaking, your mind and body are interconnected, and with lower levels of stress, your blood pressure is lower, giving you fewer risks of heart attacks or high cholesterol. Taking your pets out for a walk or doing fun activities with them at home not only benefits their health but also gets you moving, lowering your chances of obesity.
In 2002, studies showed that pet parents with dogs or cats had lower resting heart rates and blood pressure than those who did not. If there’s anybody to motivate you to escape to the great outdoors, it would be no one other than your furry companions. If you’re a dog owner, taking your companion out for a hike, run, or daily exercise is a rewarding way to incorporate exercise into your schedule as well. If you have indoor pets such as cats, hamsters, or bunnies, there are fun physical activities that you can do at home, incorporating play toys or letting them safely explore your porch or backyard. It’s a win-win situation, it not only gets you moving and your heart racing but it strengthens your bond, stimulates your pet's senses, and eradicates any behavioral problems.
Welcoming a pet into your home and life can be challenging, but it can positively alter your lifestyle to improve your way of life; you realize life isn’t about just you anymore. Maintaining a proper feeding, grooming, cleaning, and exercise schedule are essential for your companions to live healthy and happy lives. Leaving a party or get-together to feed your pet or take them out for a walk isn’t so bad when you know your companion is ready to greet you at the door with no agenda and heaps of love! Having a consistent routine every day gives your pet balance, and it can work for you too by giving your life a sense of stability, healthy structure, and routines.
The bond between you and your pet is fulfilling, and sometimes don’t you ever wonder if they chose us? Little do you know that our companions soak up our emotions like a sponge and can sense your shifts in moods. If you’re down, they’re ready to come to you and remove feelings of stress. Too often, humans feel a sense of doubt or develop feelings of loneliness or feeling unloved, but having a companion by your side can make your lifestyle more enjoyable. If you’re a new pet owner, you might feel a tremendous shift in your lifestyle. Though it might be challenging to teach your companion the ways of life, they return the favor by teaching us valuable lessons within ourselves. The power of animals is impressive, and throughout the years, their efforts are being recognized in modern medicine and therapy. The strong bond between humans and animals is by far the best medicine.
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