How Owning a pet can reduce stress
When you think of ways to reduce your stress, techniques such as meditation, Yoga and journaling usually come to mind. These are all great techniques. A new friend can be a great stress reliever and have health benefits. This article focuses on furry friends, as human friends can provide great support and many other benefits.
In a very recent Verywell Mind survey we found that 47% of Americans in therapy also spend time with their pets to improve their mental health. This was the second most popular activity for mental self-care, after reading.
Jenna Stregowski is a Registered Vet Tech and a Pet Health & Behavior editor at Daily Paws. She gave us some insights into how the relationship between humans and pets can be mutually beneficial.
Reduce Stress with Pets
Research has shown that pets are a great way to relieve stress, provide social support and have other health benefits. They may even be more beneficial than humans.
These effects became even more important during the COVID-19 epidemic as people isolated themselves from each other. Stregowski believes that those with pets are the ones who were lucky.
She says that the change in the world and people spending more time at home benefited humans and pets. She says that people had more time for exercise, training and play. All of these things help strengthen the bond between humans and animals. As did our pets, we all benefited from the extra time spent together.
Here are some more health benefits for pets.
It’s impossible for those who love animals to be in a bad mood whenever a pair or loving puppy eyes meet yours, when a super soft cat rubs against your hand. Research shows that pets are also good for your mood. They can provide social support, reduce stress, and improve general health. According to a 2017 study, those with AIDS are less likely than others to experience depression if they own a pet.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Yes, it’s true. Although ACE inhibitors can reduce blood pressure generally, they’re not as effective at controlling blood pressure spikes due to tension and stress.
Since the mid-1980s, research has shown that petting dogs, and social interactions with companion animals, have positive physiological effects. This includes a lowered blood-pressure. The pet effect was largely attributed to the act of touching the dog. 3
Dog owners spend more time walking, whether it is because their dogs need to walk or enjoy the company of others, than those who do not own pets, at least in urban areas.
Dog owners will tell you they love their walks because their dogs are with them. They may even enjoy belonging to a group of pet lovers. Owning a pet can increase these benefits because exercise benefits stress management and general health.
Stregowski also notes that regular exercise for pets is beneficial.
Offer unconditional love to your company
Pets are there for you when people cannot. They are a great companion and offer love. They also keep secrets and enjoy comforting silences. They could also be the best remedy for loneliness.
Stregowski: “I think pets fulfill our need for companionship and love. They also provide physical touch.” The complexity of human life doesn’t burden animals and give us a respite from worldly worries, such as work and finances.
These benefits can help reduce stress caused by feelings of social isolation or lack of support.
Pets vs. people
We all know that talking to a friend who is also a good ear can be very helpful. However, new research suggests that spending time with your pet could be more beneficial.
It may be partly because pets love us and don’t judge us.
What Kind of Pet Can We Have
Stregowski, who has worked with many different types of pets, says that, while dogs and cats may be the most common, she’s seen rats and reptiles enriching the owners’ lives.
She says that even looking at the fish in an aquarium is a form of meditation.
Even if your animal friends aren’t as cute or Instagram-friendly, as cats and doggies, you can still enjoy the benefits of having an animal.
Your Pet Can Benefit, Too
Many people will have more time to spend with their pets, as remote work or flexible working has become more common since the pandemic. This will allow pets to be engaged in a way that keeps them happy and healthy.
Stregowski advises that for those essential workers, or for those who return to the office more frequently, it is important to establish and adhere to a schedule during what can be a challenging time for your pet. She says to include daily time for play, exercise and snuggles if your pet likes it. Plan a few short training sessions per week to keep your dog sharp. Consider leaving interactive toys or treats for your pet.
Stregowski believes that mental health for pets is as important as it is for humans. Our pets may not be able to express complex emotions and thoughts, but they are still susceptible to anxiety and depression. We must ensure that our pets don’t become bored or frustrated because they are not suited to a sedentary life.
Her solution: “Play games that your pet likes to keep them mentally and physically active.” You will have fun too!”