A PAWSITITVE OUTLOOK: The Effect of Pets on our Well-being



For many people, their pets share a special place in their hearts and homes, so it

may be no surprise that as of 2019, over 70% of US households have at least one

pet!


For a long time, we’ve known that animals not only offer us a sense of

companionship, but they also benefit us by helping to reduce the effects of

depression and loneliness. That’s not all! Did you know that walking or playing with

your furry friend can also help decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride

(fat) levels due to the increase in physical activity? These added benefits are not

just limited to dogs and cats either! Feathery and scaly companions have also

contributed to our well-being. For instance, watching fish swim in an aquarium can

help reduce blood pressure and heart rate, which is why they’ve become an

important feature in places of high stress such as medical and office facilities.

For more vulnerable groups, companion pets and especially trained service animals

have given owners a new leash on life by offering a brand-new avenue for

independence. Children with ADHD and autism who interact with animals have

shown noticeable improvements to their self-esteem, ease symptoms of anxiety and

have been an aid to improve their social and behavioral skills. Specially trained

service animals can even perform tasks for their owners, such as turning on lights,

picking up hard to reach items and even sensing medical emergencies in their

owners. Elderly individuals and those who suffer from chronic conditions have also

seen improvements in their physical and mental health with the help of therapy

animals as part of their treatment plans. Petting a dog or cat can help rebuild

strength in the hands and produce a calming effect in the patient during recovery

from certain medical procedures.


Have you had an animal that has helped shape the way you live? We’d love to hear

from you! Feel free to share a photo and/or story of your pet below!


Reference: https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2018/02/power-pets

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