How pets can help you relax

September 2013

How pets can help you relax

Many pet owners know that their furry, scaly or feathery friend brings them joy, but most don’t recognize the immense health benefits to be gained from having a pet. There are numerous reasons why your dog, cat, or other type of pet can increase your well-being and immune system, and this can help you relax.

Unconditional love

Sometimes humans display unconditional love. However, much of the time they are so wound up by their own egos and anxieties that they don’t love in this manner as often as they could. Pets on the other hand, are not constricted by concerns about their image. They don’t ponder why they exist or worry about how other people or animals see them. They simply live for the moment, which often involves giving unconditional love to their owner.

Touch

Studies show that touch can help heal people and boost their immune system, and of course, most dogs and other furry animals are petted, or touched, often. Birds and even reptiles often enjoy physical touch, and some pets will return touch to their owners in the form of a lick, or by snuggling up tightly next to them.

Social connection

Many dog owners would be lonely without their faithful pal to walk each day. Going for a stroll provides them with exercise that keeps them fit, and helps them meet people. Sometimes, the main social contact people have each day occurs when they are walking their dog.

Heart health

Not only are people less likely to have a heart attack if they own a pet, but if they do, they will recover faster than if they didn’t have a pet. Perhaps the thought that their pet relies on them keeps them going. Alternatively, their immune system is boosted by being with their pet and this decreases the amount of time they take to recover.

Companionship

Pets can be wonderful companions. They rarely argue with you, if at all, and they love being with you. In short, you are their hero, and everyone wants to be loved this way. Having a pet can fill the gap where a human relationship doesn’t sit, and it might even be more beneficial in some cases. If a person isn’t very sociable, or can’t leave their home, their pet can provide them with friendship and the support they need, as well as giving them an extra reason for living.

Pets can help you relax because they prevent you from feeling as much isolation and pain as you might have felt without them. In addition, they can speed your recovery time after an illness, and boost your immune system while providing you with unconditional love and companionship.

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References:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/pet-heart-health-humans-adaptable_n_1277119.html
http://www.petcareclub.com/articles/choosing_pet/pet_benefits.php

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