Pet therapy is a thing. There are actual organizations whose sole purpose is to set up visits from therapy animals to places such as hospitals, retirement homes, rehab centers…
This is something I always innately new, but never really thought about why.
For me personally, when I am feeling run down and need a little uplifting, hugging my dog Finley or curling up with him and a book, usually fixes whatever foe I may be feeling.
I narrowed it down to four simple explanations of why our pets positively affect our health below.
- Releases feel good hormones-just a few minutes of stroking a pet prompts the release of numerous feel good hormones including serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin. You are literally releasing feel good emotions with the simple act of petting Fido.
- Lowers blood pressure-the act of touching something warm and soft calms your heartbeat and begins to lower your blood pressure in stressful situations. Try calling over a furry friend to relieve stress instead of responding to it in an unhealthy manner (i.e. emotional eating, rage texts, regrettable arguing).
- Puts a pep in your step– The obvious benefit of having a pet is the inevitable exercise you gain by needing to take them out for regular potty breaks and exercise. It’s hard to talk yourself out of a walk around the block when you stare into those big eyes and that ridiculous puppy stare.
- Unconditional love-the unconditional and unyielding love they give us is hard to overlook. There is not a human on this planet that will show you such loyalty. While my husband does look up from the football game when I walk in the room, he does not sprint over, taking down anything in his path to show how excited he is to greet me (for the umpteenth time that day).
If it’s the cards, I highly recommend having a pet in your life. The emotional benefits alone are reason enough, but the physical benefits you gain are equally impressive.
Hope you have a wonderful week! It’s almost the end of the month already, can you believe it? Off to find Finley for some pet therapy of my own 🙂